65 pages 2 hours read

Veronica Roth


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2013

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Symbols & Motifs


Identity plays a central role in the novel and is important to several characters. The factions establish most characters’ initial identity, as they are the identification group most characters experience first. Evelyn feels the faction system is faulty and demonstrates an immoral sense of control over Chicago’s citizens when many characters look to the factions as the foundation of who they are. After Evelyn dissolves the factions, Tris thinks, “I’m not sure how Dauntless I really am, anyway, now that the factions are gone” (53). Tris is one of the more self-assured characters in her identity, yet once Dauntless no longer governs her actions and behaviors, she questions her identity and how it fits with her new reality. Later, when Tris learns that being Divergent is only an issue of genetic makeup, she feels less important and less unique. Tris believes being Divergent gave her a certain power that few possessed, and she is disappointed when that is taken from her.

Tobias’s identity is likewise challenged when he learns he is not Divergent but is labeled as genetically damaged. He has difficulty overcoming this new identity because he briefly buys into the Bureau’s idea that genetic damage means he’s less of a person.