I didn’t like
whiny Tris, who persisted
through most of the book because of the events of the previous one. I
understand that she was going through post-traumatic stress disorder,
and that it affects the brain for a long time, but the character became
unbearable throughout most of the book. I felt the same way about
Katniss through much of Mockingjay. The
events of the book themselves were interesting and a lot of it made
sense, pushing the story forward in an enjoyable manner, and we finally
get to visit the other factions, and see their way of life. I find it
interesting that every faction has its own version of the serums. Were
they all created by Erudite? Who else has the knowledge and ability, in
this faction system?
While the movie version of Divergent did a good job of representing the
book, and even improved on some of it, such as technology, this book was
so much better than the movie version, and I wonder why so much was
changed. The movie could have been just as good as the first one.
The book starts in Amity, where it's obvious that Tris and the rest
of the refugees don't belong. The Dauntless want action, and the
Abnegation don't know how not to serve, or to serve in a communal way. I
don't see how the Amity way of government is sustainable, though it does
have its merits. Talking through a solution is definitely better than
bullying, though it's clear that some parts of it don't come away
satisfied. Being Amity, they have become good at hiding it. The success
of this part of the book comes in the way Tris and Four don't fit in.
Some of the other girls start making fun of Tris, and she overhears
Marcus and the Amity leader talking about some hidden thing. When Tris
confronts him about it, she discovers that she hates him for what he did
to Tobias, and that her hatred is even stronger than her desire to know
what he's hiding. It's here that she learns about the Abnegation serum
to wipe people's minds; it's used on people who wander too far from the
limits beyond the city. Amity has their own serum, a happy serum that
makes Tris forget all about her problems, for a while.
Dauntless invade Amity, Tris and the others escape on a train. It's
funny that they have to break back into the city to get on it. There,
they are confronted by the factionless, where Tobias meets his mother,
who is leading the factionless into preparation for a rebellion.
Tris then travels to Candor, where a serum is used to make her tell
the truth. Tobias tells of his father and the beatings he had to
withstand. Tris tells of how she killed Will. Christina, of course, is
very upset and won't talk to her. It's only much later, when Christina
witnesses the effects of the simulation serum, that she manages to
The leader of Candor is marginalized by the simulation
serum, and I think the most damning line of the entire book is where he
is told that Candor is the only faction that is meaningless, the only
one that they can do without completely. They need Erudite for progress,
Abnegation to take care of people, Dauntless for protection, and Amity
to provide them with food. But truth is not important to Jeanine. Only
gaining control. And with a raid on Candor, she almost succeeds.
Here is where the movie diverges so much from the book that it
becomes unrecognizable. Jeanine takes remote control of Dauntless and
Candor, putting the latter on the streets around the Erudite
Tris and the others break into Erudite
headquarters while the factionless attack, but they are separated.
Christina is shot, so Tris enters the hallway trap on her own -it's a
simulation not unlike her fear landscape. Beyond, she finds Marcus struggling
with Jeanine, and Tris tips the balance. Jeanine is shot. However,
Tobias' mother takes immediate control, seizing weapons from the
Dauntless, and now she plans to make a communist society, where everyone
does all the jobs. This kind of society is just as bad as the one they
just left behind.
All throughout the book, Tobias is on Tris'
case about her reckless behavior, and he's right. But the book takes
place from Tris' point of view, so all we get is her annoyance, and her
internal rebuttal of his arguments. She's suffering from post traumatic
stress disorder, and it's very annoying the way she argues against
common sense and puts herself in all sorts of danger, even though it
furthers the plot. And it's not the danger part that was annoying. It's
the way she justifies it, and the way she's angry all the time, whining
about how unfair everyone is treating her, while she goes off and does
her own thing. Even at the end, when she snaps out of it, she's less
than likable, unlike the girl we saw all throughout Divergent.
As for Tobias, he does all he can, with split emotions between Tris, his
mother and Marcus. They each have a different kind of hold over him, and
they are all equally strong, in different ways. Marcus causes Tobias to
shrink back in fear, no matter how illogical it is. He yearns for his
mother's way of life, a way out of the Dauntless that's tearing him
apart. And Tris accepts him for who he is, not expecting him to fit into
a certain lifestyle -because she can't do that, either. She doesn't
necessarily want to overthrow the government, but to get rid of Jeanine,
who killed her parents and wants to get rid of all who oppose her. While
Tobias' mother wants to replace the current regime with one that she
controls, Tris doesn't really care if the factions are maintained or
destroyed. Tobias agrees more with his mother -that the factions are
bad- but doesn't think his mother's way is the right way, either.
So Tobias releases the message from the founders of the city, that
they are searching for Divergents, and once the Divergents are achieved,
that they should go outside the city to join society again.
journey is not over yet, and the fate of the city has not yet been