Chapter 7: Salamander Notes from Ender's Game

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Ender's Game Chapter 7: Salamander

The voices at the beginning of the chapter are excited that Ender has defeated the Giant. they decide that he has reached his full potential as a Launchie, and defeated every obstacle they have put in his way.

In the story, Alai tells Ender that he finally realized how Ender sent the message from "Bernard," which undercut Bernard's power. Alai also noticed that Ender created a security system. When they return to the barracks so that Ender can give it to Alai, there is a slip of paper waiting for Ender. He is transferred to Salamander Army, effective immediately.

Before leaving his barracks, he and Alai share a moment of true friendship in which Alai kisses Ender's cheek and whispers, "Salaam," with reverence. "Whatever it meant to Alai, Ender knew that it was sacred; that he had uncovered himself for Ender..." Chapter 7, pg 70 Ender, enraged, goes to the game room, and tries to play the Fantasy Game. He, in a fit of anger, is able to defeat a particularly difficult situation in the game, and he arrives at a place called "The End of the World." The game then shuts down and he is forced to report to his new home.

Upon arrival, he meets Petra Arkanian and Bonzo Madrid. Petra quickly reveals herself to be the outcast of the group, being the only girl in the army (and one of the few in Battle School) and a very vocal critic of Bonzo. Bonzo (pronounced "Bone-so") is a quiet, though angry, Commander who is very unhappy with Ender's placement there. Petra makes a snide comment, and the commander strikes her. Bonzo then tells Ender to be prepared to do nothing, and be prepared to be traded to another team.

Petra approaches Ender later. She offers to help Ender by teaching him the basics of military in the battleroom during free time.

Later Ender learns that Bonzo makes different rules for Petra and the boys. Ender already thought little of Bonzo: "That was stupid... It set her apart, made her different, split the army..." Chapter 7, pg 81 Ender resolved he would be a better commander. In the bathroom, Ender is taunted for his size. As he exits, an older student says, "It's Wiggin. You know, that smartass Launchie from the game room." Chapter 7, pg 81

Ender has his first lesson with Petra the next day, where he learns two things: 1) Petra is one of the best shooters in all of the game; and 2) "... the adults are the enemies, not the other armies. They do not tell us the truth." Chapter 7, pg 82 The officers are hiding from the students some truths about the Battle School (including gravity generation) and few students remember that. At team practice, Ender watches Bonzo drill his army with formations, and realizes that, though he isn't experienced enough to fight with them, the army's strategy is too dependent on the Commander.

That night, he decides to use free play time to go back to his old barracks and start practicing with his launch group. When he returns to Salamander barracks, he is confronted by Bonzo, who orders him not to practice. Ender requests a private conference with his commander and tells Bonzo that he isn't authorized to give that order. "Bonzo's anger [was] growing hot. Hot anger was bad. Ender's anger was cold, and he could use it. Bonzo's was hot, so it used him." Chapter 7, pg 87 Bonzo realizes, through his anger, that Ender is right. Ender then rubs salt in Bonzo's wound by allowing Bonzo to keep his dignity with the army -Ender tells Bonzo, "If you want, I'll pretend you won this argument. Then tomorrow you can tell me you changed your mind." Chapter 7, pg 87

Bonzo angrily follows Ender's advice. Later, Salamander has a battle and Ender, as ordered, does not fight. He sees Bonzo's weak strategy, and starts figuring out better ones. Condor Army barely defeated Salamander because of Bonzo's strategy, and Ender did note the discipline that Bonzo's system did create. However, other boys were frustrated that Ender did not disobey orders. Ender replied that he follows orders, and later Bonzo reiterated the order, which Ender thought was stupid.

Ender followed orders for some time, and noted Salamander's deficiencies from the sidelines, though he also noted that Salamander was indeed quite good. He was at the top of the leader board because he did had the best efficiency of all students. As time passed, Ender celebrated his seventh birthday silently. Ender appeared in his fourth game, and ended up facing the same situation as the first one-the other team had defeated Salamander, or so they thought. Ender drew his gun and fired at enough of the enemy soldiers to create a stalemate. Bonzo was furious that, once again, Ender's idea saved face for Bonzo's reputation.

That evening, Ender was finally traded to Rat Army. Ender was relieved, but Bonzo had one parting shot-he hit Ender and loudly said that no soldier should ever disobey a commander. Ender, for Petra's sake, ended the extra practice sessions with her.

Topic Tracking: Excellence 8

Topic Tracking: Isolation 7

Topic Tracking Games 4

Topic Tracking: Anger 5

Topic Tracking: Anger 6

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