There’s no denying that dystopian stories have grown in popularity. Such stories have captured and engaged the avid and reluctant readers alike. Novels such as Veronica Roth’s Divergent series, like others in the genre of late have birthed high interest novels that reluctant readers want to read. The reluctant reader isn’t the only audience affected by the current dystopian genre craze, but extends to individual of all ages, gender, religion, and ethnicity due to the strong characters that “diverge” from societal norms common to this genre. Rather than longing for that which is out of their reach, these dystopian characters find the means to attain or fight for what they want or believe in.
Whether a fictional dystopian society or reality, humanity in general, as it is in our nature, always longs for betterment of our circumstances. We often relabel that longing as hope or desire, and is often a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic desires. Characters such as Tris (Beatrice Prior) in the Divergent series examples how her desire to stay safe evolves beyond just her family and faction, but to those she once considered her enemies. Realizing that selflessness is not without bravery allowed her to share the same belief as another divergent character, Four (Tobias Eaton), that all individuals possess all virtues characteristic to each and every faction… honesty (Candor), selflessness (Abnegation), intelligence (Erudite), peace (Amity), and bravery (Dauntless).
The Divergent series is a dystopian thriller of a society shrouded in secrecy. Though the books are told from the point of view of a female protagonist, these books should appeal to all genders alike. Each reader of the series will inevitably find a character they most closely identify with, and find encouragement in the choices made and wisdom discovered as they mature and diverge regardless of aptitude testing. The characters in Veronica Roth’s Divergent series have the ability to assist the reader to confront and possibly overcome their own difficulties by combining virtues the reader already has within themselves similar to the characters in the Divergent series. For some, the Divergence series may serve as a form of bibliotherapy, especially for those that struggle with fear.
I found it interesting to discover that the divergence subject matter isn’t unique to only Tris and the Divergent series, but references to others, including those from Biblical times, can be read in the blog post Are you Divergent? located on the Jews For Jesus website.