Divergent Theme of Choices
Shmoopers, the tagline for this book is, "One Choice Can Transform You," so it's not like we're reaching here. In Divergent, the choice of faction is the most important choice that a person can make, or at least, that's what they believe. And sure, that one choice does dictate a lot about your life, from what job you have to what you wear. But there are other, smaller choices that the characters make every day that can have huge and lasting effects.
Questions About Choices
- How do people (okay, just Tris) make choices in this book? Does Tris choose things because they seem easy or hard or fun? Or because her identity makes her choose? Are her choices limited by her family or her society?
- If someone makes the wrong choice, how do they fix that? Do they just feel guilty forever and ever? Is it possible to fix wrong choices (or as we call them, mistakes)?
- When Tris chooses a faction, she goes back and forth, not sure what choice to make. How does she think about that confusion?
- What helps her make up her mind? Is Tris helped to switch factions by the fact that other people (including her brother) made that choice before her?
- Do other characters make choices in this book? Do those characters discuss the thought process that goes into those choices?
- How does it make you feel when some characters don't seem to have much choice about what they do?
Chew on This
It's okay to make a wrong choice in Divergent because every mistake is a learning experience that will help the character the next time. (Or so we keep telling ourselves.)
The only characters who succeed in this book are those who contemplate all the options and choose among them. Anyone doing things by habit or without thought ends up making a mess, like shooting a friend in the head. Tris, we're looking at you.