Divergent Recap – Chapter 23

In which Tris acts weak, but she’s still a sociopath…

Tris sleeps in Four room that night. Nothing happens as he sleeps on the floor, but she’s quite a creeper as she watches him sleeping so she could fall asleep. The next morning, she wakes up in pain (duh) and has a large blue bruise on her cheek. She decides to take Four advice and go to breakfast and look vulnerable.

Four comes out of the bathroom, his hair wet, and this book misses a great moment to show us Four shirtless. Even the romance part is half-assed. He touches her cheek, asking how she feels, then he touches her side. I guess she likes it. Tris isn’t really forthcoming with what she feels. Oh, I forgot she’s a sociopath. My bad. Well, she says she would like to stay with him. 

They go to breakfast and Four’s the first to go in. Tris actually realizes that she’s weak from all the pain.

I pull away from the wall and walk into the dining hall without another thought. A few steps in, I remember I’m supposed to look like I’m cowering, so I slow my pace and hug the wall, keeping my head down.

I thought she was in too much pain to walk rapidly and stand tall. And what does “hug the wall” mean? Is it an expression or is she actually hugging a wall? I’m confused.

She sits at a table with Will and Christina, no sign of Al. Uriah also comes to sit next to her. Will asks her what happened and she tells them it was Peter, Drew and Al.

Peter’s eyes find mine across the dining hall, and I have to force myself to look away. It brings a bitter taste to my mouth to show him that he scares me, but I have to. Four was right. I have to do everything I can to make sure I don’t get attacked again.

Peter attacked her because she was ranked first. He didn’t attack her because she was so strong. Her acting weak doesn’t lower her rating. Therefore, Peter should continue to make her life miserable. Also, the weak wasn’t for the benefit of her friends, so they would protect her?

Apparently, Peter’s actions confirmed Tori’s warning and Tris believes that the Dauntless leaders murder the Divergent. Following Tris’s logic seems a sure way to insanity.

Uriah says something that the fight wasn’t fair and Christina reminds us about Peter stabbing Edward. Christina asks if Tris is sure the 3rd person was Al.

“It has to be desperation,” says Will. “He’s been acting… I don’t know. Like a different person. Ever since stage two started.”

We don’t see this changed Al before this scene, but we are getting an explanation after the assault happened. How convenient.

Drew enters the hallway. Remember that Four said Drew will live, but he’s not sure in what condition. Well, Four, you did a shitty job if the guy was up on his feet in less than 24 hours. I think he only punched Drew in the face because only his face is swollen and purple. Will asks, no, hisses, if Tris did that, but she responds that it was someone else. She never saw who. Great, still a liar, I see. Uriah tells them they have to edge them out of the rankings, so their future will be damaged forever. Why don’t you just kill them or something?

The transfers follow Four. Christina tries to apologize for taking the flag and Tris is not really sure if she should forgive her or not.

I don’t know who I should rely on more, because I’m not sure who my true friends are.

Sweetie, you know all of them for 2 weeks only. Calling them friends is slightly far-fetched. You need time spent with someone until a friendship develops. Anyway, she forgives Christina, even though she would like to still be angry.

They climb higher and Will goes pale. Tris grabs his arm for support, but she is the one actually supporting him. Because she’s not weak, reader, and don’t you forget that. Four is an asshole, telling Drew to pick up the pace.

It’s a cruel joke, but it’s hard for me to fight off a smile. That is, until Four’s eyes shift to my arm around Will’s, and all the humor drains from them. His expression sends a chill through me. Is he…jealous?

That’s rule #15 in what I call “Rules for popular literature”: Hot guy must be insanely jealous.

They are going up in the glass building which is the only one standing among half-collapsed buildings. There are various Dauntless doing whatever. Oh, two of them are fighting with sticks. Four leads them to another room with graffitied walls and exposed pipes. That seems like a basement room or hallway, but apparently this room is right next to the glass room. I read somewhere that Roth is visually challenged or something and didn’t really picture anything while writing. It shows. All the description basically suck.

In this room, there’s a different kind of simulations happening. The fear landscape. Which is basically the same as the simulations before, but in this type of simulation they are aware as they face some of the fears in the previous simulations and some new fears. If you ask me, they were also aware in the previous simulations given the fact they remember about them.

That means that everyone will be like Divergent in the fear landscape.

Didn’t they want to reveal the Divergent? What’s the point of this fear landscape then?

Apparently, the last phase of initiation focuses on mental preparation because they have to control both their emotions and their body. Phase one focused on physical abilities (ha ha) and phase two focused on emotional mastery (ha ha ha ha). If I were to believe what happened in the book, the second phase was more like emotional torture. But, whatever.

Four informs them that phase three concludes with a final test (going through the fear landscape) in front of the Dauntless leaders. And this last stage is the one that counts the most.

“You can get past each obstacle in two ways. Either you find a way to calm down enough that the simulation registers a normal, steady heartbeat, or you find a way to face your fear, which can force the simulation to move on.”

See, they were aware in stage two as they also had to calm down. I’ll say it again: this book hates consistency. The initiates must spend the next week thinking about their fears and how they are going to face them.

Peter is all whiny because it is not fair if one person has seven fears and someone else has like twenty. Four takes this opportunity to shame Peter in front of everyone for being a coward and attacking a “short, skinny girl from Abnegation.” I thought she had bulging muscles or something? Now she’s skinny?

They go back to the dormitory and find Al there who has been crying. Geez, all Al is doing is crying in this book. Al wants to talk to Tris and he apologizes profoundly. Al, it’s not your fault you’re in a shitty book.

Somewhere inside me is a merciful, forgiving person. Somewhere there is a girl who tries to understand what people are going through, who accepts that people do evil things and that desperation leads them to darker places than they ever imagined. I swear she exists, and she hurts for the repentant boy I see in front of me.
But if I saw her, I wouldn’t recognize her.

Sociopath. I’m not saying what Al did wasn’t bad. But he stopped Peter when he was groping her and he didn’t hit her. Maybe he would have helped her in the end, you know. She shouldn’t forgive him immediately, but she shouldn’t be so mean either. Here’s her response:

“Stay away from me,” I say quietly. My body feels rigid and cold, and I am not angry, I am not hurt, I am nothing. I say, my voice low, “Never come near me again.”
Our eyes meet. His are dark and glassy. I am nothing.
“If you do, I swear to God I will kill you,” I say. “You coward.”

See? Sociopath, she doesn’t feel anything. She threatens a guy she’s gonna kill him and feels nothing. Again, why do people like this character?