Ender’s Game

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A young, brilliant soldier in Ender’s Dragon army, whom Ender teases and abuses in an imitation of the way he was teased and abused when he was younger. Ender realizes he treats Bean in this way to help Bean become his best, but still feels guilty for how he is treating Bean. Bean later becomes one of Ender’s most trusted commanders during “the game” against the Buggers at Command School. (Orson Scott Card has also written a number of novels in the “Ender Universe” that focus on Bean.)

Bean Quotes in Ender’s Game

The Ender’s Game quotes below are all either spoken by Bean or refer to Bean . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Tor edition of Ender’s Game published in 2008.
Chapter 10 Quotes

Ender wanted to undo his taunting of the boy, wanted to tell the others that the little one needed their help and friendship more than anyone else. But of course Ender couldn’t do that. Not on the first day. On the first day even his mistakes had to look like part of a brilliant plan.

Related Characters: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin , Bean
Page Number: 161-162
Explanation and Analysis:

Ender is given control of an army at Battle School. On his first day commanding the army, he verbally abuses a young soldier named Bean, making fun of him for his size. Ender immediately regrets his actions and wishes he could take back what he said. But Ender also knows that his priority is developing his authority over his new group of soldiers. For this reason, he doesn't apologize to Bean, but instead moves on with his speech.

Ender's behavior in the scene illustrates the contrast between his cold, calculating manner and his secret compassionate side. Ender was a sweet child, but Graff and his other teachers at Battle School have trained him to be harsh, intimidating, and impressive. Yet in spite of the training he's received, Ender continues to feel the same sense of compassion he always did: Graff hasn't stamped it out of him yet.

In the second half of the novel, Card poses a question: which part of Ender's personality is stronger, his brutality or his compassion? Based on the quote, it would seem that Ender's brutality is stronger: he yells first, then feels sorry later. At the same time, though, Ender had to learn brutality from Graff—his compassion is innate. The fact that Graff has yet to get rid Ender's sense of compassion suggests that it, not Ender's brutality, is the stronger force.

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I made sure they all noticed you today. They’ll be watching every move you make. All you have to do to earn their respect now is be perfect.

Related Characters: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (speaker), Bean
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:

Ender tries to justify his behavior to Bean, the soldier he verbally abused in front of his new group of soldiers. The justification Ender gives Bean is uncannily similar to the explanation Graff offered Ender at the beginning of the novel: like Graff, Ender is manipulating Bean's peers against him in the hopes that Bean will rise to the challenge and become a stronger, better soldier.

Ender's behavior toward Bean proves that Graff's training is working. Even though Ender hates Graff for hurting him and turning him against his friends, Ender emulates Graff's behavior reflexively—it's a classic example of "mimetic behavior" (copying someone else). Ender's actions also suggest that his definition of good leadership is changing somewhat. While he continues to aspire to kindness and compassion, he recognizes that there are times when he needs to be cruel and even abusive to his own troops, in order to build their loyalty. Ender has become the thing he hates most: a cruel, calculating commander.

Chapter 11 Quotes

“They need us, that’s why.” Bean sat down on the floor and stared at Ender’s feet. “Because they need somebody to beat the Buggers. That’s the only thing they care about.”
“It’s important that you know that, Bean. Because most boys in this school think the game is important for itself—but it isn’t. It’s only important because it helps them find kids who might grow up to be real commanders, in the real war. But as for the game, screw that.”

Related Characters: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (speaker), Bean (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Battleroom
Page Number: 196-197
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quotation, Ender confides in his friend Bean—a young, ambitious soldier in the Dragon Army, whom Ender had initially mocked for his size. Ender tells Bean what he's learned about Battle School so far: the game, he believes, is fake, while war is real. Ender claims that most students in school are so competitive that they never fully grasp that the game is "just a game"—there are always students like Bonzo who are so competitive that they're willing to kill an opponent because of a win or loss in the Battle Room.

Ender's speech is ironic, as we'll soon find out, since in the end, there is no difference between the game and the war with the Buggers. Ender's mistake—his tragic flaw, you could say—is that he thinks he can preserve some of his humanity and compassion during Battle School; i.e., he can be a brutal commander during a game, and a normal human being for the rest of the day. Graff, knowing full-well that Ender thinks the Battle Room is just a game, will manipulate Ender into heartlessly annihilating the Buggers by lying to him about what is and isn't real.

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Bean Character Timeline in Ender’s Game

The timeline below shows where the character Bean appears in Ender’s Game. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10: Dragon
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Morality and Survival Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
...who was first to launch in the right direction. The soldier says his name is Bean, and Ender responds by teasing him about his name. He then proceeds with his first... (full context)
Leadership Theme Icon
...how to push off walls with one’s legs frozen. All the time, Ender singles out Bean, praising him for his correct answers while also bullying him for his size. Eventually Ender... (full context)
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
...help some of the most inexperienced soldiers. At the edge of the battleroom, he notices Bean waiting for him, and goes to talk. Bean begins, “I know what you’re doing, Ender,... (full context)
Leadership Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
After practice, Ender tries to understand why he was hard on Bean. He realizes that Graff used the same strategy on him before he’d even arrived in... (full context)
Chapter 11: Veni Vidi Vici
Games, Computers, and Virtual Reality Theme Icon
Morality and Survival Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
...however, and insists that he should have been paired against a competent army. He asks Bean what he would have done as Salamander commander, and Bean points out that Bonzo should... (full context)
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Games, Computers, and Virtual Reality Theme Icon
Morality and Survival Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
The chapter cuts to Bean’s point of view. Bean is sitting in his barracks room when he receives a message... (full context)
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
Ender asks Bean for his help. He needs Bean to think of “crazy ideas” to help the Dragon... (full context)
Chapter 12: Bonzo
Games, Computers, and Virtual Reality Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
As the chapter begins, Ender and Bean are practicing with their troops. Bean has found a “new toy”—a deadline (long, thin wire),... (full context)
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Games, Computers, and Virtual Reality Theme Icon
Morality and Survival Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
...the battleroom: they’re ready to shoot the Dragon soldiers at a moment’s notice. Ender consults Bean on how best to proceed. Bean is reluctant to continue at all—it’s an unfair fight,... (full context)
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Games, Computers, and Virtual Reality Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
Ender is sitting in his room when he hears a knock. It’s Bean. Bean has just been transferred to command the Rabbit Army, he tells Ender. Bean seems... (full context)
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
Suddenly, Colonel Graff enters Ender’s room. Ignoring Bean, he informs Ender that he’s been transferred to Command School. Bean protests that no one... (full context)
Chapter 14: Ender’s Teacher
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Games, Computers, and Virtual Reality Theme Icon
Morality and Survival Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
...he’s been prepared to command an elite group of commanders, including his old friends Alai, Bean, Dink, Shen, Crazy Tom, and many of his other loyal commanders from Dragon. Ender relays... (full context)
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Games, Computers, and Virtual Reality Theme Icon
Morality and Survival Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
...with him. Strangely, Ender’s friendship with his commanders weakens during this period: Alai, Petra, and Bean respect Ender and become excellent at understanding his commands, but they cease to think of... (full context)
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Games, Computers, and Virtual Reality Theme Icon
Morality and Survival Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
...fights he’s faced: against Stilson, against Bonzo, and against two Battle School armies at once. Bean, remembering the same Battle School episode, mutters, “Remember, the enemy’s gate is down.’ Ender laughs.... (full context)
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Games, Computers, and Virtual Reality Theme Icon
Morality and Survival Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
...Eros to kill Ender, but the Russian forces have refused out of respect for Ender. Bean and Petra enter the room after Alai, and explain to Ender that the war is... (full context)