Study Guide

Insurgent Chapter 20

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Chapter 20

  • This chapter opens with Tris judging Lynn for her lunch choices. "Don't tell me you're going to eat a mashed potato sandwich" (20.3), she says, as if she's Jenny Craig herself.
  • Tris is not the only one being snippy in the cafeteria. Other boys are hissing "coward" (20.7) in Tobias's direction.
  • To prove he's not a coward (or maybe he's just hungry for a mashed potato sandwich), Tobias gets up and beats the crap out of his father. No, really, that's what he does. In front of everyone.
  • Tobias walks over to Marcus's table, throws Marcus to the ground, and beats him with a belt.
  • Then Tobias chucks a wedding ring at him and says, "My mother […] says hello" (20.26).
  • Tris runs after Tobias. His only explanation is "It was necessary" (20.30). Sometimes dads need a good beating, we guess.
  • That explanation isn't good enough for Tris, so she follows Marcus, who doesn't seem too damaged by the whole thing—physically, at least. We imagine his ego is more than a little bruised after getting beaten by his own son in a cafeteria.
  • Tris gets no information out of Tobias. She just snaps at him, tries to tell him that she's not useless, and then uselessly walks from the room. Very convincing.

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