In which Tris goes through her fear landscape and guess who was mostly right…
I am ready. I step into the room, armed not with a gun or a knife, but with the plan I made night before.
You made plans last night for this test? After you found about the Erudite want to kill the Abnegation? What is wrong with you? Also, thanks for not sharing those plans, Tris. She wishes she knew the order in which her fears will appear. I thought she didn’t even know what those fear would be.
First fear: she’s out in a field and hears the crows approaching.
Tobias told me to figure out what this simulation means. He was right; it isn’t about the bird. It’s about control.
Is it about losing control or not having control over a situation? Those are 2 different things. Either one doesn’t apply when a bunch of birds are trying to kill you. This time, Tris doesn’t scream or anything, but she crouches and figures she needs power, so a gun magically appears in the grass. She starts shooting down the birds and the simulation moves on.
Where? To the glass box filling with water. And Tris explains this isn’t about drowning, but about weakness. Let me get this straight: Tris isn’t afraid of dying? At all? She’s afraid of being weak and she needs to be strong enough to break the glass. WTF? Fun fact: astenophobia is the fear of fainting or weakness. Most people who have this phobia are afraid of fainting, especially in a public place. So, I don’t really see the connection between drowning and fainting.
She has some trouble breaking the glass, thinking that maybe she could wait until the tank is full, but then she says “No. I can’t let myself drown. I can’t.” Well, book, is it about drowning or not? It can’t be both ways. Anyway, Tris is special and she finds her inner strength, finally breaking the glass.
Next the simulation advances to her drowning in the middle of an ocean. She holds to a rock while the water hits her. Guess what this fear is about? Not about drowning, of course. It’s about her being out of control. If we take her logic into account, wouldn’t this be the same fear as the crows then? And if we take only my logic into account, wouldn’t this be the same fear as drowning in a glass box? Either way, this book doesn’t understand fear. Tris gets up on the rock and starts running which means she regained control.
Fear number four: being burnt alive while Peter and initiates are watching. This chapter is so dull. It’s just rehashing everything we already know. This time, Tris doesn’t explain what fear is this, but I’m pretty sure it’s not fear of dying or fear of fire. She overcomes it by making it rain. Useful skill for real life as everybody can just make it rain with their minds.
I wish I was like Tobias and had only four fears to face, but I’m not that fearless.
I wish that too, but for a whole other reason.
The next fear is something new. She’s in her old bedroom in the Abnegation quarter, but one of the walls is covered in mirrors. She looks outside the window and the man from the aptitude test is there (see, I told you he’ll appear again) with a bunch of featureless men. That’s creepy. In an instant, they are in her room, while Tris is pressing against the mirror wall. She figures out they are there to kidnap and kill her, like Peter, Drew and Al. So, she is afraid of dying. She finds a weapon behind a closet door and starts shooting at them. But they are too many and then zombies (?) pour into the room and she just goes inside the closet to calm her heartbeat. And it works! Guys, all you have to do in the middle of a zombie apocalypse is to hide in a closet and be calm.
And then Tobias is standing in front of me.
But I’m not afraid of Tobias. I look over my shoulder. Maybe there’s something behind me that I’m supposed to focus on. But no — behind me is just a four-poster bed.
Got what fear is this? Simulation Tobias starts kissing and undressing her.
My fear is being with him. I have been wary of affection all my life, but I didn’t know how deep that wariness went.
Are you kidding me? There are tons of scenes where Tobias touches her and she touches him, and there is no wariness. She’s the one initiating those contacts in some scenes. And the make out in the train: she was straddling basically and she wasn’t afraid. I actually think the make out scene would have transformed into a hook up scene if Tobias didn’t interrupt their kissing to mention the war. Yeah, this book is messed up. Also, Tris makes it sound she has a fear of intimacy, but the setting suggests a fear of sex. Those two are different. And you know what? Both of them are serious and it’s offending this book trivializes them, mainly because one of the causes for both of these fears is sexual abuse. I get it that Tris might have anxiety because it would be her first time, but that doesn’t mean it’s a fear.
She says she’s not going to sleep with him in a simulation, and then proceeds to make out with him, while pushing him against the bedpost. Mixed messages much? If you’re a teenager and stumbled on my blog, here’s what I have to say to you: it’s okay to be anxious before your first time and you don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to. Having sex while tensed can be painful and it’s no fun. So, wait until you’re in the right state of mind. And use a condom.
Her last fear is the one where she has to kill her family. Jeanine is the one making her do that.
My worst fear: that my family will die, and that I will be responsible.
That’s why you’re here taking this stupid test, instead of warning them about the danger they are in, Tris. Jeanine starts a countdown and Tris angst on what to do, while her family say it’s okay to kill them. In the end, Tris drops the gun and lets Jeanine kill her. That’s how the chapter end.
I feel like Roth hated Tris’s character. I mean look at Tobias’s fear landscape: fear of heights, claustrophobia, fear of killing his mother (I think) and fear of Marcus. All of them are specific phobias and can be traced to something traumatic in his past. Then look at Tris’s fear landscape and you just see a bunch of situations that would be fearful for anybody. Her character has no specific fear. Like I said in other posts, she just exists…