Ok so this post is for the whole divergent series because I just finished it over the long weekend. Basically what I'm going to do is post discussion questions about the book and or it's themes and answer them and then do a little review of the book. Please if you've read the book, tell me your answers to the questions too because I don't have answers to them they are things I thought while reading the books and want to discuss them.
Spoilers beyond this point!
1. Do you think that when people are strong in one thing it usually means they sacrifice another quality?
I found it really interesting that they talked about the strengths of the factions but also the weaknesses that those strengths bring. I don;t remember what they are exactly but something like with truth comes a lack of compassion, and with bravery there is a lack of mercy, stuff like that. And it made me think about personality types and how for every strength there is a weakness and I think that's why no one is perfect. It's kind of like the Sims where you only have a certain amount of green things and you have to choose how to distribute them among good personality traits.
2. Since Tobias isn't really Divergent what gene do you think he has that is extra strong or "impure"?
I thought about this a lot when it was first revealed that Tobias wasn't actually divergent, he just was able to resist the simulations really well. I wondered what faction he would have gotten from his test if he wasn't able to resist the serum. Every time I think about this I have a hard time trying to pin him down because his character doesn't really fit into one personality type which makes me think that that is part of the theme. Maybe the test could only tell so much, like which characteristic is strongest, not necessarily which you solely possess. I think that the people in the book fit into their test results because they were told those were their test results. Kind of a placebo effect. And those who were told they were divergent realized their full potential by not trying to conform into a mold. I think this shows that the difference between GD and GP was just in everyone's head the whole time.
3. How easy is self sacrifice when you know it's for the greater good?
I really liked that the author brought this up in the book when the characters were all sitting around waiting for someone to volunteer to go in the weapons room where they know they'll die from the death serum. Even when you know that sacrificing one life in order to save hundreds, or thousands, or millions it's still hard to decide which life it'll be. I think that this is because, to me, all life is precious. Also, you never know the repercussions of one person's death. I also like that the author talked about when it's ok to let someone sacrifice their life for you and that was when it was an act of love, not a way to get out of guilt.
4. Can a good quality also be a bad trait?
I think everyone can agree that selflessness, truth, knowledge, kindness, and bravery are all good qualities to have but do they have downsides? Can they turn into bad qualities when taken to extremes? This kind of ties into the first question but more like "is it possible to have too much of a good thing?" I think that no good quality can stand alone, which is why the faction system is flowed. I think all those qualities are the ones that are important to a "perfect" society but also none of them can be isolated. You need to have all qualities to be a perfectly balanced and stable person. Like truth is good but there also needs to be compassion because the truth can hurt too. Just like bravery and selflessness only work when they are together.
5. Is peace possible?
I don't think so. In order for true peace to occur everyone has to think the same so that there isn't any conflict. In order for this to happen people need to give up their free will which I think is the whole conflict of using the memory serum. I think a lot of times there is a struggle between peace and free will, which is sad because a utopia would have both.
If you think of any other questions or have a response comment below I would love to discuss with you!
I thought this series was really good! It was a fast read and was really entertaining. It was very stereotypical scifi/post-apocalypse teen novel though so if you're expecting some ground breaking new book this is not the way to go. But if you like this sort of thing then this gives a new twist to a kind of beaten to death genre. Other similar suggestions I have are the Hunger Games series and the Uglies series (I think Uglies is my favorite of the three).
Let me know what you think!
Natalie. 23. Mechanical engineer. Mining and Minerals Engineering graduate from Virginia Tech. I love pugs, pink, nail polish, and Netflix.