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Divergent Suggested Essays
by Veronica Roth
Previous section Divergent Summary About Divergent Character List Glossary of Terms Major Themes Quotes and Analysis Summary and Analysis of Chapters 1-3 Summary and Analysis of Chapters 4-6 Summary and Analysis of Chapters 7-9 Summary and Analysis of Chapters 10-12 Summary and Analysis of Chapters 13-16 Summary and Analysis of Chapters 17-20 Summary and Analysis of Chapters 21-24 Summary and Analysis of Chapters 25-27 Summary and Analysis of Chapters 28-32 Summary and Analysis of Chapters 33-35 Summary and Analysis of Chapters 36-39 The Psychology of Fear Related Links on Divergent Suggested Essay Questions Test Yourself! - Quiz 1 Test Yourself! - Quiz 2 Test Yourself! - Quiz 3 Test Yourself! - Quiz 4 Author of ClassicNote and Sources Next section Buy PDF Buy Paperback
Suggested Essay Questions
1.In what ways does Tris's identity develop over the course of the novel?
Tris began the novel timid and unsure of herself and her desires, which was characteristic of her Abnegation upbringing: she was never allowed to focus on herself, so she never knew exactly what she wanted. Upon choosing Dauntless her bravery obviously begins to blossom, but she experiences some other changes as well. She forges friendships and relationships central to her identity, with people who bring out the best in her. And she learns that though she has chosen another faction, she can still be selfless; and indeed she is, time and time again. By the end of the novel, she is fully aware of herself as Divergent - someone who does not fit in, but who cannot be controlled. The events of the end of the novel reinforce who she has been - selfless - and who she wants to become - brave. There are many significant experiences to discuss, both good and bad, that shaped Tris as a person throughout her time in Dauntless.
2.Compare and contrast this rigidly structured society with our own. What are the pros and cons of each? Does one provide a more effective lifestyle than the other?
The distinctions between Tris's society and our own are very apparent; their idea of becoming a good person involves selecting one virtue to cultivate their entire lives, while for us, being good and morally sound involves a mixture of all of their faction virtues and more. Socially, we have much more freedom of choice, but is that freedom always a good thing? Studying any of the five virtues of Tris's world can indeed have positive effects on one's life. It all depends on perspective; either could be seen as the more effective lifestyle, depending on how you look at it, but the faction system certainly makes some significant missteps in trying to control and direct a person's identity and humanity.
3.Discuss the soundness of a government run only by a single faction. Is Jeanine Matthews truly wrong for calling for greater representation, or is it better to keep administration in the hands of the selfless?
This is certainly a far cry from our system of democracy. While having the innately selfless run the government seems like a respectable idea in theory, in practice it may fall short. Abnegation do not have the same goals in life as Erudite, Candor, Amity, or Dauntless, so therefore it is natural that their administration is called into question. Perhaps a system with equal representation from every faction would be a better strategy; though policy would not consist of extremely selfless acts, sometimes representatives do have to be selfish advocates for their people. And with everyone having a say, there would be much less chance of a rebellion the size of Erudite's. Jeanine wasn't entirely wrong in what she preached, but she certainly...
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