Saturday, 13 September 2014

Divergent by Veronica Roth

I could tell him I've been worried for weeks about what the aptitude test will tell me - Abnegation, Candour, Erudite, Amity, or Dauntless?

I seldom come across books which tell me that I'll love it the moment I open the page, and when I do, I love them. Even Harry Potter, my favourite series, failed to give that feeling. Aside from To Kill a Mockingbird and The Book Thief, the only other book which have that feeling is Divergent.

I am selfish. I am brave.

The dystopian world Beatrice Prior lives in is divided into different factions: Amity, the ones who valued peace; Erudite, the ones who valued intellect; Candour, the ones who valued honesty; Abnegation, the ones who valued selflessness; Dauntless, the ones who valued intrepidity. At the Choosing Ceremony, those who turn sixteen choose their suitable faction, or the faction they would like to remain in for the rest of their lives, for, once chosen, the faction cannot be changed.
'Those who blamed aggression formed Amity. Those who blamed ignorance became the Erudite. Those who blamed duplicity created Candour. Those who blamed selfishness made Abnegation. And those who blamed cowardice were the Dauntless.

'Be brave, Tris,' he whispers. 'The first time is always the hardest.'

However, Beatrice, now Tris, finds it hard to choose the perfect faction for her after her results. She now has a lethal secret, in addition to making the right choices in her new faction. She has to decide her new friends, and decide whether to trust the capricious instructor - Four.

'You can't be fearless, remember?' I say. 'Because you still care about things. About your life.'

I absolutely loved this book. The initiation taught me that running away from my fears would do no good to anyone, including myself. It also helped me identify my fears with authentic interest; I'm not really the person who likes to know what her fears are. It taught me to be brave; understand that in the real world, one cannot depend on their parents for eternity. So the quality of orienting ourselves to the surroundings plays a significant role in true humanitarian aspects. This book also clearly defines the difference between 'brave' and 'fearless'. Thus, it distinguishes between the two words.

I think the concept has been well thought; the story - well said. The voice of Tris makes the reader feel that they themselves are Tris. A strong female protagonist - this book must be a book read by a feminist group.

Additionally, the dialogues earned my ardent interest. I know many of them by-heart, and with a couple of Hermione's dialogues, I can earn the position of 'Bookworm: The Book Eater'. Some quotes really made of smile.
'Feel my heartbeat. Can you feel it?'
'Feel how it is?'
'It's fast.'

Moving on to the characters, Tris is a brave girl with a strong will. Four is this unconventional, serious person, reminding me of myself. I have a personality similar to his creepy demeanour, and also share two fears: acrophobia and claustrophobic. Will is my favourite; I can't explain in words how much I admire his intellect. Christina, to some, might be the amiable type, but I think she is too outspoken. Albert is nice; he did something he shouldn't have, but I still like him.

Further on, I simply love the different factions. My critique is like this: Abnegation might be a benevolent faction - selfless and plain, but I strongly disagree with their principles. People are not permitted to look at their reflection, considering it selfish to be narcisstic. But this is just a minor one, and I think every faction has a flaw. Amity, on the other hand, is a faction who loves peace. Maintaining peace is a good one, but the problem is that they lie to maintain cordial relationships. So sometimes, that relationship might even be fake. Candour values honesty, but that also means they will speak their mind out. Though that isn't really bad, sometimes they might tell the wrong things at the wrong time. Dauntless consists of the brave, and their training is suitable to make the defence force, but some of their principles annoy me. They make people fight against each other- fine - but their idea that killing oneself is brave earns my contradiction. Erudite is the intellectual faction, laying emphasis on knowledge. Here, they boast their knowledge sometimes, and can make false reports as well.

After taking a test and introspection, I discovered that I fall into Erudite. I'm your stereotype of an Erudite: Read, write eloquently, want to know more, but not the information in textbooks (it's filled with mistakes; how can I like something with 395 mistakes?) The thing I don't do is speak. I abhor oratory: public speaking and me? We reside in two different dimensions!

Coming back to the book, it was amazing. It has enriched my taste for young-adult books, and I attribute my taste in ya to this book.

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