Dystopia; Young Adult


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.


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


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.


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.


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