n and Ender
The Parallels and Distinctions of Bean and Ender
Bean and Ender have many similarities that set them apart from their peers in times of peril. Their intelligence made them the most promising weapon in the war against the buggers, rating highest among the smartest children in the world. This is surprising on account of the dissimilarities of their lifestyles before they went to battle school. However, before and during battle school Bean and Ender had to cope with being small. Ender and Bean were both prodigies in their time, but ironically they had completely different personalities.
The similarities Bean and Ender shared took them to the top, yet their differences gave them the skills that helped them defeat the buggers and survive as long as humanity needed them.
Bean and Ender shared a wonderful gift of intelligence that eventually led them to succeed. Before they even made it to battle school they were labeled as humanity’s last hope. Time was running out, the bugger war was rapidly approaching. Because of their genius, Bean and Ender were constantly being pushed ahead of everyone else in battle school. Colonel Graff was breaking all the rules to make sure that the boys got the proper training before they were sent to command school where their actions constituted life or death.
Colonel Graff knew that Bean was too smart to be analyzed. He even claimed Bean was, “Analyzing us.” (Ender’s Shadow pg146). Bean and Ender were part of a rare breed that used their brilliance to serve them well in their world, and harnessed their skills to protect mankind.
During battle school Bean and Ender’s lives followed the same course, but how they both got there is odd when you look at their “childhood.” Bean and Ender did not have a “normal” childhood, but their way of life was much different.
Bean spent his days in the streets of Rotterdam surviving off pathetic rations and fearing death every time he inhaled. Ender dwelled in a nice house with a nice family that cared for one another. Ender was paranoid that his brother Peter would kill him when the time was right, a theory he held even after Peter came to him late at night and whispered in his ear, “Ender. . . I’m sorry, I’m your brother, I love you.
” (Ender’s Game pg 15). Bean too had a family, but not like Ender’s. He lived in a place where everyone was starving, gangs ruled and even in a gang it was a risk to care for some one else; A risk that Bean, being as smart as he was, was unwilling to take. Bean’s life was all about survival, making a decision one day so he could wake up the next. The fact that Bean was genetically altered sets him apart from Ender, not to mention every other person at battle school. Their lifestyles were completely opposite, and it’s intriguing that their similarities took them to the same place.
In their childhood Bean and Ender lived in different worlds, but they both faced a disadvantage that they had to deal with no matter where they were. Their size was their closest enemy, but helped give them character. Bean was extremely small for his age and when he joined a gang of kids they had nothing to call him by so they improvised. The children said he “Ain’t worth a bean.” (Ender’s Shadow), hence the name “Bean”. When Bean and Ender were launchies, they were made fun of a lot but quickly gained respect.
Ender was called “pinprick” and “squirt,” among other things. Bean was also referred to as “baby” and “turd,” but showed no signs that it bothered him, so it eventually stopped. Names mattered little to the two, but fights were a big deal. Ender and Bean were at a huge disadvantage when it came to fights. For example, when Ender fought Stilson and Bonzo, he had to strike first and win thoroughly or it was all over for him. Bean and Ender hated their inadequate height but never let it get to them, or drag them down.
Ender and Bean were both small and brilliant, but those were .