Study Guide

Allegiant Guilt and Regret

By Veronica Roth

Guilt and Regret

Chapter 4: Tobias
Tobias "Four" Eaton

It is impossible to erase my choices. (4.34)

Tobias is living in the past early in the book, dwelling on everything from bad decisions he's made, to tattoos he's had done, to bland fashion choices he's made. (Gray shirt, blue jeans, black shoes? Try some color, dude.) By the end of the book, he learns to live for the present, not the past, and that helps him get over some of his regrets.

Chapter 9: Tobias
Beatrice "Tris" Prior

"My parents would want me to save [Caleb] though." [Tris's] eyes open and lift to the sky. "They would say it's selfish to let someone die just because they wronged you." (9.14)

Even though Caleb betrayed Tris, she knows that she would feel guilty if she just let him die. Breaking him out of jail is a preemptive strike against future guilt. This way, she won't have to regret making a bad choice.

Chapter 20: Tobias
Tobias "Four" Eaton

I don't know. I don't feel anything. My hands go numb, so I know I'm panicking, but I don't really feel it, not the way I normally do. (20.46)

Tobias kind of feels guilt for not feeling guilt that his father is going to be executed… if that makes sense. He's feeling a societal pressure that he should care about his dad, just because he's his dad. But Tobias can't muster up any sympathy for the man who abused him for the majority of his life.

Chapter 23: Tobias
Beatrice "Tris" Prior

I don't want to wake [Tris], but I feel strange, going to meet a girl in the middle of the night without telling her about it. (23.2)

Tobias feels guilty for meeting up with Nita without telling Tris, so he does something crazy after meeting up with her (at least it's crazy by young adult-novel standards): he tells her about it. Honesty: a good way to cleanse your soul of guilt.

Chapter 29: Tobias
Tobias "Four" Eaton

And I promised. I promised Zeke I would look after him, I promised. (29.44)

As if Tobias doesn't feel guilty enough about everything, he now feels guilty for basically being responsible for Uriah's death. This motivates him to go into the city and apologize to Uriah's parents, an act that means he's not nearby when Tris decides to sacrifice herself. If he hadn't felt guilty, would Tris have died?

Chapter 40: Tobias
Tobias "Four" Eaton

"Don't confuse your grief with guilt." (40.20)

Do you think Tobias is confusing grief with guilt over killing Uriah? We think he feels pretty guilty about it. Uriah didn't just die; he died because of Tobias's decision to ally with Nita.

Chapter 41: Tris
Tobias "Four" Eaton

I am up to the challenge of bearing the guilt and the grief, up to facing the difficulties that life has put in my path. Some days are harder than others, but I am ready to live each one of them. (41.32)

Maybe this is the only way to get through life: to push through the grief resulting from all the mistakes you made. At least, that's how Tobias has to learn to get through life. No wonder he wants to erase his memory at the end. But maybe grief and guilt make us who we are, to some extent. Erasing painful memories may sound nice, but what would we be without our memories, even the painful ones?

Caleb

"I'm not sure it's love that's motivating [Caleb], though […] It seems more like guilt." (41.40)

Sacrificing yourself because of guilt is against the Abnegation way. Abnegation do everything they do out of love. Maybe it's the Erudite side of Caleb that keeps him thinking and living inside his head, unable to get past the regret.

Chapter 45: Tris
Caleb

"I guess it feels like it's the only way I can escape the guilt for all the things I've done," [Caleb] says. (45.39)

Death is a good way to escape guilt, we guess. Heck, it's a good way to escape everything. You can't feel guilt, or any emotion, when you're dead. (As far as we know.) Does that make it an easy way out?

Chapter 51: Tobias
Tobias "Four" Eaton

"I didn't do what you asked me," I say to Zeke. "I didn't watch out for [Uriah] the way I should have. And I'm sorry." (51.80)

Again, we see honesty cure guilt. Tobias confesses to Uriah's parents that he was stupid, and he says that stupidity hurt their son. It won't bring Uriah back, but the confession makes the guilt a little easier to live with.