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Themes

If Dauntless's theme weren't bravery, it would probably be competition. They've got boxing matches, paintball skirmishes, muffin shooting, and even Capture the Flag. But this isn't just fun, "let's play a game"-style competition. They're not just playing endless Words with Friends tourneys. Dauntless competition is life-and-death stuff. And that's even before we get into the political competition for power in the city.

Questions About Competition

  1. Is competition mostly a Dauntless thing, or do the other factions have internal competition? Do you think there's an Abnegation competition for "most self-sacrificing"?
  2. Is there a difference between friendly competition and hostile competition? Is there any friendly competition in the this book?
  3. When is competition one-on-one and when is competition team-vs.-team? Are those different types of competition dealt with differently?
  4. Are the competitions in Divergent usually fair? Does fairness even matter here?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

In Divergent, people show their true selves when they're competing, whether that competition is fun-and-games or life-and-death.

Divergent shows us that people constantly struggle with two urges: the urge to compete and beat others; and the urge to help others.

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