Good dystopian fiction almost always starts with the author taking some sort of rights violation and escalating it to insane extremes. Fahrenheit 451 takes the issue of censorship and sets it on fire. 1984 takes privacy and examines it from the perspective of all sorts of hidden cameras. And the Divergent trilogy takes labels and puts them into little boxes until they suffocate.
Oh, yeah: there's also genetic testing, hypocrisy, manipulation, and killing. There's actually so much injustice happening in these books, it's hard to separate the issues. But it would be a crime not to try.
Questions About Injustice
- How are Tris and her mother's attitudes toward injustice similar? How are they different?
- Is it possible that some people are genetically inferior? Who decides who's inferior and who is superior? How should these people be treated?
- Does Tris commit an act of injustice herself, releasing the memory serum on the Bureau?
- What acts of injustice are being imposed inside Chicago? Is the city being run in a way that treats some people as less than others?
Chew on This
As Tris learns more about her mother, and the way her mother fought for people who didn't have rights of their own, Tris becomes more passionate about changing the way the world works.
Tobias's sense of injustice comes from the way he is treated: as someone who is "genetically damaged" and he wants to be treated equal to everyone else.