Harrison’s Letter Essay #7: Divergent


Dear Reader,

I have recently finished reading a 487-paged, realistic fiction, dystopian book named Divergent by Veronica Roth. Veronica is now a world-wide known author for her amazing stories that she continues to write to this day. She got the idea for this series when she was in college and it was a hit. It was a bestseller. It sold over 6.7 million copies in 2012. I wanted to re-read this book because when I initially read it I didn’t completely finish it and I liked most of the parts that I did read.

Divergent takes place is a world when the population is divided into factions. Abnegation, Erudite, Dauntless, Candor, and Amity. Abnegation is about selflessness. Erudite for intelligence. Dauntless is for the brave. Candor for the honest and Amity for those who are peaceful. When you turn 16 years old you are forced to decide weather to stay with your parents in their faction or transfer to a different one. The main character, Beatrice Prior, is what is called a Divergent. This means that she doesn’t fall into just one faction like everyone else, but a few. This is very dangerous in their society as they can not be controlled. They think differently than everyone else. Beatrice decides to leave her family at the choosing ceremony and transfer from Abnegation to Dauntless. Just the word “Dauntless” sounds scary enough. So after the ceremony they go back to their new faction and start a process called initiation which is where they are to prove themselves to the faction leaders showing that they can be a part of that faction. If they fail (or in the Dauntless case, die) they are put into a 6th faction called faction-less. This is like the homeless people of their society. After Tris passes initiation is a scary life full of people wanting to conquer the system and mind-control all of the Dauntless. They are trying to wipe out the Abnegation as they feel that they are not needed and are useless to their community. Just more dumb people to feed and take care that don’t do anything to deserve it is their mindset.

I was surprised to hear that Beatrice chose Dauntless. This is because of how she was recommend for 3 factions, but this was’t any of them. If I were her I would have picked one of the three because at least I will know that my mind sort-of thinks the same as them. Instead she has to consciously always act and try to think like the Dauntless would when that’s not what she is used too.

I like how the author made absolutely no hints or anything towards the fact that she will chose Dauntless. My reasoning behind this is that I believe she did this so that we would be completely surprised when she chose it. Instead she lead you off in another direction by having herself discuss what she will chose in her head and immediately writing off Dauntless. Clearly Tris changed her mind.

However, I dislike how the author made Beatrice constantly second guess herself as this is a bad trait to have. I believe that without this it would have made this book “flow” a little bit nicer so to speak. It would not make you confused on what she finally decided to do leaving you second guessing yourself.

The quoted passage below is a key moment in the story because it is when Beatrice choses her faction of choice…a one-time decision where you can NEVER go back.

“I hear my name and a shudder propels me forward. Halfway to the bowls, I am sure that I will choose Abnegation. I can see it now. I watch myself grow into a woman in the Abnegation robes, marrying Susan’s brother Robert, volunteering on the weekends, the peace of routine, the quiet nights spent in front of the fireplace, the certainty that I will be safe, and if not good enough better than I am now.

The ringing, I realize, is in my ears. I look at Caleb, who now stands behind the Erudite. He stares back at me and nods a little, like he knows what I’m thinking, and agrees. My footsteps falter. If Caleb wasn’t fit for Abnegation, how can I be? But what choice do I have, now that he left us and I’m the only one who remains? He left me with no other option.

I set my jaw. I will be the child that stays; I have to do this for my parents. I have to.

Marcus offers me my knife. I look into his eyes-they are dark blue, a strange color-and take it. He nods, and I turn toward the bowls. Dauntless fire and Abnegation stones are both on my left, one in front of my shoulder and one behind. I hold the knife in my right hand and touch the blade to my palm. Gritting my teeth, I drag the blade down. It stings, but I barely notice. I hold both hands to my chest, and my next breath shudders on the way out.

I open my eyes and thrust my arm out. My blood drips onto the carpet between the two bowls. Then with a gasp I can’t contain, I shift my hand forward, and my blood sizzles on the coals.

I am selfish. I am brave.”


Overall, I was satisfied with this edge-of-your-seat kind of book. However as I mentioned earlier there were a few aspects that I disliked which is why if I had to chose a number to express my feeling about this book it would be a 8 out of 10. Still not a bad grade.


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2 thoughts on “Harrison’s Letter Essay #7: Divergent

  1. Harrison-
    You did a good job explaining all the different factions. I think your quoted passage follow up (why you chose it, why it’s important, etc) could have been a little more detailed, but overall I think you did a nice job.

  2. Dear Harrison,
    Interestingly, I just read Nick’s letter essay on Divergent as well. I found it interesting that you both agreed you were surprised Tris chose Dauntless. I like how you talk about what the author did well, and what the author should make better or improve, because you said you liked it but there were some parts you didn’t like. I think you can improve on some grammar errors (there were only a few), but mainly when you said the main character was Beatrice, you should say that her nickname is Tris because you mention that name once in your letter essay. I think you did a very good job on this letter essay.

    From, Matt

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