65 pages 2 hours read

Veronica Roth


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2013

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The Illusion of Control

One of the novel’s most prevalent themes is the illusion of control. One place this illusion exists is within the different government entities. Within Chicago, Evelyn’s government forces its people into submission through violence and threats. Evelyn particularly wants to control the Allegiant since they are the greatest threat to her power. She dissolved the factions under the premise that they create division and prevent individual choice, though the factions are the reason Chicago has survived so long. The Allegiant want to restore the faction system and threaten to take away Evelyn’s control over the city. To maintain her control, Evelyn keeps everyone “trapped in the city, controlled by armed factionless patrolling the streets. She knows that whoever holds the guns holds the power” (12). Evelyn uses new rules and regulations in addition to the guns to help maintain law and order, ensuring she remains in power and the Allegiant stay subdued.

The Bureau of Genetic welfare likewise uses control over its people to maintain the status quo and to keep the experiment in Chicago running. The Bureau developed the serums used in the city, and the Bureau uses them itself when necessary.