Chapter 12: Bonzo Notes from Ender's Game

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Ender's Game Chapter 12: Bonzo

The voices argue about the danger Ender is in from Bonzo and his gang. They refer to how Ender defended himself. Other voices disagree, saying Ender is too important to risk. Colonel Graff argues that "Ender Wiggin must believe that no matter what happens, no adult will ever, ever step in to help him in any way... If he does not believe that, then he will never reach the peak of his abilities." Chapter 12, pg 202

Bean, meanwhile, has a new toy called a deadline and they are using it to make quick changes in direction. Meanwhile, it seems that Bonzo was planning to do something to Ender. After practice, Petra approached Ender and told him of a plot - what she did not know was that she was part of a trap that Ender saw. He kept walking and forced her to stay with his army, thus sparing him a fight. His toon leaders worried, Ender was escorted to his barracks, where a message from Dink was waiting: "Don't be alone. Ever. -Dink." Chapter 12, pg 205 Ender was relieved that Dink was still his friend.

That night Ender dreamed that Stilson did everything to Ender that Ender did to him. He awoke with a start, but relaxed with the knowledge that the entire school - most importantly the adults - valued him. The next morning, he had battle against Badger Army, and the teachers gave Badger an advantage - after a period of time, members of that army who were not completely frozen would "thaw" and be able to fight again. Dragon won anyway. Badger's commander, Pol Slattery treats Ender with respect and doesn't like how the game is being stacked against Ender.

Ender goes to shower alone. He is ambushed by seven boys (including Bernard), Bonzo at the lead. Ender, seeing that he is not going to be able to get out of this with words, tilts the odds in his favor by taunting Bonzo where Bonzo is most sensitive - honor. Ender is "Your father would be proud of you... Oh, what honor... You can go home and tell [him]... I only had six of my friends to help me... even though he was naked and wet and alone," Chapter 12, pg 208-9

This taunt forces Bonzo to attack Ender alone in the shower. He strips down. "Naked and wet and alone... I can't help that I'm bigger than you. You're such a genius, you figure out how to handle me." Chapter 12, pg 209 Dink arrives, held back by the other boys, and forces Bonzo into murderous rage by saying that Ender is needed, that he is the only one who can defeat the Buggers.

They fight, and Ender, with soap on his body, defeats Bonzo by using the soap on his own body, steam from hot showers, and Bonzo's honor as weapons. Bonzo is defeated as Stilson was, soundly and brutally. Adults then arrive, and Dink takes Ender out of there.

The result was what Graff expected: Ender felt completely alone to solve his own problems. Dragon had a battle later that day, against two armies, and Ender decided to give up on the rules. He did the victory ceremony during the battle, which told the battleroom that the game is over. Ender did not care, he was done.

As usual, as soon as Ender defeated every enemy, he was promoted to Command School (where college-aged students typically go) and Bean was promoted to command of Rabbit Army. Ender was emotionally defeated, however, and complacent.

At chapter's end, the voices talk, and the audience discovers that not only did Ender defeat Bonzo, the vicious attack killed him. Likewise, we learn that Stilson died at Ender's hand as well.

Topic Tracking: Anger 11

Topic Tracking: Isolation 11

Topic Tracking: Excellence 15

Topic Tracking: Games 9

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