An interesting essay that a friend linked me.
Ender is still a murderer. Great article, but he still killed people. I feel bad for him, yeah, and at times he was put into situations that fooled him into doing so, but murder is murder. Especially in the case of Bonzo. You can say all you like about him wanting to make sure that the fear outweighed the need for revenge but Ender knew he was incapacitated. He knew and still went on; when it happened to Stilson, it was an accident and it was a murder, but one in which Ender didn’t think it through; he didn’t say “Well, I better make sure this doesn’t happen again” he was just a kid. By the time he had gone through his torturous time at Battle School, he knew what he was doing.
Ender is not innocent. The story is a tragedy in that he was molded into someone who couldn’t possibly be innocent in the interest of the preservation of others. You can only seperate the intention and the action for so long before you stretch feasibility.
[spoiler]The question is what “intention” means. (Bear with me, I haven’t read the books in a while.) Fear is a powerful motivator. Ender was in a dangerous situation; he was physically weak and had virtually no friends, in a place that really could turn deadly. It’s a simple survival trait. It certainly was murder, but it wasn’t done out of hatred or dislike or because he thought that Bonzo deserved to be murdered. He simply did it so that it wouldn’t be done to him later on.
The point I’m eventually getting around to is that while the immediate intention was cold-blooded murder, the ultimate intention was for what could be considered a noble cause.