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full title Divergent

author  Veronica Roth

type of work  novel

genre  dystopia; young adult

language  English

time and place written  Chicago area, United States, winter 2010-2011

date of first publication  April 2011

publisher  Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

narrator  Tris Prior narrates as the events of the novel occur.

point of view  Tris tells her story in the first person. In stressful situations, she sometimes slips into stream-of-consciousness, voicing repetitive thoughts or asking herself questions.

tone  determined, but often insecure and questioning

tense  present

setting (time)  an indeterminate, post-apocalyptic period in the future

setting (place)  a decaying, partially abandoned Chicago and the marsh just outside the city

protagonist  Beatrice (Tris) Prior

major conflict  After leaving Abnegation, her home faction, Tris must perform well in Dauntless training while keeping her Divergence a secret, a balancing act that leads to conflicts with others, struggles with her identity, and threats to her life.

rising action  Tris tries to keep her Divergence under wraps, even though it leads her to perform exceptionally well as she trains to join the Dauntless.

climax  Tris and Tobias stop a computer program that’s causing the Dauntless to mindlessly kill members of Abnegation in an uprising led by another faction, the Erudite.

falling action  Tris, Tobias, and other survivors from Abnegation head toward the Amity faction compound hoping to find safety.

themes  The complexity of identity; the relationship between selflessness and bravery; the role of intimacy in adulthood

motifs  Rankings & hierarchies; fears & phobias; names

symbols  Birds; trains; clothing and tattoos

foreshadowing  The aptitude test and Dauntless training involve mysterious serums that induce hallucinations; Marcus and Four both have dark blue eyes; Erudite publishes reports accusing Abnegation of evil behavior; Tori tells Tris the Dauntless killed her brother for being Divergent and warns Tris to be careful; Four tells Tris she’s being watched when she criticizes Dauntless; Tris escapes her most difficult fear simulation by offering to sacrifice herself