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Author Veronica Roth
Type of work novel
Genre dystopia; young adult
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
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