In this story, his main character, a young man named Nafai, starts out as an immature, mouthy, typically post-adolescent teenager. On the brink of becoming a man but still treated as a child by his older brothers, Nafai often exhibits rude, angry outbursts that irritate, infuriate, and alienate pretty much everyone around him.
In short, he’s not a very likable kid.
However, Card utilized that special feature of written fiction—the ability to show readers what’s happening inside the character’s mind—to keep readers from sharing the common belief in Nafai’s incorrigibility.
Card shows readers that Nafai’s intentions are much better than his actions. We see what the other characters do not: that Nafai doesn’t purposely antagonize people. Indeed, he sometimes goes out of his way to be considerate; he just doesn’t have the knack for making himself understood.
Nafai bears room for growth in his character arc, and because Card lets readers see that this young man has the potential for that growth, they’re willing to bear with his antics along the way.