Check out “Ender’s Game”

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Ender was born into a futuristic version of earth where overpopulation has force a law that everyone under the protection of the International Fleet can have only two children. However, Peter Wiggin – Enders older brother – showed promise to possibly go far in the IF but was discharged because he was too violent.Then Valentine Wiggin -Ender’s older sister and Peter’s younger sister- was not accepted into the IF because she was too compassionate. The IF let the Wiggin family have a third child in hopes of finding a balance between compassion and violence.

First tortured by his older brother, then by bullies at school, Ender encountered violence. He learned that the best way to stop it was preemptive action. In order to stop the bullying for good before he could get hurt again.

From being the cause of a broken arm, to the target of several attacks, like a bloody locker room scene and a seven-to-one blood bath that ended with the death of a student. Ender’s violence progresses only when in a life-and-death situation where there was no other way out of it safely.

Ender was not without the compassion that his older sister had, either. Despite his rocky start when he first arrived at the battle school, where the dean singled him out as “more knowledgeable” than the other students, and “more likely to succeed” because of his quick thinking, he knew the best way to stay alive and progress in the IF was to gain the trust of these peers. Later on in the book, these same peers become soldiers under his command. They were as loyal as no other soldier could be, despite their prepubescent age.

A quote that is featured multiple times in the book, “In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, I also love him”.  At first glance one would think that it speaks of compassion, but in reality it states the universal human flaw of brutality. Once we have learned enough about our enemy to defeat him, we also understand him so well that we know how he thinks, and for that we love him. This is the true tragedy that comes with warfare.