“Divergent” rewrites the role of the female

The Newest in Dystopian; Divergent

Samantha Kummerer


The topic of dystopian worlds has sparked a prolific literary trend. From “Hunger Games” to “The Maze Runner,” “Divergent” now joins the ranks as the newest book-to-movie adaptation.


The newest fan craze trilogy, “Divergent,” made its onscreen debut on March 21. “Divergent” centers on a world, set in the ruins of Chicago, where citizens are divided by their virtues. The different “factions” are characterized as selfless, honest, brave, intelligent and peaceful.


Shailene Woodley portrays the main character of the film. The star gained her claim to fame in the late ABC Family’s “Secret Life of the American Teenager.” Appearing as a whining teenage mom there appeared the question of whether Woodley would be able to take on the role as a tough rebel warrior, Tris.  Yet what the screen revealed was that Woodley’s acting is capable of more than playing the victim.


The central plot of the film begins as Tris reaches the age of 16 and has to choose a faction to belong to for the rest of her life. Each teenager is tested the day before they choose and their results are supposed to then help them make this final decision. Tris’ test results, however, are inconclusive. This means she is among a group of individuals called Divergent, people who are combinations of multiple virtues. In our society we would simply see this as a normal human, yet in this future world Tris and others who are divergent are viewed as a threat to society, as they threaten to overthrow the balance.


The film follows Tris as she attempts to conceal her secret while she enters in the faction of her choice, Dauntless. Woodley’s not-so typical athletic structure coincides with Tris’s composition. The Dauntless faction appears as ruthless and demanding, and with this environment Tris is seen as an underdog as she works her way up from the bottom.

By Samantha Kummerer, E23

The film rewrites the idea of the female. While Tris first appears as weak she soon rises as a heroine with brute force and determination. Along the way she catches the heart of initiate trainer, Four, played by Theo James.  While Four appears in multiple scenes to be protecting her, the two have an equal relationship, one where they share strengthens and equality. In this relationship “Divergent” again rewrites the role of the female, allowing her to be in love and thrive independently.


Between the intense love growing between the two and the utter heart wrenching conflict that spurs from the end, this action drama will have audience members gripped throughout the entity. Although there may be points of questioning when the ending is going to come, one will certainty feel those extra twenty minutes at the end when conflict after conflict keeps appearing.