Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
Divergent is a Young Adultdystopian thriller trilogy (2011-2013) written by Veronica Roth, who was a mere 23 years old at the time of the first book's release.In a dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a different personality trait:
Candor values honesty, plain-speaking, and impartiality. Members are extremely social, tactless and see everything in black and white terms. They wear black and white. Most of Candors work in law and civil administration.
Dauntless values courage and fearlessness, Members are trained in combat and to suppress fear. They wear black. Most Dauntless work as soldiers protecting the city walls.
Amity values peace and cooperation. Members are much more laid-back than the other factions. They wear bright colors, normally yellow and red. Most Amitys work in farming, and they use a notably different political structure than the rest of the city, as well as being located largely outside the walls.
Erudite values intelligence and knowledge. Members are rigorously educated in science and elocution, and the faction's emphasis on reading is almost fetishistic. They wear blue. Most Erudites work in science and to maintain the city's technological infrastructure.
Every year, sixteen-year olds must select a faction to be a member of for the rest of their life, lest they become factionless.Beatrice grew up in Abnegation, unable to think of herself. But when she takes an aptitude test to decide what faction she fits in the most, her result is that she is a Divergent, qualifying for more than one faction. Therefore, she rejects her heritage and joins Dauntless, renaming herself Tris. As she takes the highly competitive initiation test, the conflict that threatens to rip apart the society gradually unravels before her.The second book in the trilogy, Insurgent, was released on May 1, 2012. The third and final installment, Allegiant was released October 22, 2013.There are also a series of four ebooks that show Four's story from his point of view: The Transfer (Sept 3, 2013), The Initiate (Dec 17, 2013), The Son (Jan 21, 2014), and The Traitor (Feb 11, 2014).The movie adaptation of the first book was released on March 21, 2014, it stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Zoe Kravitz, Ashley Judd, Ray Stevenson, Mekhi Phifer and Maggie Q.
A Fate Worse Than Death: Becoming factionless, who live in poverty and are ostracized, is considered this by most of the characters. Subverted in Insurgent, when Tris gets to interact with them.
Absurdly Youthful Parents: Seems to be pretty heavily implied as the norm, given that Natalie and Andrew were together before they entered Abnegation together, and that the Bureau requires that all persons entering the experiment promise to have a minimum number of children to ensure the survival of their "corrected genes."
Abusive Parent: Tobias's worst fear is his own father who used to beat him as a child. Which is why he transferred.
Adaptational Attractiveness: In the book, Eric is described as having a frightening and repugnant appearance. In the film, he certainly still has an intimidating presence, but is actually pretty good looking.
In the novel Tris is described as average looking, with a long nose. In the movie she is played by the gorgeous Shailene Woodley.
Sort of. Allegiant reveals The United States still exists, but is a shadow of its former self. Half of the population is dead. The mid west has been used for experiments and its implied that the west coast is either uninhabited or possibly isolated. (Its not clear as the fringe groups don't go there because the terrain is too rough to traverse.)
Ambiguous Disorder: Fernando in Insurgent, who seems to be ruled by logic more than the average Erudite.
Ambition Is Evil: The viewpoint held by Abnegation. This puts them at odds with Erudite.
Bittersweet Ending: Tris manages to stop the mind control device and rescues her boyfriend. Unfortunately, many members of Abnegation and Dauntless have been needlessly killed, both of Tris's parents (as well as Will) are dead, she has little chance of befriending Christina again, and Jeanine is still out there.
And Insurgent Tris and Tobias have reconciled and they got the information, but Evelyn has staged her coup and Tris, Cara and Christine are seen as traitors
And then we have Allegiant: Tobias negotiates a peaceful resolution between Evelyn and the Allegiant, Chicago rebuilds, and the Bureau are all mindwiped to no longer distinguish between GP and GDs but Tris dies
Blatant Lies: Peter, who is from Candor, claims he is not murderous.
Brought Down to Normal: Inverted. Allegiant reveals that the Chicago walled community was an experiment to restore humanity back to normal after years of selective breeding caused what they considered to be "damaged genes" in humans, making them prone to certain vices and violence.
Bury Your Gays: Lynn comes out of the closet after being fatally wounded. In Allegiant, played with in the case of Amar, who admits to having had a crush on Tobias. Needless to say, Amar isn't nearly as dead as those in Dauntless believed him to be.
Chekhov's Gun: The first movie has Tris getting Jeanine to shut down the mind control program with a shot of her own serum.
Chekhov's Skill: Tobias mentions early on that he is good with computers. Not surprisingly he uses this in the end.
Cliffhanger: Insurgent ends with an epic one, with the revelation that Chicago was walled off as part of an experiment to restore humanity to a war-torn world, and that once there are enough Divergent people among them then they should open the gates and reenter the wider world.
Cold-Blooded Torture: Tris quickly learns that people are more willing to share information after they've been shot.
Also used by the Erudite on Tobias. Doesn't work until they force him to watch Tris undergo the torture instead
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Jeanine, the representative of the Erudite faction, uses her power and intelligence to create the mind-control revolt against the Abnegation-controlled government.
The Evils of Free Will: There are shades of this in Abnegation. Basically, any part of free will that serves the self is prohibited.
Many see this as the problem with Divergent in general: people who are Divergent don't necessarily conform to the thought patterns of their respective factions and therefore can't be trusted.
Expy: Humans trying to perfect humanity through genetic engineering, the new humans being incredibly cruel and vicious, and a massive war starting over these genetically modified humans in which populations are decimated? It's practically what the Eugenics Wars would have been like if the Augments didn't get political power.
Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul: After getting into a fight with Peter in Amity, Tris is given a drug intended to calm and relax her. Because of her slight build, it has a stronger effect, temporarily blissing her out.
Also, the entire Amity compound's food supply (specifically the bread) is infused with small amounts of it.
Hidden Purpose Test: The aptitude test. Tris mentions that students don't even know what the test entails, and Tori informs Tris that she cannot tell her what's going to happen during it.
Hope Spot: In Allegiantjust when it looks like Tris is going to shrug off the death serum and survive, David fatally shoots her. She still manages to get her Heroic Sacrifice off, though.
Hufflepuff House: From all of the factions, Amity gets the least mentioned in Divergent. None of the transfer to Dauntless are from it (one tried, but chickened out of the initiation almost immediately), and only one named character is a member of it. They have a slightly more important role in Insurgent.
Candor also has a minor role in Divergent, although they also get elevated in Insurgent.
I Owe You My Life: Why someone very unexpected saves Tris' life. He claims to only think in term of debts, and couldn't conceive of doing anything for someone unless it was to get them to owe you a favour.
Mind-Control Device: The "tracking" chips placed in every Dauntless member controls them and ultimately leads to the Dauntless members, aside from Divergents, being controlled into attacking Abnegation.
The Power of Love: Tobias, under Jeanine's mind-control, becomes horribly close to shooting Tris, but the sound of Tris's voice makes him snap out of it.
The Outside World: In the book and film, Tris finds the world beyond Abnegation to be completely different from her previous life of selflessness. Further and farther, the Outside world of Chicago offers a crumbling cityscape.
Psycho for Hire: The Dauntless are implied to be this. The Erudite use them to fight their physical battles in a war, even agreeing being put under mind control so they could do what they do best: killing!
Revenge Before Reason: Tori becomes so obsessed with avenging her brother, she ignores Tris's pleads to spare Jeanine and kills her. Even after her revenge is complete, she brands Tris (a girl who she's interacted friendly with in the past) a war criminal, instead of hearing her out.
Sherlock Scan: While nowhere near the almost superhuman level that this trope is often used, Tris is much more perceptive than average.
Shoot the Dog: Tris has no choice but to shoot Will, who, under mind control, was trying to kill her.
Took a Level in Jerkass: Edward. In Divergent, he seems like a skilled fighter but otherwise average kid. When she runs into him again in Insurgent, he's noticeably darker - to the point that Myra has left him.
Trauma Conga Line: From the ending of the first book onwards, almost every character crosses this.
Truth Serums: Candor has them. In Insurgent, Candor uses truth serum for interrogations.
Two-Part Trilogy: The extremely negative reaction to Allegiant has led to some speculation that its predecessors were written with the intent of being one book and Roth, who admits she didn't know where the story was going when she began writing, didn't have the time and/or talent to work out a better final installment.
Underestimating Badassery: Tris is a small teenage girl. Far too often, she's assumed to be a non-threat - even when she's pointing a gun at them.
Villainous Valor: Jeanine: (with a knife to her throat as Tris tries to make her shut off the mind-control program) I admire that you're willing to die for what you believe. So am I.
What the Hell, Hero?: Tris's dad calls her out for shooting Peter in the arm. Though she points out that, despite being Dauntless, he is cowardly and borderline psychopathic and lives depended on it. She knows he will give in quickly once he is in pain.
In Insurgent, Tobias calls out Tris multiple times of being suicidal.
In return, Tris calls out Tobias for being a hypocrite. he tells her that she's strong enough to take her scolding, but still tries to "protect" her. He insists she be open and honest with him, while still insisting on the right to keep his own secrets. He says he trusts her perceptiveness, but refuses to listen to her warnings about people repeatedly. Thankfully, the both of them get better. Eventually.
Worthy Opponent: In Insurgent, Tris might be the enemy, but the Dauntless will still honor her for walking to her execution.
Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When Tris loses control and beats Molly bloody during their fight during testing, Eric congratulates her. She decides that she doesn't want to be congratulated for something like that by someone like him.