Tris, Will, and Christina stand at the chasm after a visit to the tattoo parlor. Tris has gotten a tattoo of the Abnegation symbol to mark its importance to her identity. As the friends throw stacks of Erudite reports from the past few months into the chasm, Tris asks Will about Erudite’s leader, Jeanine. They have a brief, tense discussion about Erudite’s accusations against Abnegation, and Tris silently worries that Jeanine is planning a revolution. As Christina and Will leave together, Tris spots Four climbing up the Pit walls and secretly follows him to the fear landscape room. Aware of her presence, he invites her to join his simulation and says it will explain why he’s called Four.
In the first part of the simulation, they confront his fear of heights by jumping off a building. Next, they go through a claustrophobia scenario, and Tris is delighted when they’re forced to share close quarters. Then Four must kill a woman who is pointing a gun at him. Finally, a tall, slim man carrying a belt appears. Tris recognizes him as Marcus, her father’s colleague, and realizes that Four must be his son, Tobias. Marcus multiplies into a dozen men, and Tris intervenes as one of them lashes out at Tobias with his belt. Tobias steps between them, and the scene vanishes. As they recover from the simulation, Tris realizes that Tobias only has four fears, explaining his nickname. They embrace in relief, and Tobias takes her hand, saying he has something else to show her.
Tris and Tobias walk hand in hand toward the Pit. Tris asks about his aptitude test, hoping to learn he’s also Divergent, and is disappointed when he says he was given Abnegation. As they sit in the chasm next to the river, Tris asks why he left Abnegation. When he hesitates to give details, she realizes he really did leave to escape his father’s cruelty. They discuss their Dauntless and Abnegation traits. Four says he doesn’t feel like he belongs in Dauntless, and Tris insists she was never selfless enough for Abnegation. Four disagrees, telling her she’s displayed plenty of selflessness, as well as intelligence and bravery. He asks her to call him Tobias and they kiss for the first time.
The next morning, Tris is giddy with happiness. She, Christina, and Will head to breakfast, and Tris’s excitement deflates when Tobias enters the dining hall without acknowledging her. Uriah explains that Zeke told him the initiates must go through an instructor’s fear landscape. Christina predicts it will be Four’s, but Tris knows he wouldn’t allow anyone to observe his father’s abuse. Indeed, Lauren, a Dauntless-born instructor, explains that in this introductory phase they will experience one of her fears. Tris is assigned a kidnapping scenario, which causes her to relive the trauma of Peter’s attack. She hears a voice tell Lauren to stop the simulation, and when she comes out of the hallucination in tears, Tobias publicly chastises her for her “pathetic” performance. Tris angrily slaps him and leaves the room.
Analysis: Chapters 25 – 27
In this section, readers learn some important details about Four’s background and inner life. Before he rescued Tris from Peter’s attack, he seemed mysterious, intimidating, and aloof to Tris and to the readers. After the rescue, he and Tris grew closer, but he still avoided revealing anything about his own past. Now he makes a conscious choice to reveal his past along with his vulnerable side, inviting Tris to follow him to the simulation room and experience his fear landscape.