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Themes

In Divergent, power is all about making other people do what you want them to do. (It's kind of like advertising in that way.) There's the straightforward power of Dauntless, who beat people up and destroy things. Then there's the more complicated, more manipulative power of Erudite, who want to control things, either through newspapers changing people's opinions or just, you know, controlling people's minds directly. And then there's Abnegation, whose power lies in sacrifice, which makes them stand out.

Questions About Power

  1. Do the characters use their power for good or evil more in this book? Is there a comment about power in general here? When is power at its best?
  2. Who is the most powerful character in the book? Where does that power come from? When is that person most powerless?
  3. How does personal power (Tris's power with a gun, for instance) relate to social power (like which faction controls the government)?
  4. Does this book show us what the Abnegation government uses its power for? Does it show us what each other faction uses its power for?

Chew on This

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

Whenever some character in Divergent experiences some moment of powerlessness, some other character comes along to help, because power is best in a community (friends, family, fellow fans).

The only thing that can stop power in Divergent is guilt—which the villains never seem to feel.

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