Study Guide

Insurgent Rules

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The Dauntless have holidays of their own, I assume, but I don't know what they are. (2.17)

Maybe the Dauntless are so daring they announce holidays last minute, like the society in The Giver? Do you think it's a little strange that each faction has its own holidays, or does that seem normal to you?

"The Dauntless wear their hair down, right?" (2.47)

What, there are faction-specific hairstyles? We'd like to be in the faction with fros, please.

"Are you putting me in a time-out or something?" (6.49)

The Amity, a faction seemingly run by adults, punishes people by putting them in a time-out. Seriously? Who created all these rules, an elementary-school principal? Speaking of which, how different is this place from a school?

"We have to follow protocol," the younger man says. (6.33)

The way the Amity repeat this over and over as a chant is kind of creepy. Is blind allegiance to rules honorable or strange? How do these rules determine who is loyal and who is a traitor?

"I think a mistake the Dauntless make is refusing to be cunning," I say. "You don't always have to smack people in the face with how strong you are." (14.98)

Oh, but they do have to do that, Tris. They do. Part of being in a faction means following the rules, and these rules seem to dictate the basic human behavior of everyone in the faction. Dauntless are expected to respond to everything with violence... and they do.

"You're more than Dauntless," [Tobias] says in a low voice. "But if you want to be just like them, hurling yourself into ridiculous situations for no reason and retaliating against your enemies without any regard for what's ethical, go right ahead. I thought you were better than that, but maybe I was wrong!" (17.138)

Tobias is trying to tell Tris that she's more than just the rules of her chosen faction. Dauntless are expected to rush headlong into dangerous situations, but does that mean all common sense has to stop? Is there room in this society to examine the whys behind the rules?

Sometimes I feel like I am collecting the lessons each faction has to teach me, and storing them in my mind like a guidebook for moving through the world. There is always something to learn, always something that is important to understand. (23.8)

There are no written rules for life. But there are written rules for each of the five factions. Tris seems to be realizing that, taken separately, they're kind of wacky, but taken together, they might actually make sense. Is that what being "Divergent" is all about? Learning to play by all the rules?

"Spoken like a true Dauntless," says Caleb sharply. "It's either one way or the other way. No nuances. The world doesn't work like that Beatrice. Evil depends on where you're standing." (33.21)

Caleb makes a good point here. It's strange how the Dauntless live by rules that make the world black and white, when basic human psychology just doesn't work that way. Can rules like these actually affect the way people think?

"Take the least logical route!" shouts Tobias. "What?" Peter says. "The least logical route," Tobias says. "So they won't find us!" (36.51-36.53)

The Erudite follow rules of logic to a fault—the fault being that these people cannot see beyond logic to the fact that humans sometimes often act illogically. So, is it logical to think illogically? Or illogical to always think logically? Our heads hurt just thinking about it.

[My father] never told me that an Erudite could offer to help me even after I killed her brother. (40.47)

Tris is starting to realize one thing: that rules cannot govern human nature. There will always be an exception to the rule. No one acts as though their lives are governed by a rulebook—not even the people in these factions.

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