I Am Jack's Unclear Motivation: Insurgent Chapters 18 and 19

As of late I’ve picked up guided meditation, using an app called Headpace. It’s pretty solid and I like it a lot, although there was this pretty unintentionally hilarious tweet last weekend.

Except not like in the book. Because Divergent hates #science.
Haha, but not like in the book! Because Divergent hates #science.

Chapter 18

To summarize what’s going on in Insurgent (which is surprisingly difficult, because so little has happened), the Erudite and Dauntless traitors are slowly progressing their capitalist revolution, while Hufflepuff and Other Hufflepuff don’t do anything because they don’t get how this is relevant to them.

If you're getting sick of all the Hufflepuff jokes I've been making, just imagine how sick I am of this book.
If you’re getting sick of all the Hufflepuff jokes I’ve been making, just imagine how sick I am of this book.

Case in point, this chapter is about Jack Kang, leader of Candor, establishing the official Candor position “let’s make peace with these people who have suddenly commited one genocide-like act after another, which is in no way relevant to us”. Also, Marcus is revealed to be Divergent, because why the fuck not.

“What seems to me to require more investigation [is] the Divergent. […] If you are one of the Divergent, please step forward so that we can hear from you. […] You, Marcus?” says Jack.
“Yes,” Marcus says. “I understand that you are [all] concerned. You had never heard of the Divergent a week ago, and now all that you know is that they are immune to something to which you are susceptible […]”
“It seems clear to me,” says Jack, “that we were attacked so that the Erudite could find the Divergent. Do you know why that is?”
“No, I do not,” syas Marcus. “Perhaps their intention was merely to identify us.”

Truthfully, finding that Marcus is Divergent is a good twist. Of course, it would be a better twist if this book series – which is called Divergent – had ever made it particularly clear what Divergence actually is. What if there were another twist that Marcus is lying? That he’s actually an Erudite spy? How would this actually look any different, technically? Hell, he could be Divergent and be an Erudite spy. The factions in this book are somehow simultaneously political, genetic, not-political, and a personal choice. A personal choice about your genetics that influence your politics. How does anyone think these books make any sense?

Tris argues with Marcus and Jack, pointing out that the Erudite intention is more on the “They’ve been killing us since before any of this happened” side, but Jack points out they don’t have any proof. Jack then points out that during yesterday’s invasion, “the Dauntless soldiers did not give any evidence of wanting to harm the majority of us”, which is enough for him to decide the best course of action is to pursue a peace treaty with the Erudite and Dauntless traitors.

“Their peaceful invasion suggest to me that it may be possible to negotiate a peace treaty […] So I will arrange a meeting with Jeanine Matthews […]”
“Their invasion wasn’t peaceful,” I say […] “Just because they didn’t shoot you all in the head doesn’t mean their intentions were somehow honorable?” […]
“While I am concerned for [Divergent’s] safety, I don’t think we can attack them just because they wanted to kill a fraction of our population.”

This would be the single worst speech given by a real political leader in the history of time.

asdfasdfasd
Like this, but if Canada were also trying to kill that 47%

On top of being weirdly blase for a political leader about his people being systematically murdered because it’s just some of his people, Jack also dismisses Tris and Four’s explanation about the new long-term transmitters and permanent simulations. To be fair, Tris and Four have zero evidence for this, but given that his entire population has been injected with something, amusement is a weird way to react?

“Killing you is not the worst thing they can do to you,” I say. “Controlling you is.”
Jack’s lips curl with amusement. Amusement. “Oh? And how will they manage to do that? […] I can’t launch an attack based on a little girl’s speculations.”

Tris gets pissed off that Jack called her a little girl, and all the Dauntless get pissed off too, to which Jack’s response is “nyeh I’m not helping you nyeh”. More or less.

fight club jack's complete lack of surprise

Chapter 19

Remember Zeke (Uriah’s older brother) and Tori, who were apparently Dauntless traitors? Turns out they were Dauntless spies. They show up at Candor base, Tori needing medical attention after they got found out. Zeke explains they wound up amongst traitors after the simulation, fortuitously allowing them to be spies, and we find out that Zeke has been getting Erudite defectors out safely (interesting!), while Tori has been doing something more secret. Which is cool, because it’s not like we know anything that’s going on in this book yet anyway. Unsurprisingly for a story about people who purposefully split themselves into arbitrary hyper-loyal cliques, most of Tris’s gang are skeptical that any of the Erudite defectors are genuine.

After this, Tris conveniently overhears Cara (Will’s older sister, an Erudite defector) consoling Christina about Tris shooting Will, which alternates between unfortunate, war is hell reason…

“That girl was probably scared out of her mind”

And surprisingly good advice for helping Christina deal…

“You don’t have to forgive her, but you should try to understand that what she did was not out of malice; it was out of panic.”

And, uh, cattiness?

“That way, you can look at her without wanting to punch her in her exceptionally long nose.”

War is hell?

Meanwhile, Four gets secret info about Jack’s upcoming peace meeting the next morning, which he discovers is with an Erudite representative, not Jeanine.

“If you were Erudite, what would you say at this meeting?”
They all look at me. Expectantly.
“What?” I say.
“You’re Divergent,” Zeke replies.
“So is Tobias.”
“Yeah, but he doesn’t have aptitude for Erudite.”

Tris is special even amongst the specials.

fight club jack's raging bile duct

Marlene unintenionally summarizes everything that’s wrong with these books.

“But we don’t have special Divergent brains!”

Shauna unintentionally complains about how the book conflates political affiliation and genetic predisposition into a single focal point we’re supposed to take seriously.

“I know I belong in Dauntless because everything I did in that aptitude test told me so. I’m loyal to my faction for that reason – because there’s nowhere else I could possibly be. But [Tris]? And [Tobias]?” She shakes her head. “I have no idea who you’re loyal to.”

So you guys get that it was a Fight Club joke now, right?
So you guys get that it was a Fight Club joke now, right?

Of course, Tris uses her special Divergent brain to conclude that Jack has nothing to negotiate with, except the Divergent and the rest of the Dauntless.

Question of the day! Ariel and I were playing a game last weekend called Loaded Questions, which is like a game that asks, uh, loaded questions, and you guess who wrote each response. One of the questions we got that I’d definitely like to gather more responses for was, “What is a word that sounds dirty, but isn’t?” We said voluptuous, homunculus, and cockamamie. What about you guys?

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  1. Dana Reply

    Vagal/vagus

    Uvula

    Pubis

    Manhole

    Cockle

    Gesticulate

    Masticate

    Rectory

    Vigesimal

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