Saturday, November 10, 2012

What is Divergent? The Story, Characters, Factions, and More

Divergent is a novel written by Veronica Roth. It is actually a trilogy with sequel entitled "Insurgent," which was released in May 2012. Roth is in the middle of writing the third and last novel of the trilogy. The last book is not yet titled but is expected to be released in fall 2013. 

The series revolves around the adventure of Beatrice "Tris" Prior. Tris lives in a city (believed to be a futuristic set of Chicago, Illinois) divided into five factions - Abnegation (selfless), Dauntless (brave), Erudite (knowledge), Amity (peace), and Candor (honesty). Tris was raised in the Abnegation faction that teaches her how to become selfless. However, Tris felt something unnatural with being in the Abnegation and when the time came that children in her age get to choose the faction they want, she left. In their world, when a boy or girl reaches the age of 16, he or she will undergo certain exams and the result of that exam will determine what faction he or she belongs to. The results for Tris' examination were not typical as she had three factions to choose from - Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless, making her a Divergent. Being a Divergent presents threats to the society and that is why the examiner (Tori) told Tris to keep the results as a secret. Eventually, Tris chose Dauntless. But the adventure has just began. Tris must again undergo the initiation process if she is deserving in the Dauntless faction. During the process, she met different friends and enemies, and the love of her life. (FYI if someone cannot pass the initiation process, he or she will become a factionless - no home, no food). Read Divergent and the sequel Insurgent and find out how Tris dealt with life's difficulty because of her choice, overthrowing a greedy Erudite leader, and grasping a world with equality.

Divergent Main Characters 
(from Wikipedia)


Beatrice "Tris" Prior is the narrator and main character of the series Divergent. She is described as being very short and not beautiful. She has blonde hair framed around her face and blue eyes. Tris is 16 years old and is the youngest child of Andrew and Natalie Prior. She has an older brother named Caleb Prior. During the aptitude test, she learns that she is Divergent, something that it is extremely dangerous. Later in the book, she learns that Divergent means a class of individuals who are not suited for one faction, but who show traits of several factions. After much struggle, she chooses to be a Dauntless initiate. Tris is very stubborn and also tough. She is quite thin and weak, but becomes muscular during training as a Dauntless initiate.

Shailene Woodley will play Tris in the movie adaptation of Divergent, to be released on March 21, 2014.


Tobias "Four" Eaton is Tris's instructor and love interest. Unlike Tris, he is tall and has short dark hair and beautiful deep blue eyes. He is two years older than Tris and originally came from the same faction as she did, Abnegation. He ran from Abnegation into Dauntless to escape his physically abusive father, Marcus. He protects Tris from the others both by defending her when she is attacked and by keeping their romance private so the other initiates will not think Tris's rank is a result of favoritism. "Four" is a nickname given in his first stage of initiation by his fellow initiation class and instructors when he had only four fears to face. He also has an antagonistic relationship with Eric, a Dauntless leader, who is corrupting the Dauntless philosophy. In one of the final chapters of the book, Tris learns that Tobias is also Divergent.


Caleb Prior is the older brother of Tris. He is less than a year older than Tris, so they are in the same grade at school. Caleb is described as a boy with green eyes and dark hair. Caleb constantly reminds Tris of the Abnegation ways, something she hates to be corrected on, but says something that surprises her before the Choosing Ceremony; he tells her to choose what she wants, not what her family wants. She takes this to heart when she chooses Dauntless over Abnegation. Caleb chooses Erudite before her choosing. Eventually, Tris goes to visit Caleb in Erudite. He is happy to see her but gets upset when she insults him for following the standard Erudite ways. Caleb admires Tris for jumping onto the net in the Dauntless entrance pit twice.

Christina is one of Tris's best friends who is a tall girl with brown skin, dark eyes, and dark hair. She is originally from Candor but also chooses Dauntless over her own faction. During the physical fighting stage, she is beaten by Molly but proves herself stronger. Christina is tall, slender, pretty, and has a part in creating Tris's new look in Dauntless. She is energetic and not weak.


Peter is Tris's main enemy. He is muscular and tall with shiny dark hair and dark green eyes. He is from Candor, and Christina tells Tris that he is always rude and is not cut out for Candor, saying that he would beat other kids but blame it on them when the adults came. He picks on Tris by calling her a "Stiff" and harassing her physically. The reason he hurts her is because Tris has proven stronger than he expected, prompting jealousy. Whenever people are stronger than Peter, he is jealous, such as when Edward was ranked the highest, and Peter stabbed him in the eye with a butter knife to scare him. His hope was to make him leave the faction, which was successful. One of Tris's fears in her fear landscape is Peter's burning her on the stake. Peter surrenders to her and her group at the end of Divergent after Tris shoots him, and they set off on the train together, with Caleb, Tobias, and Marcus.

Will was one of Tris's best friends. He is originally from Erudite and has "blond hair and a crease between his eyebrows." He is the love interest of Christina, and, before they become a couple, Tris notes that Will and Christina share idle touches a lot. Will is funny and protective of both Tris and Christina, not allowing Al to come near Tris after he has taken part in hurting her with Peter and Drew. Will dies because Tris shoots him in the head in Abnegation when he is controlled by the serum. She later feels very guilty about this action and hides it from everyone.

Marcus Eaton is Tobias's father and is an Abnegation leader. He is very abusive and whipped Four often as a child. Marcus was accused of cruelty by the Erudite and, as Tris states, the Erudite are right about some things. He escapes the Dauntless Compound with Tris at the end of the book, but not by Tris's choice.

Al is a Candor-born Dauntless initiate who develops a crush on Tris during stage one of initiation. Out of all of the Dauntless initiates, Al has the hardest time coping with the transition into Dauntless life. He does not like the violence that is sewn into the initiation process, and he quickly makes himself seem weak when he does not willingly participate in the fights in stage one. As he continues to do poorly, Al faces elimination at the conclusion of stage one but is spared when two of the other transfers quit. He then continues to struggle in stage two and lands himself in last place while Tris moves up to first place. That night, Al works with Peter and Drew to try and push Tris over the railing of the chasm but is unsuccessful. Al begs Tris to forgive him, but she does not, and Al commits suicide by jumping into the same chasm.

Natalie Prior was born as a Dauntless; a daughter of a Dauntless leader. She transferred into Abnegation during the Choosing Ceremony. Mrs. Prior is Divergent and was told by her mother to transfer because it was unsafe for her to remain in Dauntless. At some point, she marries Andrew Prior and later gave birth to Caleb and Beatrice. Natalie remained a loving and supporting parent towards her children despite them transferring to another faction. She was instrumental in saving Tris after being captured by Dauntless soldiers at the cost of her life.

Andrew Prior was the father of Tris and Caleb and the husband of Natalie Prior. He was a member in the city council, a group of Abnegation tasked in governing the city. He was like most of the Abnegation people, except for when his children left him. His wife described him as being "selfish", and to be selfish is a very big thing in his faction. Andrew Prior was born Erudite and his parents were friends of Jeanine Matthews'. He is presumably a descendant of Edith Prior.

Eric is a Dauntless leader who was an Erudite transfer. He was eighteen, putting in the same initiate class as Four. Eric has an unbelievable number of piercings and long, dark, greasy hair. He is also described as having cold eyes that made him menacing.

Uriah, Lynn, and Marlene - Dauntless-born in the same initiation class as Tris. Uriah is revealed to be Divergent. Marlene is always smiling and cheerful, an upbeat person. She and Uriah are in a relationship, but Marlene is killed after being controlled by a simulation to jump off a roof. Lynn initially did not like Tris, but the two become friendly. She secretly loves Marlene as more than a friend and is jealous and angry about Uriah and Marlene's relationship. Lynn is killed in the attack on Erudite.

Zeke and Shauna - friends of Four. Zeke is Uriah's brother, and he acted as a Dauntless-traitor spy until he turned up at Candor with a wounded Tori in tow. Shauna is Lynn's sister, and she is shot in the back when Tris' party pursues Jeanine Matthews after the secret meeting between Max and Jack. Shauna becomes paralyzed from below the waist and requires the use of a wheelchair. She and Zeke are in a relationship.

Tori and Harrison - chosen as leaders along with Four. Harrison is characterized as being older. Tori is an artist at the Dauntless tattoo shop. She ran Tris' simulation before the Choosing and warned her to keep her Divergence a secret. Tori's brother was killed because he was found to be Divergent, and Tori wants revenge. She acted as a spy with Zeke in the Erudite compound and discovered that Jeanine's lab was heavily protected. Tori gets her revenge on Jeanine.

Max - a corrupt Dauntless leader who allied with Erudite to destroy Abnegation. He wanted Four to work with him, but he settled for Eric.

Jeanine Matthews - the leader of the Erudite, chosen based on her high IQ. She is the developer of the simulation serum and main antagonist. One of her primary goals is to neutralize the threat posed by the Divergent's ability to crack simulations. She obtained the important information from Abnegation during the attack and has kept it hidden on her private computer. She has also taken a special interest in Caleb. She was killed by Tori in revenge for the murder of her brother.

Johanna Reyes - spokeswoman for Amity, which does not elect a leader. Characterized as pretty but with a terrible scar running down her face.

Jack Kang - leader at Candor who administers the Truth Serum.

Susan and Robert Black - the Prior's neighbors back at Abnegation. Robert chose Amity, while Susan stayed Abnegation. Susan is with the group that escapes the attack on Abnegation and flees to Amity. She is friendly to Tris and exhibits that typical Abnegation selflessness. Tris observes that Susan and Caleb may be interested in each other.

Evelyn (Eaton) Johnson - Four's mother and leader of the Factionless. She had an affair while married to Marcus and, allegedly, was told to leave Abnegation. Four is initially angry over her abandonment but knows that she was abused by his father. Later he feels that she was unfairly treated. Tris doesn't trust Evelyn.

Edith Prior - Possibly related to Tris as they share the same surname, who was previously known as Amanda Ritter.

The Factions in Divergent series
Abnegation - the Selfless

Abnegation is the one and only faction dedicated to selflessness and forgetting oneself for the sake of others. 


-Sit quietly and wait.
-Bow heads, a sign of respect, when greeting each other.
-Not manipulative, but not forthright.

-Clothing is all gray and simple.
-The only adornment allowed is a watch.
-Female Abnegation typically wear their hair in a bun/knot.

-Rivals with the Erudite Faction

-No official leader; led by governmental council including Abnegation member Marcus Eaton

Erudite - the Intelligent

Erudite is the one and only faction dedicated to knowledge, intelligence, curiosity, and astuteness. It was formed by those who blamed ignorance for the war that had occured in the past causing them to split into factions in the first place.  

-Characterized by great knowledge; learned or scholarly.

-Chat about books and newspapers; in constant pursuit of knowledge. Curiosity- it drives them to seek knowledge.

-Most members wear glasses no matter how perfect their vision is.
-Each member must wear at least one piece of blue clothing.

-Rivals with the Abnegation Faction.

-Leader: Jeanine Matthews

Dauntless - the Brave

Dauntless is the one and only faction dedicated to bravery, nerve, and elimination of fear. It was formed by those who blamed cowardice for human nature's faults. Tris chooses to join this faction during her Choosing Ceremony. 

- Fearless, undaunted, and brave.
-Courageously resolute, especially in the face of danger or difficulty; not discouraged.

-Bravery, courage, fighting and physical skills.

-All-black clothes, tattoos, and piercings

-Neutral with all factions

Leader: Eric, Four

Amity - the Peaceful

Amity is the one and only faction dedicated to peacefulness, kindness, generosity, and neutrality. Amity was formed by those who blamed war and fighting for human nature's faults. 

-They love music, art, games, and laughter. 
-They give hugs when greeting.

-Members dress comfortably in red and yellow clothing.

-Rivals with the Candor Faction

-No official leader; but rather a representative in Johanna Reyes

Candor - the Honest

Candor was formed by those who blamed duplicity and deception for human nature's faults. Because of this, the Candor are known to value honesty, and their symbol is a set of scales bound by a circle. 

-Honest, trustworthy, sound leaders, and able to read body language to detect lies.

Black and white clothes. Black suits with white ties for men.

-Rivals with the Amity Faction.

-No official leader, Representative Jack Kang


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