Study Guide

Divergent Chapter 21

By Veronica Roth

Chapter 21

  • The Erudite continue to print articles about how the Abnegation is hoarding goods and holding back progress.
  • Four continues to lead Tris through her fear simulations, including burning at the stake, drowning in the ocean, watching her family die, and shooting them. A pretty well rounded group of fears, wouldn't you say?
  • Four lets slip that he doesn't miss his family, which is a little weird.
  • But we'd prefer being weird to having nightmares and panic attacks, which is what all the other initiates are going through because of the fear simulation. Worst hazing ritual ever.
  • Back in the dorm, the rankings are up and Tris is out on top. In fact, she's ridiculously beating Peter in how quickly she gets out of the fear simulation. So much for mom's advice from chapter 15, eh?)
  • Peter not only attacks Tris, but he tells her friends that she's just manipulating them by pretending to be weak. They may be friends, but they're still competing.
  • And poor Al, meanwhile, is ranked last and pretty depressed about the whole thing.
  • Tris opts to hang out with her Dauntless friends Uriah, Lynn, and Marlene. They play the old game of "shoot the muffin off my head." Do not try this at home.
  • That night, when Tris goes to get a drink of water, she overhears Eric talk with some woman about identifying Divergent people. It's Eric's job to find them, apparently. 
  • And then, Tris gets attacked by Peter, Drew, and… Al. Yep—Al. No more Mr. Nice Guy, we guess. 
  • They drag Tris to the chasm and dangle her over the railing. Maybe it's just to scare her or maybe Peter actually plans to kill her by letting her fall.
  • But when Peter starts to molest Tris, Al resists.
  • And then Four comes and stops this by beating the heck out of Drew (who apparently runs the slowest).