Today’s Insurgent chapter was fairly short, but don’t worry. My chapter for Beautiful Oblivion next week is like 4000 pages long.
One of the more interesting parts of Divergent is Tris’s PTSD after the events of the first novel.
Don’t be an idiot. I can’t set out to do what I’m doing without a gun. It would be crazy. So I will have to solve this problem I’ve been having in the next five minutes. […] I used it to stop Eric from shooting Tobias in the head. It is not inherently evil. It is just a tool. I see a flicker of movement in the mirror, and before I can stop myself, I stare at my reflection. This is how I looked to him, I think. This is how I looked when I shot him.
Interestingly, the PTSD was one of the defining traits of the sequels for Divergent‘s most defining inspiration: The Hunger Games. This isn’t promising. While it had its moments, the concept was pretty badly bungled in the Hunger Games sequels, turning one of the decade’s best female characters into one with a frustrating lack of agency, eventually becoming Trinity Syndrome: The Trilogy. I don’t have a whole lot of hope for Divergent doing a better job, based on, you know, trends.
Fourbias walks in on Tris and confronts her. She confronts him back. They have a lot of things to confront each other about. So it’s like every conversation they’ve had so far in the book.
“Zeke and Uriah told me you were going to eavesdrop on Jack,” he says. […] “Are you?”
“Why should I tell you? You don’t tell me about your plans.”
His straight eyebrows furrow. “What are you talking about?”
Tris is mad about Four beating up his dad for no apparent reason and not telling her why. Four is mad about Tris’s increasingly not-subtle death wish. Oh, to be young and in love.
“You’re throwing yourself into danger for no reason again,” he says. “Just like when you stormed up to fight the Erudite with only a… a pocket knife to protect yourself.”
I hear the words “doesn’t seem to value her own life” again and again.
Four insists on going with the others to spy on the meeting between Jack Kang and the representative of the Faction responsible for a string of genocide-esque mass murders that he wants to make peace with. Would you be surprised to know that nothing in Insurgent has ever gone the way a character thought it would? Because in the time it takes you to say, “Why is this character’s motivation like this? How is this even supposed to-“, Tris and her friends are hiding underneath a bridge and Jack finds that he has exactly zero leverage against the people who have already taken over the world.
“Max,” Jack says. [Max is a Dauntless leader] “Where’s Jeanine? I thought she would at least have the courtesy to show up herself.” […]
“I should inform you that this will not be a negotiation,” Max says. “In order to negotiate, you have to be on even footing, and you, Jack, are not.”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that you are the only disposable faction. Candor does not provide us with protection, sustenance, or technological innovation. Therefore you are expendable to us.”
Max demands that Jack return Eric, allow traitor Dauntless to search Candor HQ for Divergent, and provide the Erudite with names of everyone not injected with simulation serum. Tris notices that Max isn’t sounding like Max, because he says “testy” and “no self-respecting Dauntless man would say the word ‘testy'”, so Tris concludes that Jeanine is communicating to him through an earpiece from one specific glass building a quarter-mile away. Obviously.
Meanwhile, Jack grabs at Max’s throat, and then one of Tris’s friends shoots Max. For some reason. Look, if you’re reading Insurgent for things like “narrative pacing” or “tension”, well, um, maybe you could just read each chapter veeeeeery slowly.
It erupts into a shootout as Tris and Four run to the building where, inexplicably, Jeanine apparently actually is. Where Peter is.
Three figures run down the alley. One is blond. One is tall. And one is Peter. […]
“You traitor,” I say to Peter. “I knew it. I knew it.”
“Sounds like your friends need you,” Peter says with the flash of a smile— or bared teeth, I can’t tell.
He lifts his gun, and behind me, Tobias lifts his own […] Behind him, the blond woman— Jeanine, probably— and the tall Dauntless traitor turn the corner. Though I don’t have a weapon, and I don’t have a plan
It’s ok, Tris. Neither does this book.
“So you have a choice. You can let us go, and help them, or you can die trying to follow us.” […]
I almost scream. We both know what I’m going to do.
“I hope you die,” I say.
Which is as good of an excuse as any to link you to this.
Question of the day: What songs do you find yourself inappropriately singing to yourself in public?