Study Guide

Allegiant Identity

By Veronica Roth

Identity

Chapter 8: Tris
Beatrice "Tris" Prior

I'm not sure how Dauntless I really am, anyway, now that the factions are gone. (8.11)

The labels are a big part of everyone's identity in this book. It's like if you stopped calling something a banana, would it still be a banana? What would it be?

Chapter 14: Tobias
Cara

"You know, it would be perfectly logical for you to be panicking right now," [Cara] says. "No need to continually insist upon your unshakable masculinity. (14.50)

Cara tries to convince Tobias that his personality isn't 100% Dauntless. It's okay for him not be pretend to be super-duper brave all the time. He can dare to be vulnerable for once.

Chapter 15: Tris
Beatrice "Tris" Prior

Here is the simplest answer I have received: "Divergent" means that my genes are healed. Pure. Whole. (15.30)

Whew. We finally understand what Divergent means. That explains everything. Right? Right? You mean Tris still struggles with her identity after this? Hmm, identity is a more complicated issue than she thought.

I thought that "Divergent" explained everything that I am and everything that I could be. Maybe I was wrong. (15.31)

Yep, as we just said, you were wrong, Tris. Tris learns that defining her label does not really define her in any way. She has to do that herself and not depend on society to do it for her.

"Genes aren't everything," Amar says. "People, even genetically damaged people, make choices. That's what matters." (15.45)

Good point, Amar. We wish he'd actually believe what he was saying, though. Later, he pretty much blames all of society's ills on genetic damage, boiling many people down to what might be an insignificant part of their identity. What about choices, Amar? What about choices?

Chapter 17: Tris
Tobias "Four" Eaton

I'm not Divergent. I'm not like Tris. I'm genetically damaged. (17.127)

Tobias ends up replacing one label with another. Will he learn that he isn't simply what society labels him? He can be his own person independent of that.

Beatrice "Tris" Prior

"You're the same person you were five minutes ago and four months ago and eighteen years ago! This doesn't change anything about you." (17.137)

All that stuff we say about defining your identity by yourself… well, that's an important part of it, but it's not everything. Tobias learns a lot about himself through how Tris sees him. Since she actually loves him and isn't just a soulless government entity bent on labeling him, we'll allow it. Finding your own identity does require interacting with other people.

Chapter 22: Tris

"Our ability to know about ourselves and the world is what makes us human." (22.63)

Taking this quote into consideration, does that mean that the factions and labels actually take away from people's humanity?

Chapter 32: Tris
Beatrice "Tris" Prior

I wonder if this is how it is with all evil men, that to someone, they look just like good men, talk like good men, are just as likable as good men. (32.11)

The bad guys in the Divergent trilogy can't simply be identified as "bad guys" in the same way that Tris and pals can't simply be labeled as "Dauntless," or "Erudite," or anything else. Their identities are much more complicated than that.

Chapter 34: Tris

"Abnegation produces deeply serious people. […] I've noticed that when people switch to Dauntless, it creates some of the same types. Erudite who switch to Dauntless tend to turn cruel and brutal." (34.94)

Okay, as silly as these labels have become by this point, they do still have some interesting things to say about human psychology. Someone brave and smart can act pretty darn evil, and someone brave and selfless (like Tris) might just end up dying in a blaze of glory. Nobody is ever just one thing.