Split Personalities


When compared to themes of isolation and innocence in a novel, the concept of overcoming human nature is quite difficult to tackle. In Divergent by Veronica Roth, the world is split into five factions, each valuing a specific attribute of the human personality above all others. At age sixteen, each person must be tested to see if they belong in a community of people who are selfless, peaceful, honest, brave, or intelligent. Then each citizen integrates into a corresponding faction through a series of trials. The novel follows Tris, a girl raised among the selfless in Abnegation. Early on in the book, she learns that her test results are inconclusive and that she is suited for more than one faction, due to her “split personality”, so to speak. She has the potential to be intelligent, brave, and selfless, and could correspondingly belong in one of three factions: Erudite, Dauntless, or Abnegation. This result is atypical and in this society built on common ground, divergence is dangerous. Tris struggles with the issue of her identity throughout the entire book because of the preexisting categories that she does not fully fit into. She has to hide her test results, all the while trying to understand what it means to be “Divergent” beneath the surface. The factions are on the verge of warfare, and Tris needs to figure out where her loyalties lie and if labels are as important as society makes them seem.

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