Previously, Tris met the evil villain who revealed her rather lacklustre plan to mind control everyone…for some reason. I mean, she claims she wants to kill everyone from Abnegation so she can be in charge of the government, but if your ultimate plan is to keep everyone within their same factions/control their mind couldn’t she have just mind-controlled Abnegation into giving up the government? In fact, why didn’t she just play into the faction roles and say, “Hey, Abnegations, it would be sooo super selfless of you if you gave up your positions. Thanks!” [Matthew says: Also, there are factions, so clearly mind-control is already working here on some level.]
I wake in the dark, wedged in a hard corner. The floor beneath me is smooth and cold. I touch my throbbing head and liquid slips across my fingertips. Red—blood. When I bring my hand back down, my elbow hits a wall. Where am I?
Tris is, literally, in one of her worst nightmares – a glass tank where she’s going to drown. Did Jeanine plan specifically for Tris to be captured?[Matthew says: Good thing they didn’t go with the “scared of intimacy” fear.] Did she have a similar situation planned for every Divergent person who fell into her lap? I can only imagine how furious Jeanine’s henchmen were if this was a last minute event that had to be put together in half an hour. “Quickly, guys, she’s going to wake up soon. Find me a glass tank that I can slowly drown her in!”
Tris manages to crack the glass a bit, and she also notices there’s a camera facing her.
The video camera means they’re watching me—no, studying me, as only the Erudite would. To see if my reaction in reality matches my reaction in the simulation. To prove that I’m a coward.
I think any villain with the right technology would be monitoring this situation. [Matthew says: To make sure she doesn’t escape, since that’s obviously what’s going to happen once you delay killing someone.] But this really does make me wonder if Jeanine planned for this ahead of time.
Out of nowhere, this book becomes religious.
I breathe in. The water will wash my wounds clean. I breathe out. My mother submerged me in water when I was a baby, to give me to God. It has been a long time since I thought about God, but I think about him now. It is only natural. I am glad, suddenly, that I shot Eric in the foot instead of the head.
What? Where is any of this even coming from? It would be equally as weird if Tris had told us that she was originally born into the Ghostbusters faction, and she was glad she didn’t kill Eric because then she wouldn’t have just had to ghost bust him anyway. [Matthew says: I wasn’t totally surprised by this, since Abnegation has been deemed the God-fearing faction about a zillion times, because this book has all the subtlety of a studded dildo with flashing lights.]
Suddenly, Tris’ mom to the rescue.
She pulls my arm across her shoulders and hauls me to my feet. She is dressed like my mother and she looks like my mother, but she is holding a gun, and the determined look in her eyes is unfamiliar to me. I stumble beside her over broken glass and through water and out an open doorway. Dauntless guards lie dead next to the door.
This is, of course, after she smashes the rest of the glass. Go Mrs. Tris’ mom! You badass, you.
Tris reminds us of The Big Revelation that happened as soon as Tris’ mom revealed she liked the chocolate cake Dauntless serve.
“Mom,” I say, my voice strained. “You were Dauntless.”
Tris’ mom affirms this and said it’s come in handy today. She also tells Tris that the rest of her family is alive and hiding together (including Tris’ brother Caleb).
“How did you know to find me?” I say.
“I’ve been watching the trains since the attacks started,” she replies, glancing over her shoulder at me. “I didn’t know what I would do when I found you. But it was always my intention to save you.”
That doesn’t answer the question at all, but boy is it a good thing she was watching those trains.
Then something interesting happens, Tris’ mom explains how she wound up in Abnegation and reveals that she’s Divergent too.
“I know about them because I am one,” she says as she shoves a bullet in place. “I was only safe because my mother was a Dauntless leader. On Choosing Day, she told me to leave my faction and find a safer one. I chose Abnegation.” She puts an extra bullet in her pocket and stands up straighter. “But I wanted you to make the choice on your own.”
…It seems like maybe she should have warned Tris and helped her out a little more than she did if her mother had given her guidance in the past. [Matthew says: But choices, Ariel! Like choosing to be susceptible to mind-control drugs!]
“Every faction conditions its members to think and act a certain way. And most people do it. For most people, it’s not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way.” She touches my uninjured shoulder and smiles. “But our minds move in a dozen different directions. We can’t be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders. It means we can’t be controlled. And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.”
This just stinks of so much bullshit to me. Matt’s mentioned this before, but if you can choose at some point to switch factions and then suddenly be conditioned in another way to think… then it’s not the same as being raised from birth to think a certain way and never knowing anything else. In fact, all of these people go to school together and learn together, they’re not even raised completely apart. Then if they do switch factions, we’re not talking brutal brainwashing here, not even in Dauntless. I can believe you could consciously behave a certain way all the time, but I can’t believe you wouldn’t be thinking in different ways. In fact, we’ve seen so many characters who don’t think in one pattern, and they’re not even complicated characters!
I think Tris could just as easily be controlled because she was willing to go along with her factions, she was never intent on doing anything crazy to provoke change, she just wanted to blend in. [Matthew says: You could even argue she’s more easily controlled, because she kept willing herself into wanting to fit in. You could argue that Tris succumbing to peer pressure even though she recognizes it as such says more about control than the others who just blindly went along with it all. You could, but for some reason this book is about drugs now.] The only reason she’s dangerous now is to someone who is dangerous to all the faction leaders! Jeanine seems to be a threat to everyone, she’s the one who’s trying to enact change in a terrifying way, not Tris or anyone else we know is Divergent! Is Jeanine Divergent? Does it even really matter?
I feel like someone breathed new air into my lungs. I am not Abnegation. I am not Dauntless.
I am Divergent.
-_- Orly? Had no clue. I’ve suspected this whole time, but never really felt I could say this definitively.
Dauntless start chasing Tris and her mom. This is an ideal time for Tris to awkwardly articulate feelings about her mother:
She grabs my hands and looks me in the eyes. I watch her long eyelashes move as she blinks. I wish I had something of hers in my small, plain face. But at least I have something of hers in my brain.
NOW IS NOT THE TIME, TRIS! “At least I have something of hers in my brain”, words every mother would be honoured to hear their daughter say.
In order to let Tris escape, Tris’ mom throws herself in front of the Dauntless and winds up getting shot. I don’t feel all that sad, I mostly feel cheated that this was the only scene with Tris’ mom that we got, and I’m not sure why she had to die immediately.
Please tell me if you thought Jeanine had planned on recreating Tris’s simulation or threw it together last minute? I need to know whether she would have make a really sick, last-minute party planner or not.