Regarding the film review “‘Divergent’ just doesn’t diverge quite enough” (March 23, page E4).
Anyone observing movie and book trends will have noticed the predominant genre of dystopian fiction. The latest is “Divergent”, a film based on the best-selling trilogy by Veronica Roth.
Despite many critics’ harsh reviews, this film is not about the glorification of being different from those around you. It encompasses the theme that any extreme behavior one strives for, despite good intentions, can negate a balanced character.
The five factions in the movie: Erudite, Dauntless, Abnegation, Candor, and Amity, each struggles to display the characteristics their faction values most. For Erudite it is the pursuit of knowledge; for Candor it is honesty, Abnegation believes in selflessness, and Dauntless is about bravery. These belief systems, set up to avoid war, also bring out undesirable characteristics. For instance, Erudites prize knowledge so much that they are unsympathetic to human needs. Dauntless loses sight of why they value courage.
Tris’ divergence is not a model for young teens to say “Look at me, I’m so special!” Rather, it is a call for balance between the virtues highlighted in the movie.
In short, Divergent is a beautiful story about a young girl who struggles with who she wants to be and where she fits in the world in spite of the predetermined expectations of her.
Teenagers relate to this, which makes Divergent a popular choice. Through her journey, Tris works to pass the near-impossible Dauntless initiation process, as well as hides her divergence, which upon discovery, would mean death.
Although it is not a warm fuzzy tale, it causes people to confront their moral compass and what values they should hold in highest esteem. Inevitably the next movie, Insurgent, will be eagerly awaited by many young fans.