Top 5 quotes from 'Divergent': quote 1
Veronica Roth’s Divergent is a smartly written dystopia story about a society that is divided into five factions and is threatened by the Divergent. (See my review here.) Here are some quotes that are representative of themes in the book.
“I am Divergent. / And I cannot be controlled.” This is the triumphant declaration of Tris when she finally embraces who she is. While most people in her society fit neatly in little boxes, she does not. It is her flexibility of thinking that allows her to overcome the mind control of the intelligent faction Erudite.
With Henry Ford’s implementation of the assembly line, America was able to increase its industrial production by having its workers specialize. This specialization helps to create docile workers because they lose the flexibility of mind and the possibility to think in creative ways, especially when the rest of the system is set up to dissuade change. Creativity happens at the intersection. There are far fewer intersections for those who specialize.
TV and entertainment are the opiate of the masses. When people sit back and let entertainment take over their lives, they are no longer actively engaged in the creative process. Instead, they are being controlled by a box, a Hollywood release schedule or the click of a mouse that allows them to feel like they are accomplishing something when the reality is they are manipulating pixels on a screen.
Consumerism keeps people from being involved in their communities. The competition to be on the cutting edge, to have something better than the neighbors and to get bigger and “better” things that are supposed to make life easier works to keep people from growing. It takes money to have all of those conveniences and to be able to afford the extravagances of life. When something functional would save resources and cost less, people will look for a luxury version of that item, and that means having to earn more money. The more time people spend at work to afford those items, the less time they have to get involved with their family, friends and communities.
With the news continuing to scream fear, anger and hate, people are learning that it is better to stay away from other people by dividing communities into liberal and conservative and then dividing those groups again, the news media is able to garner ratings by feeding their respective groups the fear of destruction and decay. The right, represented by Fox News, with its constant cries of moral degradation is no less threatening than the left, represented by MSNBC, with its constant cries of global warming and environmental degradation. The problem is that these 24-hour news channels do not produce actual news in any reliable quantity. Instead, they produce speculation from analysts with a perspective that supports whatever fear mongering the news media is trying to propagate to further the interests of conservatives or liberals.
It is hard to believe that anything can change in a world where politicians regularly lie and take advantage of their power. There are few people in the United States who would ever belong to the abnegation faction. Most people look out for their own interests, which is the foundation of the capitalist system – people are selfish and will do what is best for themselves. Presidents, senators, representatives are looking to keep the power they have, and most will do whatever it takes to stay in power. Instead of doing what is best for the country, they choose to do what is best for their regional interests. The U.S. is slowly becoming the Untied States of America.
Rather than falling into specific categories and labels, people need to come together to create a better world. Destruction, anger and hatred are easy. Their opposites are much harder. It is hard to step out of familiar places and the familiar habits of every day, but the rewards are not only a richer life but also a richer community. Even Tris only has a predilection to three of the five factions, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t learn the other two. It just means that it becomes more difficult for her. It is easy to fall into the familiar footsteps of a familiar path. However, those who open themselves to the idea of becoming divergent will find that their lives sparkle with acts of creation. Throw off the control of society and diverge.
See quotes 2 to 5 here