Labels and categories can be tricky things. They often guide us to things that we like or things that we identify with. But they aren’t always accurate or adequate to describe individual items within them. Take dystopian YA fiction, for example. Veronica Roth’s Divergent can be placed nicely within this category, only the problem is that it’s a lot more than that label might imply.
Divergent is the story of a girl named Beatrice Prior who lives in a future Chicago where civilization, as we know it, has collapsed. What’s risen to take its place is a society fractured into five factions named Amity, Abnegation, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Each of these factions lives according to very specific and almost absolute ideals. Abnegation, for example, the faction that Beatrice was born into, believes in selflessness and all of its members dedicate themselves to this ideal, acting to help those around them. The Candor faction believes in truth; Amity, friendship and peace; Erudite, the pursuit of knowledge; Dauntless, bravery.