Alai is a loyal friend to Ender. He practices alongside Ender so that they can improve their maneuvers in the battleroom, and frequently defends Ender from others. At times, Ender thinks that Alai is his only good friend at the Battle School, but at other times, he wonders if Alai is indifferent to him, or even resents him for his successes. In the end, Ender realizes that the truth is somewhere in the middle: Alai respects Ender and thinks of him as a friend, but can’t relate to Ender on an intimate level because of Ender’s role in the Bugger Wars.
The timeline below shows where the character Alai appears in Ender’s Game. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6: The Giant’s Drink
...Ender and Shen float through the battleroom, they notice Bernard’s best friend, a boy named Alai. Ender collides with Alai, and the two laugh. They decide to experiment with movement in... (full context)
Chapter 7: Salamander
...himself. Ender decides to return to his old barracks. There, he finds Bernard, along with Alai. He invites them to practice maneuvers in the battleroom. Together, Ender, Shen, Alai, and Bernard... (full context)
Chapter 8: Rat
Shortly after Ender’s conversation with Dink, he goes to practice battleroom maneuvers with Alai and some other friends. Bernard isn’t present—word has gotten out that any new recruits caught... (full context)
Chapter 9: Locke and Demosthenes
Chapter 10: Dragon
Chapter 14: Ender’s Teacher
...that 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... (full context)
...good, smooth relationship 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... (full context)