Ender’s Game

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Dap is the “mom” of the new students at the Battle School—a man who’s paid to be kind and considerate to the young students who find it hard to cope with their new environment. At times, Dap adopts a “hands off” approach to helping Ender and his peers, but in the end, he proves that he’s concerned that Graff is being too harsh with Ender, and may be putting Ender’s life in danger.

Dap Quotes in Ender’s Game

The Ender’s Game quotes below are all either spoken by Dap or refer to Dap . 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 5 Quotes

He could not cry. There was no chance that he would be treated with compassion. Dap was not Mother. Any sign of weakness would tell the Stilsons and the Peters that this boy could be broken.

Related Characters: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (speaker), Peter Wiggin , Stilson , Dap
Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:

In the course of Ender's time in Battle School, he trains himself to control his emotions. In this quotation, for instance, he forces himself not to cry late at night, even though Dap—the caretaker and self-described "mom" of the new recruits—is offering his support. Although Ender is lonely and misses his family, he also believes that he'll be ridiculed for his weaknesses.

By this point in the novel, Ender has learned not to trust authority of any kind. Even though Dap seems to be a kind, sympathetic man, Ender doesn't trust him. He knows that Dap and Graff are associates; in other words, if Ender exposes any weakness to Dap, Graff will use it against him. Ender's self-control is incredible, but also tragic—this is essentially a six-year-old boy learning how to dehumanize himself in order to survive.

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Dap Character Timeline in Ender’s Game

The timeline below shows where the character Dap appears in Ender’s Game. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5: Games
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Games, Computers, and Virtual Reality Theme Icon
Childhood and Growing Up Theme Icon
Control, Manipulation, and Authority Theme Icon
...man enters the barracks and orders the students to pay attention. He introduces himself as Dap, the new students’ “mom” and counselor, and explains a few things about Battle School. The... (full context)
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Morality and Survival Theme Icon
...classes on mathematics, history, and other subjects relevant to the military. One day early on, Dap shows the new students how to play battle games. Most battle games are simple arcade... (full context)
Love, Empathy, and Destruction Theme Icon
Leadership Theme Icon
...Ender sends other messages, this time labeling them, “Bernard.” Bernard is furious, and yells for Dap to help him. Dap looks at the messages and finds them amusing. He tells Bernard... (full context)
Chapter 12: Bonzo
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
...conversation between General Pace, an important American officer, and Colonel Graff. Pace has learned from Dap that Graff is intentionally putting Ender’s life in danger. Pace warns Graff that if Bonzo... (full context)