Tris awakens in Four’s room, her head and body throbbing with pain. As Four puts an ice pack under her head, she asks if he managed to hurt her attackers. He tells her he injured Drew badly enough to send him to the infirmary, but Al and Peter ran away. He offers to report the incident, but Tris refuses, not wanting to show her fear. Four treats her tenderly and advises her to feign vulnerability so the others won’t hurt her again. She tells him that the boys molested her during the assault, angering him. He insists that she protect herself now and “ruin them” later. He asks her not to call him Four but doesn’t give an alternative name, piquing her curiosity.
That night, Tris stays in Four’s room. As she watches him sleep, she thinks about how she likes his intelligence and courage. Though she awakens in pain, she thrills to Four’s touch while he examines her injuries. Following his advice to seem afraid, she slinks into the dining room with her head down and notices that Al and Drew are absent. As she sits down, her friends see her injuries and ask what happened. They are shocked at the news of the brutal attack and can hardly believe Al was part of it. Drew enters the hall looking bruised and battered, and Tris sees Four smiling with satisfaction.
After lunch, Four leads the transfers into the Pit. As they climb up to the building above, Christina apologizes to Tris for her behavior during capture the flag, and Tris tells her to forget about it. The transfers enter a dimly lit room, and Four tells them about the third stage of training: the fear landscape. They’ll be presented with simulated obstacles based on both new and old fears, but this time everyone will be aware they’re in a simulation. For the final test, they’ll face their fears in front of a panel of Dauntless leaders, and the timed results will weigh heavily in their final rankings. Afterward, they return to the dorm and find Al red-eyed from crying. He apologizes to Tris repeatedly, but she says she’ll kill him if he ever comes near her again.
Christina awakens Tris in the middle of a nightmare and says something has happened to Al. They run to the Pit, where two men are hoisting something large out of the chasm. To their horror, the object is Al’s bloated corpse. Someone observes that an initiate jumps into the chasm every year. On the verge of hysteria, Tris runs away. She seeks out Tori, and after a conversation over tea, they head down to the boisterous funeral. Most people are drunk, a strong contrast to the quiet mourning in Abnegation. When Tris approaches her friends, Molly again insinuates that Tris’s father made her leave her faction. Tris punches her, and Will quickly separates them.
Eric gives a funeral speech calling Al courageous for leaping into the unknown. Tris is so angry she leaves the ceremony. Four finds her in a hallway, where she yells that it’s ridiculous for the Dauntless to treat suicide as admirable. Warning her that she’s being watched, Four leads her away and tells her she’s bravest when she’s behaving unselfishly, like when she protected Al. He tells her that the Dauntless care more about controlling how she thinks than how she acts. He says her response to fear impresses him, and they embrace.
Analysis: Chapters 22 – 24