Study Guide

Allegiant Armbands

By Veronica Roth

Armbands

Hail, Evelyn!

Chicago starts to look like a totalitarian state in Allegiant. Everyone has an armband, even the factionless—and they're all wearing "the factionless symbol—an empty circle" (2.3). Evelyn should seriously consider hiring a graphic designer.

Evelyn acts as if she wants to unite everyone under a banner of factionlessness, but the armbands serve to segregate people even further. The factionless basically become a faction, one that patrols the city and enforces strict rules like a curfew and a totalitarian work schedule. The only thing Evelyn is missing at this point is a stylish little Charlie Chaplin moustache, if you ask us.

After the Nazis used them, armbands have become seriously questionable fashion choices. Roth seems to be showing us that any kind of attempt to limit people's freedom to choose—even if it's done in good faith, for what you think might be the greater good—is a big problem. Eliminating choice leads to the elimination of happiness and love, but it sure doesn't lead to the elimination of violence and death.