A Character Once Thought Dead IS NOT DEAD: Insurgent Chapter 8

"keanu reeves woah"

Previously, things happened.

Chapter 8

Having just fled the Amity compound, Tris, Four, Caleb and Susan follow train tracks towards “the city.” If there’s one thing that the Dauntless can always rely on, it’s train hopping, so Tris suggests they hop on a train coming towards them.

On the train are a bunch of armed factionless people because I guess it’s time we get to know a rag tag band of misfits! [Matthew says: You know, the ones who aren’t the misfits from Divergent we’ve already been following around.]

The factionless man with the gun looks familiar [Ariel says: Celeb factionless man! Do you think he’s the guy from the simulation?]. He wears tattered clothes in different colors—a black T-shirt with a torn Abnegation jacket over it, blue jeans mended with red thread, brown boots. All faction clothing is represented in the group before me: black Candor pants paired with black Dauntless shirts, yellow dresses with blue sweatshirts over them. Most items are torn or smudged in some way, but some are not. Freshly stolen, I imagine.

Omg such symbolism I have never before beheld!

The mystery of who the familiar man is is immediately resolved:

“They aren’t Amity,” the man with the gun says. “They’re Dauntless.” Then I recognize him: he is Edward, a fellow initiate who left Dauntless after Peter attacked him with a butter knife. That is why he wears an eye patch.

…Okay I understand how it can take a second to register who someone is when it’s out of context, but this sort of makes it seem like just because he’s wearing a hodgepodge of clothing from various factions made it hard to peg him down. It wasn’t like Edward was only mentioned once, the whole scene where he gets stabbed in the eye made him pretty memorable to the audience and Tris. In fact, Tris fucking mentioned him a few chapters ago when she’s talking about how horrible Peter is!

The factionless are basically like, “Get the fuck off our train,” but for some reason when Tobias says who he is, it changes everything. [Matthew says: OMG. You guys. MORE SECRETS. There are so many secrets I can’t keep track of what I actually know.]

The effect of the name on the people in the car is immediate and bewildering: they lower their weapons. They exchange meaningful looks.

“Eaton? Really?” Edward says, eyebrows raised. “I have to admit, I did not see that coming.” [Matthew says: I did, but probably not for the same reason.] He clears his throat. “Fine, you can come. But when we get to the city, you’ve got to come with us.” Then he smiles a little. “We know someone who’s been looking for you, Tobias Eaton.”

Hasn’t Edward literally been factionless for like fucking 2 weeks? I swear to god, he got stabbed in the eye, and then 1-2 weeks later was initiation and then immediately shit went down. How has he become this hardened, in-the-know guy in such a short period of time?

Tobias apparently knows who’s looking for him, but is like, “Uggg I’ll explain later. Whatever. I can’t even right now.” Tris speculates who it is that might be looking for Tobias. Results are inconclusive.

I’m not sure who could know Tobias among the factionless. It could be Drew or Molly, who failed Dauntless initiation—but they didn’t even know Tobias’s real name, and besides, Edward probably would have killed them by now, judging by how ready he was to shoot us. It must be someone from Abnegation, or from school.

But why would he have killed them if they were also factionless…? THE SENSE IT MAKES NOT!!

I’d tell you where they go next, but I can’t possibly describe it as eloquently as Tris can:

We are in a factionless storehouse, and the factionless, who are supposed to be scattered, isolated, and without community … are together inside it. Are together, like a faction.

"keanu reeves woah"


In other words, “Faction. Faction faction. Factionless. Faction? Less? Factionless.” [Matthew says: So in other words, you could skipped the first book, turned to this page, and you’d be pretty much caught up on all the major themes at play, here.]

Tris continues to act like zoo visitor who is amazed that monkeys display similar behaviour to humans. She makes astute observations about how the factionless are living together and, I shit you not, making jokes and “speak to each other quietly.”

Edward explains that the factionless used to be scattered, but once Abnegation started giving them food they joined together and bided their time until something like this happened. [Matthew says: So… something that happened before these books actually started, so we’ve literally always been familiar with this changed circumstance. Dramatic.] They take Tobias to see his mystery friend and it’s…

I realize that he and the woman have the same nose—hooked, a little too big on her face but the right size on his. They also have the same strong jaw, distinct chin, spare upper lip, stick-out ears. Only her eyes are different—instead of blue, they are so dark they look black.

“Evelyn,” he says, his voice shaking a little.

Evelyn was the name of Marcus’s wife and Tobias’s mother. My grip on Tobias’s hand loosens. Just days ago I was remembering her funeral. Her funeral. And now she stands in front of me, her eyes colder than the eyes of any Abnegation woman I’ve ever seen.

Woah. A character who I barely remembered was supposed to be dead is actually alive?! I am supposed to have feelings about this I think!

Evelyn and Four argue vaguely about how Four could still join her and how choices can be made again. Blah mysterious tension blah.

“What makes you think I’m interested in spending time anywhere near you?” he demands. I hear his footsteps stop, and slow down so I can hear how she responds.

Because I’m your mother,” she says, and her voice almost breaks over the words, uncharacteristically vulnerable. “Because you’re my son.”

“Uncharacteristically vulnerable”? She has been a character for less than a chapter! She can’t be doing anything uncharacteristically. Shut the fuck up, book.

Anyway, she tells Four he should take her and the factionless seriously because they’re double the size of Dauntless now and are going to play a big part in determining the future.

Four also explains that his mother sent him a coded message about a year ago, but that he wasn’t all that thrilled with her considering she left him alone with his abusive dad. He also mentions she had an affair, and he doesn’t blame her for doing that. Just the whole leaving alone with Marcus thing, which I think is a super justified reason for being mad. But one million dollars says she’s like, “OMG I had to give you a choice to switch factions/couldn’t make you factionless/it was for your own good/I love you son.”

Did you even remember Four’s mother was supposed to be dead? Why the fuck did they have a fake funeral for her? Did she fake her own death? Ug. I don’t get it.



  1. A.D. Martin Reply

    Clearly, it was a Tom Sawyer-Huck Finn thing she let go on too long, and they took her out of the social security system so she became Factionless.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      I’ve been thinking about this today, and it actually seems more like she ran away to be factionless on purpose (to escape Marcus), and to save face/protect his image and the truth from getting out about why she left he pretended she died. I don’t know why I didn’t realize that when I read this last night, derp.

  2. Pingback: Other People Who Think The Faction System Is Dumb Finally Show Up: Insurgent Chapter 9 | Bad Books, Good Times

  3. Jena Reply

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but I don’t understand the difference between being divergent and being factionless. Divergent is not fitting into any of the existing factions, but having qualities of all of them. And factionless is not fitting into any of the existing factions, but having qualities of none of them?

    • 22aer22 Reply

      Damn, that’s a good question. I’ve given it some thought, and what I’m thinking is that a lot of these people who are factionless aren’t there by choice. Ah, choice, that seems to be at the heart of this book except when it’s totally not and being Divergent is genetic. But it’s a choice.

      Anyway, a lot of factionless are there because they failed initiation. So they made the choice to be part of a faction, that’s who they believed the were, but they got stabbed in the eye with a butter knife or couldn’t jump off a train as well as someone else. They’re meant to be lost and cast out even though they would rather choose to be a part of a faction and follow blindly. It stops really making sense here, because without that choice…won’t they just act like people who can be a range of things, which, like you said, is being fucking Divergent! If being a part of one of these factions is a choice, then being factionless will naturally make you act Divergent because you won’t be making the choice to act a specific way.

      Does this mean they aren’t Divergent because they would choose to be in a faction? Because that also doesn’t make much sense given Tris also chose to be a part of a faction and did it well. So again it goes back to the whole genetics thing where being Divergent just means being resistant to some mind control drugs.

      It is stupid and making my brain hurt to think about.

      • Andre Reply

        Semi-spoiler alert…in Allegiant, it explains the whole divergent thing a little more in detail. Before the purity war long ago, the government started fucking with people’s dna to enhance certain traits, but it backfired. When they enhanced they’re intelligence (Eriudite), it in turn made them assholes. When they enhanced their selflessness (Abnegation), they didn’t care enough about themselves. When they enhanced their kindness, and horticulture skills (u guessed it, Amity), they became dirty annoying fucking hippies, ect. Anyway, these people became known as “genetically damaged” (gd), and natural, homegrown people untouched by genetic alterations were called “genetically pure” (gp). The gp decided that they wanted to rid the world of the gd, and thus the purity war. Anyway, when they started the Chicago experiment, the point was to get the gd’s with each familiar genetic alteration into groups (the factions), give them memory serum so they didn’t remember shit, attempt to make that the blueprint for a new structured society, make them keep having kids generation after generation, until the genetic defect eventually “corrects” itself, and their genes are normal again (gp, or…Divergent), and once the Divergent population in the city is big enough, have them come out into the world to spread their Divergent seed all over the planet, eventually restoring the Earth’s population back to “normal people”, or gp’s. And yes, the serums have less effect on them as well, for some reason. Anyway, that’s what a Divergent is in a nutsack…I mean shell. They are simply what you and me are…cuz remember, this story takes place in the future. Yes, if you or I were in this book, Janine Mathews would hunt us down, and kill us…food for thought.


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