65 pages 2 hours read

Veronica Roth


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2013

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Important Quotes

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“I’m trying to trust him. But every part of me, every fiber and every nerve, is straining toward freedom, not just from this cell but from the prison of the city beyond it.”

(Chapter 1, Page 3)

This passage comes from the novel’s beginning and stems from Tris’s imprisonment as she awaits trial. It also introduces one of the novel’s central themes, freedom. Tris feels a strong need to see what’s beyond the city, and this drive is what pushes her to fight her way out of Evelyn’s grasp and the oppression of Chicago.

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“I would like to slap her, as I’m sure many of the people in this room would, though they wouldn’t dare to admit it. Evelyn has us all trapped in the city, controlled by armed factionless patrolling the streets. She knows that whoever holds the guns holds the power. And with Jeanine Matthews dead, there is no one left to challenge her for it. From one tyrant to another. That is the world we know, now.”

(Chapter 3, Page 13)

As Tris endures her trial, she realizes that Evelyn overthrew Jeanine to oppress the people of Chicago in a different way. Evelyn hates the faction system and wants it destroyed. She thinks that destroying the factions will bring freedom and choice to her people, yet she is actually limiting their independence and choice in the same way Jeanine did. Thus, as Tris observes, Chicago has traded one tyrant for another when both think they are doing what’s best for the city.

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“I used to think about giving my life for things, but I didn’t understand what ‘giving your life’ really was until it was right there, about to be taken from me.”

(Chapter 5, Page 28)

In the series’ previous books, Tris is willing to sacrifice herself for the good of others, so this passage illustrates the development in her character and maturity in her outlook on life. She no longer wants to live recklessly and give up her life, as she now has someone and something to live for: her relationship with Tobias.