SEQUEL TIME! After reading Divergent I can’t say that I felt the need to read the second book. I didn’t have much of a worthwhile opinion on the style and plot. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t really see where all the hype was coming from. It seemed to just slot into the YA dystopia genre that was trying to reach commentary similar to that of the Hunger Games fandom. Roth was onto something great, but Divergent didn’t quite uncover anything substantial. I felt distracted by all the detours of the romance between the heroine and the generic non-smiling, emotionless, almost inhuman, slightly older, wild-eyed, but-I-really-have-a-soft-gooey-center-that-I-need-to-hide male lead. Even the movie I found was nothing too special despite the wonderfulness of Shailene Woodley. I was compelled to read the second book because it was available to me for free through my shared Kindle library (Thanks Mom!). I am glad to say that Insurgent blew me out of the water. So here are my Bookmarked Thoughts on the second instalment to the Divergent trilogy. [There are major spoilers of both Divergent and Insurgent… You have been warned…]
Divergent leaves us with Tris, Tobias, Marcus, Caleb and Peter (Mrgrgrgr Peter…) on the train out of the Dauntless compound after witnessing almost the entire Dauntless faction under the attack simulation in the Abnegation sector. Tris lost both of her parents in the attack, along with the lives of many Abnegation. Throughout the book, she struggles with having to let go of her parents and the fact that she will never see them again – but this is only part of her internal war. To save herself during the simulation, Tris holds a gun to several members of her own faction. She runs through fields of bullets and obtains a bullet wound on her arm, but she has to make a choice that will eat away at her even after it is made. When she comes face to face with her serum-induced friend Will, she must make a decision – either me, or him.
By shooting one of her best friends, the guilt begins to eat away at her mind resulting in her becoming both physically and mentally paralyzed with the thought of having to hold a gun to another person. All she can see is Will. When she looks at her friend Christina and Will’s sister Cara, all she can see is her shooting Will right between the eyes and how much anger they must have towards her. How could she take the life of her own friend? What makes her life more valuable than Will’s? That is the ultimate question Tris struggles with. She loses her instinct of self-preservation, running into a field of bullet with only a pocketknife. She no longer sees why her life is more important than the lives of those who surround her. She feels and becomes almost disposable. There are times where our own mistakes and regrets become so loud in our head that it is almost impossible to silence them. They get so loud that they will only be silenced then the entire being is silenced. Everyday you have to make the conscious decision to quiet the voice because it will not just go away without you.
Tris goes on a journey of grieving for her parents and friend and living with the guilt of having to be the one behind the smoking gun. She falls deeper and deeper into her pit of guilt she dug up for herself, to the point of death being the only way to resolve it. It is up to Tobias, Christina and Cara to eventually forgive and remind her that she did not make the choice out of malice or selfishness. She had to do it so she could stop the simulation and save all those who remain from Abnegation. Her friends remind her that if she chooses to end her life now, then what was the point of choosing her life over Will’s, especially if they were both going to die in the end with no resolve to Jeanine’s tyranny?
By the end of the novel, Tris is able to quiet the guilty voice in her head, but Roth does well in not relinquishing it all together. Even in the final instalment of the trilogy, Will’s ghost still looms around her. We cannot erase any of the events in our lives, no matter how hard we try. We must live with the events of the past. They shape us into the person we are today, but we choose how these events will shape us. Tris’s choice was much more than should I kill Will. It was a choice of “do give up and I die here” or “do I fight to save the city”? She chooses to not allow Will’s death to justify her own. She must live and she must fight Jeanine and her Erudite minions. Everyday she chooses to live for Will, for her friends, and for herself. It is your choice to listen or turn down the volume on your regret. You just have to stick with and make the same choice everyday if you want to make it true.
My post on Allegiant is on its way! And I promise it will be more focused on those labelled as Divergent. I highly recommend you to read the book if you want to read my post because it is extremely difficult to avoid spoilers… As always.