Study Guide

Four Identity

By Veronica Roth

Identity

"Congratulations. Your result was textbook Abnegation." (1.6)

Why does Tobias get this result? What does it mean for the validity of the aptitude test when Tobias chooses Dauntless despite his Abnegation label?

[The homeless man] wears black Candor pants, patched with blue Erudite fabric, and a gray Abnegation shirt. (1.35)

By wearing the clothes of so many factions, this man is both everything and, by being all factions, he is no faction. He is nobody.

It never occurred to me before that I could refuse to give my name, or that I could give a false one, construct a new identity for myself. (1.210)

Tobias is used to be being told what to do, how to act, and who to be by both his abusive father and the oppressive faction system. This revelation becomes a source of great internal power for Tobias. It gives him control over his own life that he never had.

"You should know that about Dauntless—girl, guy, whatever, it doesn't matter here. What matters is what you've got in your gut." (2.47)

Sometimes Four still falls back on his Abnegation views of identity, like men taking charge and women being passive. Shauna tries to explain to Four that gender isn't a big part of a Dauntless identity. It's all about bravery and fear.

Tori gave me a thumbs-up as I stumbled out of the tattoo parlor, and Zeke slung an arm across my shoulders and said, "I think you're Dauntless now." (2.134)

In order to earn the label of Dauntless, Four has to complete what amounts to a hazing ritual. A Dauntless identity isn't all that different from a Greek fraternity or sorority identity.

I am not Tobias Eaton, not anymore, never again. I am Dauntless. (2.392)

Four wants to shed his old name as Tobias Eaton as a symbolic gesture of getting rid of his past. This is one reason Eric is so dangerous to Four. Eric knows his real name, which is like knowing Achilles' weak point is his heel.

I may have gotten Dauntless flames tattooed on my side during initiation, but it's not like they're on display. (3.72)

The tattoo is a part of Four's identity, and by keeping it covered he shows that he's still not 100% comfortable with who he really is.

I am someone who believes that more than one virtue should be prized; I am Divergent. (4.104)

Four is only half right here, we learn in Allegiant. Yes, he believes more than one virtue should be prized, but he is not Divergent. But he should realize that "Divergent" is just a label assigned to him by someone else. It doesn't affect who he really is.

I need to talk to someone. I need to trust someone. And for whatever reason, I know, I know it's [Tris]. I'll have to start by telling her my name. (4.335-4.336)

Say his name, say his name. Four is talking about his given name here: Tobias Eaton. He knows that in order to form a deep relationship with someone, he can't just show the superficial parts of his identity, but what's deep inside, even if it hurts.

I have to push myself to remember that I'm not in Abnegation anymore. And neither is she. (6.24)

Tris reminds Four of his old identity: Tobias Eaton, Abnegation to the extreme. It forces him to struggle even harder to hang on to his current identity as Four, which he's only had two years.