Divergent – Veronica Roth

Divergent is a novel from the american author Veronica Roth. It has been published in 2011 and it is part of the literary genre of dystopia. This book is the first of a successful trilogy. We are in a post-apocalyptic city, formerly Chicago. Here is the story of the book :

Beatrice Prior, called Tris, is the main character of this novel. She lived in a society divided into 5 factions, according to the predominant personality trait of the people. There is Abnegation made up of people who devote themselves entirely to others. These people dress in grey, have the bare minimum at home and don’t look at themselves in the mirror because it’s considered superfluous, you don’t have to worry about how you look. These people must always remain humble and modest ; so they make up the government society. Plus, there is Amity made up of people who  live together in harmony and who favour peace and joy ; these people are involved in agriculture. There is also Candor : people can’t lie and always say whatever they think. They are honest (sometimes too much) ; so they take care of the society’s justice system. Plus, there is Erudite with the smartest people. They are researchers, scientists who deal with the medical field. Finally, we have Dauntless, with courageous and fearless people. They take care of the security of the city.

Tris is 16 years old and it’s at this age that she must choose the faction in which she wants to belong until the end of her life. Children generally choose the faction they grew up in and very few change factions. These changes, called transfers, are accompanied by a change of neighborhood and a break with the family of origin. Before that, she and everyone her age took a test to find out which faction would suit them best. However, Tris test is different from the others ; the test is inconclusive, it corresponds to several factions. Tris is divergent and it’s a secret that she must absolutely hide. Except that in this totalitarian society, not to fit into a box is to sign one’s death warrant.

Tris makes the most unexpected choice at the Choosing Ceremony, contrary to all the teaching she has received from her family. However, this choice is that of her heart but that’s the worst when we are divergent. Indeed, being « factionless », that is to say being a recluse from society, is not what she should fear. She must fear execution.  Destiny will bring her up to the mysterious Four, the coach of her group of newcomers, a man broken by life with hard airs.

This book denounces totalitarian governments and the repercussions on the inhabitants. Indeed, we put people into factions that are based on just one trait of their personality when we are not defined by that alone. People who do not fit into a faction are simply eliminated as dangerous. It is simply revolting for the reader whe he sees how society accepts its fate and allows itself to be manipulated by the government, which is entirely corrupt. This book also shows us that being different is not a fault, on the contrary it is a very honorable quality that must always be respected. Because we are all different, 5 factions are not enough to rank us inside, everyone somehow has his own faction of which he is the only one to belong.

It is very difficult to talk about this book without spoilers because it would be a shame not to discover this book as you read it. I really loved this book and especially the sentences : “Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.” ; “I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest.”



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