Ben’s Letter Essay #5

Ben Massey

Period 5 ILA

Mr. Jockers


Letter Essay #5


Recently I finished the book Divergent by Veronica Roth. It is a 487 page long dystopian book about a girl named Beatrice who lives in a dystopian world where everyone must choose a “faction” to live in forever, each with different virtues that they follow to and extreme. Them being Erudite, who live in pursuit of knowledge, Dauntless, who believe bravery is the most important, Amity, who value kindness over all else, Candor, who think everyone must always tell the truth and never lie, and finally, the faction Beatrice was born and raised in, Abnegation, who say that selflessness is the most important virtue. Veronica Roth is the recipient of the Goodreads 2011 Choice Award and the Best of 2012 in the category Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction and also Best Goodreads Author in 2012. Roth wrote her first book, Divergent, while on winter break in her senior year at Northwestern University. After this book became a huge success, Veronica wrote two more sequels to it and began to write other books.

This book is about Beatrice Prior, a 16 year old girl preparing to make the biggest decision of her life, she must choose a faction to join and live in forever. She could stay with her family, in a faction where she feels she doesn’t feel she fits in, or she could switch factions and never see her family again. She just wants to get and easy answer from the test all kids must take when they turn 16 to establish which faction is right for them. But after taking the test her test-giver tells her that she is Divergent, which means she doesn’t belong in any one faction, but she also tells her this is dangerous because the government will kill all Divergents because they are considered “dangerous”. So Beatrice has to make the hard decision of which faction to join on her own and tries to fit in as best she can. The story is about Beatrice, or Tris as she decides she wants to be called, joining the faction Dauntless and trying to fit in but survive. But because she is Divergent, things go wrong and then she is not only trying to fit in, she is trying to simply survive.

I noticed how the author really emphasized on how each faction believed they were the best but still tried to live together in harmony even though they thought very little of each other’s virtues. I think that this really helped the reader to understand how their society functioned, with each group standing each other and trying to feign a “harmony”. I was very surprised when Tris’ instructor in Dauntless tells Tris that he is also Divergent. This surprised me so much because I had seen him to be a very solid fit in Dauntless. I wish that the author gave us more of a look into how the other factions’ joining process worked. I wish she did this because I feel like it would have further showed us how the factions are different from each other.


One passage that I found to be very important was when Tris had an epiphany of sorts and realised that each Faction wasn’t all that different from the others, this quote also showed how since she was Divergent she was able to see things like this easier. “I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren’t all that different” (Page #336) It really makes me think that maybe Tris is starting to realize that people in different factions aren’t as different as the government makes them think since she realized that the Abnegation and Dauntless virtues are more or less the same down at the core..

Overall, I would give this book a ten out of ten because I feel like Veronica Roth did an amazing job in developing this setting where everyone in this city are divided based off what they believe is most important, selflessness, intelligence, bravery, honesty, or kindness.

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