Wish You Would Step Back from that Ledge…
We all remember Tris's suicidal tendencies, which were especially strong in Insurgent In the second story, "The Initiate," we get a closer glimpse at how suicide is an accepted part of Dauntless culture.
At one point, Amar casually mentions that his grandparents killed themselves. He says,
"Elderly Dauntless sometimes take a flying leap into the unknown of the chasm when they hit a certain age. It's that or be factionless." (2.61)
No one bats an eyelash at this, and even Amar sounds find with it. "I got to say my good-byes," (2.64) he says. Ugh, that sounds terrible. Instead of enjoying golden years full of shuffleboard and square dancing parties, these oldsters off themselves. We'll take the Early Bird Special and comfy orthopedic footwear (and awesome fashion sense) instead of suicide, thanks.
But this suicide trend is symbolic of the hyper-utilitarianism of the Dauntless. They're useful or they're useless… and when it comes to courage and feats of physical strength, an old leaky body just doesn't cut the mustard anymore. Seriously, Dauntless oldies—you have options. Just move to Florida! Or wear some purple.