Divergent Recap – Chapter 15

In which Tris’s mother comes to visit her as expected…

It’s Visiting Day and the day they get their rankings, but Tris doesn’t seem to care about that. Everybody else is nervous because they don’t know if their family will visit. I wonder what happened to cellphones in this world, or with means of communication in general. Eric stops by to give some advice in case their families do come and visit them. The advice is: “don’t seem too attached, faction before blood, bla bla bla.” The Dauntless don’t attach, not even to each other.

On my way out of the dormitory, Eric stops me.
“I may have underestimated you, Stiff,” he says. “You did well yesterday.”
I stare up at him. For the first time since I beat Molly, guilt pinches my gut.
If Eric thinks I did something right, I must have done it wrong.

Oh, so now you figured it out that kicking Molly repeatedly until she got internal bleeding was bad. Because evil Eric thought it was good.

They leave for the Pit, Christina and Will are in front of Tris, and she doesn’t want to interrupt them. I bet those two will get together at some point. Only Al is missing. At the Pit, there are mostly Dauntless families. Tris is happy that Molly’s and Drew’s families didn’t come. Because, you know, she’s a jackass with zero empathy. Peter’s family has come.

Neither of his parents looks like him [Peter]. They both wear black pants and white shirts, typical Candor outfits, and his father speaks so loudly I can almost hear him from where I stand. Do they know what kind of person their son is?

I’m guessing that they do. They probably know him better than you, Tris, as you only seem to think Peter is evil because Christina told you so.

Will’s sister and Christina’s mother are also there. I don’t get the angst of choosing another faction and the whole “parents don’t visit traitors” thing that Tris thought during their ceremony. It’s like this book thrives on confusing shit like this. Tris’s mother is also there, dressed up in gray and Tris is so happy she almost starts crying.

She smells like soap and laundry detergent.

Things the Dauntless are missing or something? How do their clothes smell anyway? Sweat? Yep, I’m reading too much into this.

The old habits are back. I should let her speak first. I shouldn’t let the conversation stay focused on me for too long.

Funny how these habits kick off when convenient. Of course, her mother says that this day is a special occasion, so Tris can talk mostly about her. That’s a gift to Tris. I don’t get how Abnegation can be selfless if they consider letting a person talk about herself a gift. You can’t be selfless with someone if you don’t hear what she needs. Meh, I stand my ground and say these factions are more like cults. Stupid, annoying cults.

The last week and a half has been more affectionless than I realized.

I thought the Abnegation didn’t believe in showing affection. Am I reading the same book?

Tris asks if her father went to see Caleb, but her mom answers that he was selfish lately, so he’s drowning in work. If you’re Abnegation and calls someone selfish, apparently you’re angry with that person or so Tris says. We also find out that the Erudite have prohibited Abnegation visitors from entering their compound. Which makes no sense, because the Abnegation are all the government, so they could easily overrule any prohibition. And, they should if they want to promote peace. Or are the faction acting independently from each other? If they are, what’s the point of having a government anyway?

Apparently Visiting Day is they day when all the Dauntless are visited by their families. Why can’t Dauntless born visit the families whenever they want? I mean, they live in the same fucking place. Well, this was thrown there to show that Four is alone which means he probably transferred.

“There’s one of my instructors.” I lean closer to her and say, “He’s kind of intimidating.”
“He’s handsome,” she says.

I’ll call this “the use of mother to validate the love interest”.

Four’s eyes widen at the sight of her mother. Probably because he knows her or something. But he comes over to talk to them. And the mother gets a name! Finally! Her name is Natalie. Four is uncomfortable shaking her hand. Let me guess. Four also came from Abnegation. But Tris doesn’t figure that out. Four says that Tris is doing well, Natalie is glad because she knows how Dauntless initiation can be, Four gives Tris some sort of look, and Tris wonders what it means because she still doesn’t want to admit she likes her, and he likes her back.

Natalie says that Four looks familiar. Way to go, book, giving hints with a sledgehammer. There is only one guy mentioned who transferred from Abnegation to Dauntless and that’s Marcus’s son. You remember Marcus, they guy who allegedly beat his son to the point he just left . I wonder if that’s true. Also, I don’t get how Natalie doesn’t recognize Four. It’s been 2 years since he transferred. He couldn’t have changed that much. Whatever. I don’t even want to think how many chapters it will take until we get this revelation.

We find out that few people associate with Abnegation these days. Because in that world, no one could think of a reason to associate with the people holding the power. Because in this society, there is no corruption, even though everything is so fucking flawed.

Maybe Four was one of the Erudite, which explains why he hates Abnegation.Or maybe he believes the articles the Erudite release about us – them, I remind myself.

This is supposed to be misdirection. There is the possibility that the articles are actually true, and he was beaten by his father. But let’s not think too much, Tris, because thoughts damage the brain or something.

Tris and her mother are heading to Christina, but a Candor woman stops them, asking if they’ve seen her son, Albert. Huh, so I guess Al’s parent are here too.

She isn’t reacting the way some of the other transfers’ parents are – her neck bent, looking around at the Pit walls, at the Pit ceiling, at the chasm. Of course she isn’t curious – she’s Abnegation. Curiosity is foreign to her.

Except that curiosity in deeply ingrained in the human nature and there are several neurobiological mechanisms underlying it.

Anyway,  Will’s sister is extremely rude to Natalie. Because she knows that the volunteer agency where Tris’s mother works actually hoards food for their own faction under the pretense they are giving it to the factionless. That might actually be true. We’ve seen how the Abnegation gives bread to the factionless. Tris’s gets angry and threatens to beat Cara, but her mothers intervene and pulls her away.

She sounds gentle, but her hand squeezes my arm so hard I almost cry out from the pain as she drags me away.

Her mother probably hit a nasty bruise. Or are all Tris’s bruises healed already. Natalie drags her to an unfamiliar hallway and Tris asks how does she know where she’s going.

“I said no questions about me. And I meant it. How are you really doing, Beatrice? How have the fights been? How are you ranked?”

Yeah, this seems about right. Nobody answers a fucking simple question. Beatrice is suspicious of how her mother knows about the initiation process, because she believes it’s not so easy to find out. I would say it is. Her mother could have asked a Dauntless transfer, during her initiation. Tris thinks she’s close to the bottom which Natalie says it’s good because no one looks too closely at the bottom ranked initiates. Then she asks Tris about the test results.

Tori’s warning pulses in my head. Don’t tell anyone. I should tell that my result was Abnegation, because that’s what Tori recorded in the system.

I thought the results were automatically recorded. So, it makes no sense to let a proctor tamper with the data captured by the machine. A proctor just gives you the instructions. How would it be if standardized test results were so easy to tamper it? Tris decides she can trust her mother, so she tells her the results were inconclusive.

“Many children who are raised Abnegation receive that kind of result. We don’t why. But you have to be very careful during the next stage of initiation, Beatrice. Stay in the middle of the pack, no matter what you do. Don’t draw attention to yourself. […]”

So, I guess B is not so special after all. And how does Natalie know that many kids from Abnegation get inconclusive results if the proctor change that kind of result? She should also tell Beatrice how to stay inconspicuous, especially as she doesn’t know what’s the next stage of initiation. If she truly wants to keep Tris safe as she proclaims.

Tris asks if all this is because she’s Divergent (her mom doesn’t let her say the word aloud), but her mother says she can’t explain. Cool, so this Divergent crap will go on and on until the end of the book I presume. I wonder if it will be explained by then.

There’s something I want you to do,” she says. “I can’t go visit your brother, but you can, when initiation is over. So I want you to go find him and tell him to research the simulation serum.”

I’m going to be obnoxious, but the Abnegation is the fucking government. They could ask and research what the Erudite are doing, instead of relying on a sociopathic teen. Tris wants some explanations, but of course, her mom doesn’t give her any. Because no one explains anything in this book, they are all just acting like prats.

“I should leave. It will make you look better if you and I don’t seem attached to each other.”
“I don’t care how I look to them,” I say.
“You should,” she says. “I suspect they are already monitoring you.”

Didn’t her mother say that those in the bottom of the pack aren’t looked closely? *sigh*

And then her mother leaves and at some point turns to tell Tris to have a piece of cake for her because the chocolate is delicious. And that’s when Tris figures out her mother was Dauntless before. That would explain why her mother wasn’t upset and the way she knew about the compound and initiation. I would say it’s interesting, but I’m still enraged by the lack of explanations.


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