During Ender’s time in Battle School, his teachers make him fight mock-battles in a zero-gravity chamber called the battleroom. At first, Ender is frightened and incapable of controlling his movements in the battleroom, but over time, he learns to maneuver his body, shoot straight, and command other soldiers to impressive victories. Understood in this sense, the battleroom is an apt symbol of Ender’s growth and maturation over the course of the novel: at first, he’s “adrift” in life—a “Third” with no rights. Gradually, however, he learns to control the course of his own destiny, and gains the loyalty of those around him. But as Ender becomes more confident in the battleroom, also he comes to see it as a prison. Ender can do whatever he wants within the battleroom, but at the end of the day he’s a prisoner inside it, something to be directed and manipulated by his teachers and commanders.
The Battleroom Quotes in Ender’s Game
“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.”
Only then did it occur to William Bee that not only had Dragon Army ended the game, it was possible that, under the rules, they had won it. After all, no matter what happened, you were not certified as the winner unless you had enough unfrozen soldiers to touch the corners of the gate and pass someone through into the enemy’s corridor.
Forget it, Mazer. I don’t care if I pass your test, I don’t care if I follow your rules, if you can cheat, so can I. I won’t let you beat me unfairly—I’ll beat you unfairly first.
In that final battle in Battle School, he had won by ignoring the enemy, ignoring his own losses; he had moved against the enemy’s gate.
And the enemy’s gate was down.