“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”
In the future, Chicago was split into five factions – Abnegation the Selfless, Amity the Peaceful, Candor the Honest, Dauntless the Brave, and Erudite the Intelligent. When Beatrice “Tris” Prior from Abnegation sits for the aptitude test every 16-year-old has to go through, her results were inconclusive, landing her the official label of ‘Divergent’. Despite that, she chooses to transfer to the Dauntless, where she undergoes harsh training. However, when she discovers the Erudite’s plan to overthrow her old faction, she struggles with proving herself worthy of her position among the Dauntless, and proving herself worthy to herself.
Tris Prior, Dauntless
A transfer from Abnegation, Beatrice “Tris” Prior is already stated to possess the traits of Selflessness, Bravery, and Intelligence through her Divergence. These traits do contribute to making her a fighter for a cause she believes in. And unlike most who allow their circumstances to shape them, Tris is one of the few who stays strong on her actions and her attitude, despite her physical vulnerability (pain) sometimes getting into the way of her stubbornness.
The greatest irony which I found in the entire course of the story was how cowardice was openly rampant in a faction that values courage. Instead, brutality and cruelty seemed to take over, with the flimsy rationale that brutality was to force initiates to become braver and stronger. Bullying the seemingly weak, cruel beatings, and attacking other initiates in the dead of the night are brushed off by leaders, with Four even telling Tris to appear vulnerable to gain more protection.
Despite that, acts which required real courage – facing their fears, standing up and resisting by doing what’s right and not just what they are told to do, remaining loyal to a good cause – get their glory, often together with the putting down of bullying and intimidation in the process. Peter, Molly, and Drew’s comeuppance also serve to show that true courage lies not in physical strength, but the strength of the heart.
Style & Structure
Roth uses vivid descriptions in the first person setting to draw the reader into the world – a place where the protagonist is trying to fit in a place which she wants, although she not necessarily is. The fast pace keeps the reader going, and the descriptions are vivid, piquing the senses as the surroundings should do to the Dauntless.
The Divergent trilogy was written by Veronica Roth. To find out more about the series, click here.
In the meantime…