Divergents are misfits in a system that seeks to control everyone. And now Tris, the most divergent of all in Veronica Roth’s best selling book and movie trilogy, is forced to be insurgent as well.
Insurgent picks up where Divergent heroine Tris and the-soon-to-be-love-of-her-life Four (you find out his real name in this sequel) left off. They are reeling from the slaughter involving three of the five factions that make up this dystopian world that once was Chicago. Jeanine, the cold and calculating Erudite leader, has used mind-altering drugs to make the Dauntless faction into her personal army, resulting in the wholesale slaughter of the Abnegation faction. Now it is up to Tris to find out why, and to prevent more bloodshed.
But while Tris is trying to track down answers, Jeanine is trying to track down Tris. Actually, she’s trying to track down all divergents, but Tris in particular—because she might hold the key Jeanine needs to crush divergent resistance once and for all. Tris is on a mission to break the hold Erudite has over Dauntless, and will find help, as well as betrayal, from the most unlikely sources.
Tris is fit for the mission with her equal aptitude for Abnegation (the faction she was born into), Dauntless (the faction she chose) and Erudite (the faction she loathes, but cannot deny is part of her). She is selfless enough and brave enough to risk her life for others, and smart enough to elude anyone who tries to stop her. She’s a powerful match for every adult villain that Roth has written into the story.
Maybe part of the appeal of Roth’s trilogy is seeing a 16-year-old put corrupt adult authorities in their place and win really important battles against all odds. Who wouldn’t cheer for that?
They say that art imitates life and, in some ways, Tris reminds me of a real life hero from another time. Thousands of years ago, a Jewish boy stood up to a gargantuan warrior who was a threat to his faction, his people. The boy was David, and the warrior was Goliath. Goliath was pretty contemptuous of David’s youth and his size. But David was dauntless. He was able and willing to do what the leader of his own nation could not do and maybe that was because of his youth, and not despite it. David didn’t know enough to realize that he could not succeed. And so he did succeed. Of course David had more than his youth and a fresh outlook on his side. He knew that the very same God that Goliath and the Philistines were mocking would fight for him.
Veronica Roth didn’t write the character of Tris with a specific belief in God. But she did give her a belief in truth, which is really a first step to believing in God, and something that many people steer away from these days.
Tris doesn’t fight so much “for” truth as she fights because of truth. In one of her most tweetable reflections, Roth’s heroine muses, “The truth has a way of changing a person’s plans.” While truth is liberating, it can also set us on a course that we would not otherwise choose. And as Tris finds out, multitudes of forces from without as within well might conceal truth to keep us from that course.
Tris is like the young David who stands up to Goliath, but she’s also like the later version, King David. Though he was the best of Israel’s ancient kings, he was not perfect and sometimes fraught with guilt and inner turmoil because of the blood on his hands.
Though Tris is a fictitious character, there is a realism in heroes and heroines with feet of clay. We could hardly embrace them if they were too perfect, because their characters would not resonate with us. Or maybe we might find other reasons why a perfect hero would be hard to embrace.
Though King David was a real hero with feet of clay, there are some of us who believe that from his line, another hero was prophesied, a “Son of David,” the Messiah. The Messiah would deal with the enemy that few of us want to admit is real… and would enable us to be truly Allegiant to God. But that’s a blog for another movie.