premise of the second half of the book is based on an unverified
assumption, and that really annoyed me. If they could get the serum into
the city, then why does everyone believe so easily that it couldn’t be
smuggled out -that it had to be developed by these mean people who only
care about the genetically pure? It was a story of how people can get
caught up in their own focused world, like the positive reinforcement of
social media, being surrounded by like-minded people, which validates
the way you think. In this case, it was a runaway effect, and the Bureau
was caught up in it, relegating people with damaged genes to second
class. However, it never dealt with the larger issue of how much more
violent the wars of the damaged might have been, compared to what
happened before. Will the world be a better place with humanity as it
is, or would it be better with only the genetically pure? The book
advocates tolerance for all, which I support, but it does end up
diluting the population, depending on your values. As for Tris and Four, I liked their journeys, despite the faulty
assumptions. I didn’t expect the end result, but it makes complete sense
for the character arc.
The final book in the Divergent series is completely different from what
came before. It's an origin story, but it takes the same fight as in the
previous books to the outside world.
Once again, the movie had a
completely different take than the book, and except for a couple of
milestones, the movie doesn't cover the book at all. If they'd just done
the book as-is, I'm sure it would have been a hit. As it turned out,
when they turned it into an action movie, they destroyed the essence of
what everyone loved so much about the books, and it was a dud.
Tris and Tobias and a bunch of others leave the city, not wanting to be
under the thumb of the factionless and Tobias' mother. The rest of the
book takes place at the Bureau for Genetic Restoration. The history of
the city is revealed at last -Chicago was an experiment, designed to
find the pure human genes from before the genetic enhancement
experiments caused psychopaths who pretty much destroyed the world. It's
like Khan from Star Trek II, bred with more violent tendencies in
addition to the desired traits. War broke out, and most cities were
destroyed. Now the government is trying to restore humans to their
former state. It's not working, but Chicago is their best bet yet. Pure Divergents have been found, and it's a template for future experiments.
Naturally, Tris has a big problem with separating people into
genetically pure and genetically deficient (GDs). The latter have become
second-class citizens, in reality if not in name. Tris learns that her
mother came from outside the city. First, back in Divergent, she learned
that her mother wasn't from Abnegation, but Dauntless. Now, she learns
that her mother was an orphan from the slums of the genetically
deficient, rescued by the director of the Institute, and sent into the
city to kill Jeanine's predecessor. Only because she had tattoos, she
was sent into Dauntless, which seems like a pretty thin excuse. How did
they not know she was a plant? She hadn't grown up in Dauntless -nobody
would know her -how would she be accepted? No explanation was given.
Instead of transferring to Erudite as planned, she fell in love with
Tris' father, and transferred to Abnegation instead. Apparently she had
contact with the outside world often during her life.
turns Tris' life upside down, it's the treatment of GDs that upsets her
most. Especially since Tobias is not really Divergent, as they were led
to believe. Christina was never Divergent, which means she's a GD, while
Uriah is pure Divergent.
Tobias, feeling left out, falls in with
a group of rebels who are trying to shut down the search for pure genes,
because they feel the same way that Tris does. They use as proof some
video of wars prior to the genetic modifications. The Bureau claims that
the GD caused all the wars, and apparently the population has been led
to believe that before the GD, humanity was a bunch of saints. They may
have used that lie to justify themselves in the early years, when
humanity was on the brink of extinction, but now they believe their own
lies. The problem is that their cause is a noble one, but they went
about it the wrong way. I don't have an answer, because the issue is
very complex. Humanity needs to rebuild, and move forward, not dwell on
the mistakes of the past. Allow for the fact that humanity is now
different from what it was. The GDs might be to blame for the
destruction, but all of humanity needs to join together to rebuild.
Tris starts to believe the lie, that her pure genes are required to
improve humanity, but then she discovers that the control serum that
Jeanine used in the previous books was developed here. From my point of
didn't have enough proof. Everyone kept saying that it had to be
developed at the Bureau, as there was no way it could be smuggled out
for them to find it here. But that's not true at all! Jeanine obviously
had contact with the Bureau, and Tris' mother escaped to give reports,
at the very least. Tori's brother, who was Divergent, escaped the city
permanently. Without actually asking the Director, or tracing its
development, how can she justifiably launch a campaign against the
Tobias disables security so that the GDs from outside can
enter the Bureau to steal some serum, and Uriah dies in the attack,
which is more vicious than Tobias thought it would be. He and Tris stop
Tris and her brother kind of forgive each other,
especially when they are given their mothers' journal. They form a plan
to steal the serums and deploy the memory one inside the Bureau. It's a
telling moment about her character when Tris doesn't object to her
brother going to steal the serum -a death sentence, especially since he
isn't trained in self-defense.
They also discover that with
Tobias' mother in charge, and the situation deteriorating within the
city, the Bureau intends to reset the experiment, using the memory
serum to wipe everyone's memories, and starting again with the factions.
Tobias volunteers to lead the effort to rescue some of the people in
case Tris and her brother are too late -and he wants to resolve the
situation peacefully, giving either his mother or father the memory
serum, apologizing to Zeke and Uriah's mother for his death.
Finally, after almost three entire books of hinting, Tris
and Tobias get back together and make love. It's subtle, but satisfying,
and it should have been a hint of what was to come.
narrative structure changed from the previous ones -here, we get the
story not just from Tris' point of view, but Tobias' also. Since both
their actions are important, and they are separated so often, we need
both their voices. But I wasn't expecting the risk the author took by
killing off the main character. The last time Tris and Tobias see each
other is the morning after they make love for the first -and last- time.
Tobias' story was actually more interesting, as he deceives the
others so he can get to his mother, even though he initially thinks
he'll give the serum to Marcus. But he can't make himself inject his
mother, who eventually, after seeing his love, injects herself. Uriah's
parents are also targeted for extraction, as are Christina's. It turns
out not to be necessary, though, because Tris has foiled the plan to
cover the city with an airborne version that would wipe everyone's
memories. At the last minute, she realizes how selfish she was being,
that she couldn't let her brother commit suicide, especially since she
was Divergent, and could probably survive the Death Serum. She does, but
is shot by the Director as she releases the memory serum into the air of
I still don't see how their efforts could work, as
the Bureau must have satellite compounds with backups and other people
who know their plans. Just wiping the memories of the people here can't
be enough. But maybe it's just enough to get things started. The new
world, for those in Chicago at least, is one of choices.
was another very interesting choice made by a side character. Peter is
not a nice person, and we saw that throughout Divergent,
now Allegiant, in the way he treated Tris and the other initiates. It's
subtle sometimes, and blatantly obvious at others. When he goes on the
mission to rescue people from Chicago, he has one purpose in mind -to
become a better person. He knows he's mean, and can't do anything about
it -so he insists that Tobias give him the memory serum, so that he can
start over and be given the chance to be a better man.
everybody mourns Tris at the end, and maybe she'll become a symbol of
hope for the rest of the country -or the world. The book doesn't press
into the future, and I don't see how they can achieve restitution in
their lifetimes, but it would still be interesting to see how Tris's
sacrifice might inspire them. Humanity is troubled, whether GD or pure.
But there is hope -there must be hope.