By: Mia S
In a futuristic, dystopian Chicago, society is organized into five factions. Each faction places value a certain trait.There is Abnegation, which values selflessness, Amity, which values peace, Erudite, which values knowledge, Candor, which values honesty, and Dauntless, which values bravery. Children are raised in their parents' faction, and once they turn sixteen, they have the option to choose for themselves which faction will be theirs for the rest of their lives, whether it's the one they grew up in or not.
The main character Beatrice Prior is a sixteen-year-old member of Abnegation. She and her brother Caleb take the aptitude test that will tell them which faction they are most suitable for. The test has a simulation with a mean dog, herself and a little girl of her faction. Beatrice shows for 3 different factions.
In Dauntless, Beatrice changes her name to Tris because she feels it will allow her to start over and become someone else entirely. She makes friends with two Candor transfers named Christina and Al, and an Erudite transfer named Will, while three other Candor transfers, Peter, Drew, and Molly, become her enemies. Initiation into this courageous faction involves three stages, and they will be ranked after each one. Only the top ten initiates will become Dauntless members; the rest will fail out and become factionless, forced to live on the streets of the city in poverty. The first stage of initiation involves learning how to fight from their mysterious initiation instructor, Four, and one of the cruel Dauntless leaders, Eric.
Visiting Day arrives, and Tris's mother comes to visit her in her new faction. She knows a suspicious amount about the Dauntless compound, which leads Tris to believe that her mother may have originally been Dauntless. She tells Tris to go visit Caleb in Erudite and tell him to research a simulation serum. Tris learns that Abnegation members are now prohibited from entering Erudite. Later that day, Al admits that he likes Tris as more than a friend, but she cannot return the sentiment. When they receive rankings for stage one, Tris is ranked sixth, and is not cut. Peter, however, is unsatisfied with his second place finish, and that night he stabs the first place initiate, Edward, in the eye.
As stages two and three of initiation commence, Tris begins to come into her own in Dauntless at last. She goes zip lining down from the Hancock building with the Dauntless-born initiates, shows extreme proficiency in fear simulations, and becomes closer to Four, who slowly starts to open up to her. But tension is brewing between two of the factions, Erudite and Abnegation, and Erudite continuously makes attacks on the Abnegation administration. Initiation is still the most pressing thing to worry about, though, and at the end of stage two she receives a shock; she's ranked number one. Considering her a threat, Peter and Drew attack her with the help of Al, who used to be her friend. Four rescues her before they kill her. Al is devastated with what he's done, and kills himself as a result.
Four at last reveals to Tris his true identity: he is Tobias Eaton, son of abusive Abnegation council representative Marcus. At this point, they officially begin a secret relationship. After a bad day in training, Tris leaves the Dauntless compound without telling anyone. She goes to Erudite to pass on her mother's instructions to Caleb. There, she has a confrontation with Erudite leader Jeanine Matthews, who Tris suspects of colluding with Dauntless to kill the Divergent. When she returns to Dauntless, Tobias warns Tris that Erudite is planning a war against Abnegation and will use Dauntless to fight it.
Initiation day comes, and Tris goes through her final assessment, a simulation containing each one of her fears that she must conquer, one after another. She's extremely successful and ranks first, becoming an official member of Dauntless. However, she later realizes that in the excitement of the day, the Dauntless leaders injected everyone with a simulation serum that day, calling it a tracking device. She knows they must be lying, and that Erudite will use this serum as a simulation to get Dauntless to fight Abnegation for them.
That night, everyone in Dauntless wakes up in a sleepwalking trance except Tris; she can resist the simulation because she's Divergent. Tobias can do the same, and they find each other in the crowd while pretending to be sleepwalking just like the others. But when Eric tries to "accidentally" kill Tobias, the two fight back and are taken to Erudite headquarters, where Jeanine takes Tobias in for simulation testing and sends Tris, who was shot in the shoulder and therefore of no use to her, to be executed. The next morning, Tris is taken to a large tank, similar to the one that appears in her fear simulations, and is to be drowned. However, Tris's mother Natalie rescues her just in time, and takes her to her father and brother. On the way to their hiding place, Mrs. Prior is forced to sacrifice herself in order to ensure that Tris escapes.
The 16-year-old protagonist of the novel. Beatrice was born and raised in the Abnegation faction, but chooses Dauntless because she feels it is who she truly is. However, her aptitude test was inconclusive, and she is "Divergent" - a fate that is mysterious but also dangerous. Once in Dauntless, she begins again under a new name - Tris. Tris is strong-willed, courageous, and reluctant to show weakness, particularly during her initiation into Dauntless. While she thrives in her new faction, she still feels strong ties to the family she left behind.
Tobias Eaton (Four)
The initiation instructor for the Dauntless transfer initiates, including Tris, who eventually becomes her primary love interest. To most, he is known as “Four,” a name given to him because during his own Dauntless initiation it was revealed that he only has four fears. Just like Tris, he was born Abnegation, but chose to transfer to Dauntless to escape the abuse of his father. At first, he has an elusive, mysterious personality, and it takes a while for him to allow himself to become close to Tris. He is very protective of his loved ones.
Eric transferred from Erudite, but eventually became a Dauntless initiation leader along with Four. Because Four finished first in their own initiation class and Eric second, Eric has hated him ever since. During training, he is extremely harsh on the initiates, even forcing Christina to hang over the Chasm for five minutes as a punishment. Eric is cruel and emphasizes cutthroat strength over intelligence and teamwork.