Tris Died: Allegiant Chapters 51-54

So now we can all speculate wildly over whether the only reason this is the only book in the series to be told from Tris and Tobias’s perspective is because there needed to be a way to tell the denouement after Tris died.
Fun fact: I’m actually writing this post in O’Hare! Where most of this book took place. My flight has been delayed two hours. I’m already feeling more emotions than this book gave me.

Allegiant: Chapter 51

Tobias and Evelyn walk to a rendezvous point to meet Marcus and Johanna and negotiate peace, while Tobias reflects on the events about to transpire.

I guess Tris was right – when you have to choose between two bad options, you pick the one that saves the people you love.

Funny you should say that, Tobias.
But first Tobias meets with Peter, who is still in this novel expressely so that he can forget about being in this novel, which I can only knock so much.

[I] hold up the vial of memory serum. “Are you still set on this?”
He nods.
“You could just do the work, you know,” I say. “You could make better decisions, make a better life.”
“Yeah, I could,” he says. “But I won’t. We both know that.”

This also works as a metaphor for how this book’s plot could have been better.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, not that this is close to a concern of the book’s, Tobias takes a moment to explain what this means, as though it’s that fucking complicated.

I know that change is difficult. […] He is afraid that he will not be able to put in that work

We know! Know how we know? Because we just fucking read that. Allegiant isn’t even overexplaining anymore – it’s doubting its audience has any reading comprehension.
Peter wipes his mind, asking Tobias to remind him of nothing of his past life, and the moment happens with an immense lack of meaning.

“Okay. Well… here goes.” He lifts the vial up to the light like he is toasting me.
When he touches it to his mouth, I say, “Be brave.”
Then he swallows.
And I watch Peter disappear.

This feels like a “if a tree fell in a forest, but hasn’t played a substantial role in the plot since the middle of the previous book, does it make a sound” kind of thing.

“Hey! Peter!” I shout […]
Peter stands by the doorway to Erudite headquarters, looking clueless. At the sound of his name – which I have told him at least ten times since he drank the serum – he raises his eyebrows, pointing to his chest.

This is a pretty satisfying conclusion to the character so fucked up he stabbed someone in the eye with a butter knife, then arbitrarily decided to save Tris’s life, then puttered around O’Hare for a while.
Evelyn proposes that she’ll step down, surrender the city and her weapons, and leave the city forever, and in return the city will vote on a new leader and a new social system, and Marcus is ineligible.

Marcus laughs. I’m not sure if it’s a mocking laugh or a disbelieving one. He’s equally capable of either sentiment

Well, they’re completely different things, so that’s kind of like saying “I’m equally capable of eating ice cream or eating asparagus. AREN’T I A MERCURIAL BEING?”

“No deal,” Marcus says. “I am the leader of these people.”

Then Johanna points out that he isn’t and agrees to the treaty, and… that’s it. This part of the story, which was the entirety of the first two books, is apparently over. I’ve had subway rides that had a more satisfying climax than this.
Tobias then meets up with Uriah’s family, and explain what happened to their son, as well as his tenuous role in it. They say they need some time to think about it. So, yeah, this is also a really exciting and totally thought-through part of the conclusion.
Tobias and the others then return to the Bureau. Tobias briefly feels relief that the plan worked, “because there is no one in sight”, although presumably the lack of airplanes gassing the entirety of Chicago might also have been something of a giveaway. Cara then meets them to tell them the bad news.

I realize: Of course Tris would go into the Weapons Lab instead of Caleb.

The chapter doesn’t quite end with “And then I… have… flashbacks…”, but it’s pretty close to it.

Chapter 52

When her body first hit the net, all that registered was a gray blur. I pulled her across it and her hand was small, but warm, and then she stood before me, short and thin and plain and in all ways unremarkable – except that she had jumped first. The Stiff had jumped first.
Even I didn’t jump first.

This is the entire chapter, save for another two sentences, because I guess everything in the book requires an unending analysis of the events going on, save for the narrator’s girlfriend’s death.

Her eyes were so stern, so insistent.
Beautiful.

This is just to say
I have eaten
The plums
That were in
The icebox

Chapter 53

This is followed by another tiny, tiny, tiny chapter, for some reason.

But that wasn’t the first time I ever saw her. I saw her in the hallways at school, and at my mother’s false funeral, and walking the sidewalks in the Abnegation sector. I saw her, but I didn’t see her; no one saw her the way she truly was until she jumped.
I suppose a fire that burns that bright is not meant to last.

That’s the chapter in its entirety. I’m not saying it’s inherently stupid to suddenly do a series of super short chapters – I almost like these two chapters, if only the prose in this book were any more bearable – but I’m not sure what we got out of these? Tobias thought Tris was cool, but didn’t notice her at first? This is the sort of revelation he has about his time with her in the immediate wake of her death?

Chapter 54

Tobias and the others go see Tris’s body, and Tobias narrates something actually relevant to how she just died, which technically only took three chapters.

I don’t know how long it takes for me to realize that [she] isn’t going to [wake up], that she is gone. But when I do I feel all the strength go out of me, and I fall to my knees beside the table and I think I cry, then, or at least I want to, and everything inside me screams for just one more kiss, one more word, one more glance, one more.

Honestly, I kinda liked this one. There’s some actual emotion in this one, unlike the other two chapters. Although I guess we all grieve in different ways, so maybe I’m being harsh? I don’t know. Maybe the problem is that Tris’s death was so insanely overshadowed over the last two books that I feel like I already had to process any emotions I had over it?
Or maybe the fact that next week is finally our last week of Divergent is completely overshadowing my feelings at the moment, which are something like, “Thank God, finally.

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0 comments

  1. Hanna Reply

    And it’s gonna be two whole movies! And they will probably both be two hours long, can you imagine?

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  2. Bellomy Reply

    This is just to say
    I have eaten
    The plums
    That were in
    The icebox

    Ah, yes. A poem also known as “The Emperor has no clothes.”

    Hey, English teachers, IT’S JUST A GRAMMATICALLY INCORRECT SENTENCE. You know it, I know it, why the fuck is it in my English textbook?

    And for next week’s class we’ll be discussing “Ulysses”. Hint: The whole purpose of a book is to communicate something. Keep that in mind, Joyce. Keep it in fucking mind.

    …I may have some unresolved issues with High School English, okay?

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    • AW Reply

      See, I like my poems simple. Plus this was explained to me as a passive-aggressive dig. Imagine the narrator looking down at the last plum as he says the lines, except he looks right into (her) eyes as he looses that last one.

      they were delicious
      so sweet
      and so cold

      (buuuuuuurn)

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      • Bellomy Reply

        I read it that way too. Problem is, there is zero justification for it. It’s possible, of course, but equally possible it’s a straight apology.

        It’s fine for a poem to be simple. It’s just, you know, not a poem. There’s no rhyme scheme, no rhythm to the language, no point being made or story being told.

        All it is, is a sentence, written in a grammatically incorrect way.

        Once again, a counterintuitive but relevant analogy would be “Ulysses”. “Ulysses” is a work of genius in many ways. It is awful a horribly, horribly awful book.

        (Don’t take this as me yelling at you or anything – this is like drugs to me. I love talking about this stuff.)

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        • Bellomy Reply

          (And the last sentence of the third paragraph should be “It is an awful, awful, horribly written book. No clue how it got mangled.)

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  3. Delilah Reply

    The thing that surprised me, other than my complete lack of understanding of why Roth had a series of super short chapters (other than to get my hopes up that Tris somehow wasn’t dead because of the toggling perspectives I’d gotten used to), was that Tobias was the only character I felt sorry for. I didn’t really care that Tris died, so much as I cared that the one person Tobias ever thought gave a damn about him was gone. And judging from the denouement, he’s going to be alone forever. That actually made me sad enough to try to mentally rewrite the ending when I first read the book. Something I never do apart from my own stories.

    And yeah, I have no idea how they’re going to make this into two movies without some serious editing. I still think this entire book should have been sporadic backstory in Divergent, if mentioned at all.

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  4. Honey Reply

    A quote from Veronica Roth which seemed very applicable considering the speed at which this story is going (emphasis mine)…

    “I’ve said before that I’ve always seen Four…as a plot-mover alongside Tris, so he was the obvious choice for the second POV (though not the only one I tried).”

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