Dauntless, We Jump From Dangerous Heights Just Because: Divergent Chapters 5 & 6

"Oh my god! Who the hell cares?"

Previously, Tris didn’t choose the cheese or the knife, thus proving she is divergent as fuck. Also, shhhh no one can know she’s divergent because she’s a little bit dangerous. 

Now that the tone has been appropriately set, let’s go to a Choosing Ceremony. [Matthew says: It’s like The Hunger Games, except EVERYBODY volunteers as tribute!]

Chapter 5

It ain’t dystopian fiction without a ceremony, y’all! It’s time for Tris to make her big decision, but first here’s why smoking is bad in the future:

A pale ring of sunlight burns into the clouds like the end of a lit cigarette. I will never smoke one myself—they are closely tied to vanity—but a crowd of Candor smokes them in front of the building when we get off the bus.

FUCKIN’ CANDORS AND THER GOSH DARN SMOKIN. But actually why vanity? I could even sort of understand if Tris was like, “I’d never smoke because it’s selfish to damage your health knowingly”. I’d be annoyed, but at least there’d be some logic there.

Also, as I’m looking through my notes, my anti-Abnegation feelings start right away in this book. There’s a lot of “Omg I can’t wait till Tris leaves these assholes” and my response to this…

The elevator is crowded, so my father volunteers to give a cluster of Amity our place.

…was simply, “Fuck you, Tris’ dad. Let someone else be selfless for once.”

Man I did not, and still don’t, like Abnegation. Does that make me factionist?

My father holds the door open on the twentieth floor and stands like a sentry as every Abnegation walks past him. I would wait for him, but the crowd presses me forward, out of the stairwell and into the room where I will decide the rest of my life.

Serious question: how do Abnegations avoid getting trapped in an endless cycle of

“After you.”
“No after you.”
“…No after YOU.”

And so on. How do you get to win the battle to be the most selfless?

Tris informs us that factions are actually the dystopian equivalent of fraternities/sororities.

We are not called members yet; our decisions today will make us initiates, and we will become members if we complete initiation.

Tris mentions that Caleb is going to go first, and I am going to smugly point out that I guessed what faction he would choose. We didn’t mention this, but at the end of last chapter this happened after Tris spoke to her brother:

“I peer into his room and see an unmade bed and a stack of books on his desk. ”

So obviously Caleb is going to choose Erudite because no self-respecting Abnegation would be caught dead with a book…unless you want them to read a book then it would be selfish if they didn’t.

In the last circle are five metal bowls so large they could hold my entire body, if I curled up. Each one contains a substance that represents each faction: gray stones for Abnegation, water for Erudite, earth for Amity, lit coals for Dauntless, and glass for Candor.

"Oh my god! Who the hell cares?"

Do they have an affinity for all the elements, though? Has the goddess Nyx blessed them? Huh? HUH? [Matthew says: Keep in mind we have STILL never gotten an explanation for what any of the factions are, but we’ll be damned if we’re not gonna get some symbolism that perfectly represents whatever the hell they are!]

Mrs Tris’ mom whispers to her that she’ll love her no matter what she chooses, which is great news as Tris is obviously going to leave Abnefuckingation in her dust.

We learn some history about the factions during the ceremony:

Decades ago our ancestors realized that it is not political ideology, religious belief, race, or nationalism that is to blame for a warring world. Rather, they determined that it was the fault of human personality—of humankind’s inclination toward evil, in whatever form that is. They divided into factions that sought to eradicate those qualities they believed responsible for the world’s disarray. [Matthew says: Closed-mindedness was not one of them, apparently.]

In other words:

“You guys know what we haven’t blamed the world’s problems on yet? Personality!”
“What do you mean, Mark?”
“Hear me out. Hear me out. You remember that girl who was really bland from high school? I bet if we stuck her in her own…faction, yeah, factions! I bet if we stuck Blandy McBlando in her own faction the world be a better place.”
“Yes…YES. And then we can determine who should be in different factions based on whether or not they choose a knife or cheese.”
“Shit, we’re really onto something here. Let’s throw a pissed off dog into the mix, and we’ve got ourselves a grade A plan to save the world!”

Here’s a quick summary of the factions’ defining (only?) characteristics.

  • Amity = Nice
  • Candor = Honest
  • Abnegation = Boring Selfless
  • Dauntless = Brave
  • Erudite = Intelligent

Everyone contributes to a specific aspect of society. [Matthew says: Sort of liiiiiike…]

[Matthew says: Liiiiike...]
[Matthew says: I know Linda Holmes made this joke already, and we linked to it so you know I’m stealing it, but, dammit, there are GIFs to be used!]

For some reason Candor are lawyers…if life is so peaceful, are their services even in demand? [Matthew says: And Amity are the similarly niche “counselors and caretakers”, so this book has TWO Hufflepuffs!] And Dauntless defend society from…something.

[Matthew says: See? GIFFFFFFFFS.]

I have no idea if these factions are just in Chicago or if they’re a national thing, but their motto “factions before blood” reminds me again of a fraternity/sorority. Do Dauntless from Chicago and New York meet up and immediately do their faction’s handshake? [Matthew says: Of course not. Chicagoans and New Yorkers hate each other.]

[Matthew says: As you might imagine, the speech before the ceremony requires a lot of suspension of disbelief:

“The reach of each faction is not limited to these areas. We give one another far more than can be adequately summarized.”


Caleb chooses Erudite and Tris chooses Dauntless. GASP. [Matthew says: So, wait, how is Caleb not Divergent? Because he’s definitely displayed Abnegation tendencies.]

Chapter 6

Tris dad is visibly upset by her decision, but her mom is straight-up smiling about it. Even Abnegations hate Abnegation.

The Dauntless members and the new initiates start heading towards the stairs. The very stairs Abnegation took earlier!

Then everyone starts running. I hear whoops and shouts and laughter all around me, and dozens of thundering feet moving at different rhythms. It is not a selfless act for the Dauntless to take the stairs; it is a wild act.

Wait. You mean to tell me the same action can have different meanings?!?!? Get outta town. Everything I believed is a farce. [Matthew says: Wow! I wonder if that applies to people, too? Oh- just… just Tris? Oh. Okay.]

They all start running for the trains (remember the jumping and the trains and the dauntless): 

I have not run anywhere in a long time. Abnegation discourages anything done strictly for my own enjoyment, and that is what this is

Seriously why would anyone ever choose Abnegation? Such a miserable faction. I bet their initiation is being offered a delicious slice of pie, and if you don’t offer it to someone else you fail. [Matthew says: Honestly, I can kind of see this. Like, especially if you were born into Abnegation. It’s basically why we still have Catholicism. I bet there are a lot of stand-up comedians in the world of Divergent who make jokes about being raised Abnegation.]

One boy is unable to jump on the train and fails initiation immediately. Lucky for Tris, one of the other faction transfers helps her up whew. [Matthew says: Therefore their situations are totally different and Tris has not failed initiation, because fuck you, slow kid.] Her name is Christina and she is in the rest of the book, so you may as well remember her now.

Tris contemplates her decision to leave her parents behind.

I close my eyes and picture my mother and father sitting at the dinner table in silence. Is it a lingering hint of selflessness that makes my throat tighten at the thought of them, or is it selfishness, because I know I will never be their daughter again?

It’s both, Tris, because you are divergent as fuck.

Next, the initiates have to jump from the train down seven stories to a rooftop. I remember this was where I kinda started getting into things. Granted, I find a lot of the Dauntless danger really pointless, but this was the first time I was like, shit, something is at stake for Tris now. [Matthew says: Especially since someone helped her do the first thing that was totally real stakes for that other kid who already failed at life.] I couldn’t care less she left her family, but right away I wanted her to kick ass in initiation and not plummet to her death. That’s saying a lot because I would want most characters we write about to plummet to their death.

We meet Captain Obvious, a pivotal character for this scene:

“We have to jump off too, then,” a Candor girl says. She has a large nose and crooked teeth.

Duly noted. Otherwise I might have had the completely wrong image of her in my head. I haven’t seen the movie, but I really hope they found the right actress for this role.

One transfer is too scared and says he’d rather be factionless than dead. THE HORROR. Tris, being very un-divergent, disagrees.

Still not sure what the point of this was, but one of the transfers actually misses the jump and does plummet to his death – yikes! The stakes have never been higher!

I tell myself, as sternly as possible, that is how things work here. We do dangerous things and people die. People die, and we move on to the next dangerous thing. The sooner that lesson sinks in, the better chance I have at surviving initiation.

You know, in the Hunger Games, this type of mindset made 100% sense, the stakes were high and believable within that world. Granted, we don’t really know the Dauntless backstory aside from “They thought bravery was the answer!” But this isn’t “bravery” this is stupidly putting yourself in unnecessary danger to…prove said bravery? Doing dangerous things and dying like this doesn’t make me think Tris or any of the Dauntless are badass, just stupid.

watch out bad ass

And I don’t think this is just for initiation either. It said right from the start that they jump on and off the trains just to get to school. It sounds like this is just part of life for some reason. Maybe we’ll get answers like they’re always training because of the threats they fight against, and if you can’t survive doing things like this, you stand no chance against…the threats? But like at least have Tris speculate on this a little or have someone address it instead of glamourising it.

One of the Dauntless leaders announces the next challenge:

Several stories below us is the members’ entrance to our compound. If you can’t muster the will to jump off, you don’t belong here. Our initiates have the privilege of going first.

Is the only way to fucking prove yourself in Dauntless to just jump from dangerous places?

Tris is the first one to jump, impressing everyone including myself.

"Happy dance"

A net is waiting for Tris at the end of her fall and so is her future love interest 😉

He has a spare upper lip and a full lower lip. His eyes are so deep-set that his eyelashes touch the skin under his eyebrows, and they are dark blue, a dreaming, sleeping, waiting color.

When I first read “spare upper lip” I read it as “he has an extra upper lip…??” I’m still not at all sure what that means, though. [Matthew says: Speaking of weird-as-fuck writing in this scene, we also have this gem of a sentence:

“He” is the young man attached to the hand I grabbed.

So Divergent is mostly better written than most of the books we have here, provided Tris isn’t meeting hunky boys.]

We find out this guy’s name is Four, [Matthew says: Really.] and he tells Tris she can choose a new name. This is the point where she officially goes from being Beatrice to Tris. SORRY I RUINED THAT EPIC MOMENT FOR YOU GUYS!

What Divergent faction would you totes be in???? Let me know your results, guys. I got Amity OMG I’M NICE. [Matthew says: I got Erudite, because I’ve always gotten Ravenclaw so I was like, “Why am I even bothering with this quiz.”]



  1. Bellomy Reply

    The real question is, how is EVERYBODY not “divergent” in some important way?

    I want to know how literally almost everybody else took the test and picked answers that matched them up perfectly to a society that only sees a single personality trait as worthwhile.

    I know we’re supposed to, like, make jokes and stuff, but that…that doesn’t make any sense. In “Harry Potter” you’re not sorted because the ONLY quality you value is bravery, or intelligence, or whatnot. It’s what you value the most. But in “Divergent” we’re supposed to believe that these qualities, in each faction, are literally the only traits they believe are important. I’d use an “it’s like…” comparison, but then the factions really are good analogues to the Harry Potter Houses. They’re an excellent example of how to do them wrong.

    (By the way, I’m Abegnation, and I’m sad to report that the Buzzfeed article actually makes far more sense than the test in the book. And it’s just as useful.)

    • Bellomy Reply

      …And Abegnation makes sense since I consistently score as Hufflepuff.

      • 22aer22 Reply

        Yeah but surely Amity is the better Abnegation, god Bellomy…I thought I liked you but this changes everything. You know what a factionist I am!

        But seriously. I am so with you about the whole faction being completely ridiculous and nonsensical. I am genuinely amazed that I still liked the book even though the central concept is so silly.

  2. Bellomy Reply

    BTW, my analysis of the ending of “Mockingjay”: Really, really stupid. She assassinated the President on live television in front of a crowd of people, and she…won her trial? Without actually showing up? That…that’s not how the law works.

    I also didn’t get why Katniss hated Coin so much. I mean, after the incident with the bombing, yeah, I got it. But before that she kept going on about how she didn’t like and didn’t trust Coin, and up to that point every action Coin had taken was basically positive. She had given Katniss no reason to distrust her.

    The ending was very sudden and very jarring. Katniss slowly heals after becoming suicidal. And then in the epilogue she’s…married Peeta and had children? What?

    Also, I really didn’t feel as if there was any sort of resolution to the story. I mean, yeah, the war ended, but that was WAY too easy. Katniss really didn’t even have to do anything but be a figurehead, and then everybody else fought. There was nothing that she actually did that was particularly important besides be a media figure. This had the result of making the boring scenes where she talks to people feel important, but make the dangerous battle scenes feel pointless.

    Actually, the more I think about it, the less I like the book. I guess the best I could say about it is that Collins is good at writing action scenes, and the book had a lot of them. That alone puts it well above “Catching Fire”.

    • matthewjulius Reply

      I’d say you hit the nail on the head. Everything is rushed and nonsensical, like when Finnick didn’t have a single line of dialogue for like four chapters and then was suddenly eaten by giant lizards????

      • Bellomy Reply

        Yeah, the more I think about it, the less sense the book seems to make. Why was Katniss thought to be such a good soldier? What the Hell was the point of their mission, which failed and made absolutely no difference to the war effort? Why did Katniss dislike Coin? When did Peeta fall in love with Katniss again? What reason did she have to blame Gale for Prim’s death? Because he made the bombs? But that makes no sense. And how the Hell do you win a murder trial when you killed a defenseless person on LIVE TV????

  3. Quinn Reply

    I’m Factionless. It may not have helped that some of the questions didn’t really have an answer that fit me (particularly the drinks one. I think they should have had soda as an option, and I ended up going with water.)

    So clearly if I lived in Tris’s world I’d be doing whatever the Divergent equivalent is of working at Mickey D’s or something similar.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      I find it pretty odd they didn’t have a soda option; it’s not like soda is some obscure category of beverage.

      The factionless = janitors if I remember correctly.

  4. Dana Reply

    First Slytherin, now Erudite. WHY AM I ALWAYS THE EVIL PEOPLE?

  5. graceless Reply

    I always knew that I’d get either Candor or Erudite because I’m a Ravenclaw and I got Candor this time around but occasionally I get Divergent

    • 22aer22 Reply

      Translation: “Sometimes I am divergent as fuck, other times I am acting in one specific way…so I’m always divergent?” This quiz, man, how did it weight the grades.

  6. marthamdm Reply

    So Tris jumps from a train because some “dauntless leader” tells her to, with the threat that she doesn’t belong if she doesn’t? This feels like some sort of weird peer-pressure type thing to me, just replace dauntless leader with a popular teen and jumping from trains with smoking a cigarette. Personally I think it would have been braver not to jump and stand up to these idiots.

    I got dauntless in that test (always get gryffindor in tests too, so go figure?) but I’m almost offended, the only thing I know now of dauntless is that they’re jumping from trains and I would NEVER do that.

    • matthewjulius Reply

      “Personally I think it would have been braver not to jump and stand up to these idiots.” Hahahaha good point! Nothing in this book makes sense.

      • 22aer22 Reply

        This is pretty much the case the whole book – it gets really frustrating later when characters try to point out that it can be braver to refuse a Dauntless leader, and then the Dauntless leader is like, “NUH UH and if you don’t do it I’ll make you factionless.” You’ll figure out pretty soon which leader I’m referring to. Hint: it’s not the one Tris loves.

  7. Judy Reply

    I rolled my eyes so much while I read this book, I’m surprised they aren’t stuck up in my head.

  8. Hanna Reply

    “Seriously why would anyone ever choose Abnegation? Such a miserable faction. I bet their initiation is being offered a delicious slice of pie, and if you don’t offer it to someone else you fail. [Matthew says: Honestly, I can kind of see this. Like, especially if you were born into Abnegation. It’s basically why we still have Catholicism. I bet there are a lot of stand-up comedians in the world of Divergent who make jokes about being raised Abnegation.]”

    Well that’s a pretty bigoted comment. For your information, a solid half of my Catholic friends are converts who chose Catholicism because they like it. But hey, don’t let tolerance get in the way of the jokes.

    If you don’t see the problem, try replacing “Catholicism” with “Judaism”.

    • Judy Reply

      I totally got what Matt was saying, many of us would not consciously choose many things we are born into, we just except them as normal or right because we are born into them. When we get out into the world there are some things we can look at more critically and then choose to continue or modify things (religion being just one) accordingly.

      • 22aer22 Reply

        Hi Hannah,

        I can’t tell you how sorry I am that you were offended. I can completely see where you’re coming from, but I think Judy has summed it up best (but god, Judy, accept not except! What is this, a barn?) Matt could have phrased it in a way that didn’t target Catholicism, but as someone that was born Jewish, I don’t think I would have chosen that as my religion if I wasn’t born into it, and I have many Catholic friends who feel the same. Similarly, I know people that have converted to both religions because they see the beauty in them 🙂

        Again, I’m really really sorry you were offended. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I hope this won’t deter you from coming back in the future.

    • matthewjulius Reply

      Hi Hanna,

      I’m sorry to have offended you; it doesn’t look like I worded what I was trying to say very well. Ironically, I was actually trying to STAND UP for Abnegation by drawing a real world comparison to something comparably strict (especially as viewed from the outside), but still has people who find that living that way gives them the most comfort with their lives. Having a Catholic background myself, I saw a parallel for Catholicism especially – thinking about Catholicism more critically as an adult, it doesn’t make any sense to me personally, but I don’t begrudge others for finding meaning within it to invest in, and what I was trying to say was that maybe we shouldn’t begrudge people for choosing Abnegation either.

      Of course, while that was what I intended my comment/joke to mean, looking back on what I actually wrote, I can see that it could have used more editing to more clearly say that. I’m sure this is a point I’ll return to as we cover this book in the future, and I’ll be sure to be more careful to ensure that I’m writing what I’m actually thinking.

  9. ghosthelwig Reply

    I ended up getting Abegnation, which doesn’t surprise me at all; I actually value selflessness a lot, which is why I hate the Abegnation faction. They manage to make it a very selfish system IMO by being so concerned with making themselves not selfish instead of just making helping people a priority in their lives. I don’t want to see people ignore mirrors (does that mean they don’t bathe too, since it’s vain? Gross. Just like never looking at yourself isn’t so much selfless as silly). I don’t want to see people whose idea of selfless includes being bitter about people telling the truth.

    I dunno, maybe I’m overthinking it, but Abegnation just bugs me. And unlike everybody else in the comments so far, I didn’t get my corresponding Hogwarts house – I usually get Gryffindor.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      That’s why I hate them too! I can’t remember if we’ve already read this bit or not, but at one point Tris mentions they’re not allowed to create art because it’s selfish, but you could create art for others to enjoy and make them happy…so why is this so selfish? They just go out of their way to make themselves miserable!

      I bet they’re allowed to bathe, but if they’re in there for more than 5 minutes, it’s selfish. God forbid they ever take a bath that feels even vaguely luxurious (no bubble, Tris, damn it.)

      If you didn’t get your Harry Potter house that’s the greatest symbol of being divergent I’ve ever seen.

  10. future venusian Reply

    I got Candor. I guess that makes sense…you know, as much as anything about this whole faction thing makes sense.

    You know who would make a great Abnegation? Wanderer from The Host. She would put all others in that faction to shame.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      YES I have written that exact same note in my book!!! I’m really sad because I’m pretty sure I wrote it during the chapter Matt posted this week because it was a joke about going on a Dauntless cave tour and finding a Abnegation Wanda lurking about.

  11. callmeIndigo Reply

    I started taking the quiz and then got to “What do you value most?” and…??? What do we even need the other questions for, then? [Or alternatively, if I knew that I wouldn’t be taking this quiz, except I would, because I don’t make good use of my free time.]

    And then I got Candor, which makes me think that that’s the only question that actually factors into the result, because almost all my other choices seemed aligned with Erudite.

  12. Erica Robison Reply

    I got freaking factionless what is that even about?? Some dude would rather be dead than be like me? Doesn’t it make more sense if they can’t put me in a faction that I’m probably Divergent as f*** and not a freaking outcast? Nothing has ever made me more angry in my life. Other than the fact that it asked to pick a tv show and I watch like every show known to man except for the five they chose. This quiz is rigged. Everything is rigged.

    I really hope this entire rant is understood with the sarcasm I tried to lace it with.

    On another note, this is the first book you’ve written about that I’ve actually read and also enjoyed. But I didn’t like it nearly as much as the other YA novels that are crazy popular (the good ones, I mean, not the vampire ones), and you guys are totally hitting on the head everything that I thought was retarded about it. Good work and whatnot.

    • Quinn Reply

      I’m really glad to know I’m not the only person who ended up Factionless. And yeah, we should probably get Divergent as a result instead.

  13. Savvy Reply

    I think it’s supposed to mean that he has a small upper lip and a big lower lip… I mean most people have smaller upper lips but I guess the difference between his lips is like HUGE. Honestly I immediately thought of Bubba from Forrest Gump when I read that.

    I got Factionless. Reading the description on the quiz result, it says the Factionless are the biggest community in the city, so… Why don’t they just get together and overthrow the government? Although it also says “their thirst for revenge has great consequences” so maybe I’m on to something.

    Also “What do you value most?” “REVENGE.” what even. That’s like on those personality quizzes that have answers like “I spent my afternoons polishing my sword and figuring out how to infiltrate my arch-nemesis’s island fortress.” Like are there really a lot of people who honestly value revenge more than those options options?

  14. Hanna Reply

    Thanks for the correction/apology Matt and Ariel, I appreciate your sensitivity.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      Of course! We can’t help but offend people who love the books we make fun of here like Fifty Shades and House of Night, and honestly I’m not too concerned about those. But in a case like this I’m so glad we could actually clear things up because I speak for both of us when I say we’d never want anyone to feel hurt or upset by that kind of insensitive comment. Thank you for actually taking the time to read our replies and let us know – this is the first time that’s happened 🙂

  15. janelovering Reply

    I will not even take the test because I AM DIVERGENT AS FUCK! Also, there is no Chocolate faction. That puts me off too.

  16. Erica Robison Reply

    I completely forgot to mention this and I feel the need to talk about it. I have never heard a worse description for a male lead. I had to read it a couple times when I first read it. Tiny bottom lip and giant lower one? She basically described him as having the eyes of a Cro-Magnon man. I’m sorry, Four, I’m just not feeling it.

  17. Matt D Reply

    you guys really missed the chance to put a Lion King joke in there, wehn Mufasa is lecturing simba on being brave only when you have to be.

  18. vyschneider Reply

    So basically a colour looks good on me makes me Amity? Totally see the sense in that, BuzzFeed… just imagine I’d look terrible in red (except I don’t, so obviously I’m not Abnegation)

    • 22aer22 Reply

      Factions are actually allll about the fashion choices. Love wearing black and white? Candor might just be the place for you.

      I wonder if there are glossy magazine covers showcasing each faction in the Divergent universe.

      • vyschneider Reply

        Haha, I’d pay good money to see that in the next movie Tris is flicking through magazines to pick her new LBD. You sure wouldn’t find anyone in Abnegation buying, that would sooooo selfish

  19. E.H.Taylor Reply

    “how do Abnegations avoid getting trapped in an endless cycle of

    “After you.”
    “No after you.”
    “…No after YOU.”"

    What about the last piece of pie? It would be selfish to eat it, but if you offer it to someone else, it would be selfish of them to accept it. Does the pie then go uneaten? WHAT HAPPENS TO THE PIE?!

  20. Rachel Reply

    I’m Factionless. Great. Is it because I picked “I just want a job” because the job I wanted to do wasn’t on the list ?!


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