Divergent Recap – Chapter 34

In which evil villain spills her evil plan because nobody hates this trope…

Tris and Tobias taken to the Abnegation headquarters, with Tris losing blood from her shoulder where she was shot. They get to an office with just a desk, a computer and two empty chairs. And behold, Jeanine is there talking on the phone. What? They have phones? Since when? Why are we just hearing about this? Do only the Erudite have phones? Or they are available to anybody? If Tris’s family had access to the phone, why didn’t Tris called them to warn them? Really, the worldbuilding in this book sucks.

“Well, send some of them back on the train, then,” she [Jeanine] says. “It needs to be well guarded, it’s the most important part–I’m not talk–I have to go.”

Let me guess, this piece of dialogue will be important and will probably prove something about Tris in the next chapters.

“Divergent rebels,” one of the Dauntless says. […] ”
Yes, I can see that.” She takes her glasses off, folds them, and sets them on the desk. She probably wears the glasses out of vanity rather than necessity, because she thinks they make her look smarter — my father said so.

Yeah, some “rebels” they are. Just look at all the stuff they did to stop Jeanine. Super rebellious. You know, Tris, maybe she wears those glasses out of necessity. People lose their sight with age and just because she takes them off doesn’t mean she sees perfectly without them. Then, we have a stupid conversation happening: Jeanine was expecting Tris to be Divergent, but not Tobias. And her theory is that Tobias’s Divergence is weaker and he actually belongs to the Abnegation. Uhm, say what? Now, this Divergence thing happens in shades or what? We don’t have only Divergent or non-Divergent, but also various degree of Divergence? WTF, book? So, Tris is the most special Divergent or something.

Tobias tells her to kill them already because she has a lot of Abnegation leaders to kill. There are just 50, book. They should all be dead by now. Tris is dizzy because she’s continually loosing blood. Why isn’t she unconscious already? Jeanine tells them they are going to serve an important purpose because she has another simulation serum to test on them. Because apparently planning a war isn’t time consuming and evil Jeanine needed a hobby for her spare time. Somebody asks her why and she answers with a stupid question wondering why most Divergents are “weak-willed, God-fearing nobodies from Abnegation”. So, Abnegation are all religious?

“Weak willed,” Tobias scoffs. “It requires a strong will to manipulate a simulation, last time I checked. Weak-willed is mind-controlling an army because it’s too hard to train one yourself.”

Actually, Tris and Tobias are pretty weak willed. They prefer napping instead of warning their old faction. Tobias opted for a meaningless job instead of taking the leader position and do some good. Tris choose to be unnecessarily harsh with Al instead of taking the high road. They are pretty weak characters and this contributes to my dislike for them. Also, manipulating a simulation is like lucid dreaming as I mentioned in a previous post. That doesn’t require strong will, but rather more awareness. Jeanine is strong willed because she has a goal and works really hard towards achieving it.

“I am not a fool,” says Jeanine. “A faction of intellectuals is no army. We are tired of being dominated by a bunch of self-righteous idiots who reject wealth and advancement, but we couldn’t do this on out own. And your Dauntless leaders were all too happy to oblige me if I guaranteed them a place in our new, improved government.”

Dude, you are fucking poor or something. You don’t have enough resources to begin with. Or so Tris said. You can’t have wealth in such a society. You can aim to a better distribution of resources, but not wealth. Also, a faction of intellectuals could be a deadly army, especially if you have stuff like nanotechnology.

“At whose expense?” I ask, my voice thick and sluggish. “All that wealth…doesn’t come from nowhere.”

You studied economics, Tris? Probably not. Wealth is not just resources-based, but also human-capital based. There are forms of wealth that appear from practically thin air. Most art for example. What matters there is the human effort. Creating software is just a mind activity. So, the human mind can create a lot of wealth.

“Currently, the factionless are a drain on our resources,” Jeanine replies. “As in Abnegation. I am sure that once the remains of your old faction are absorbed into the Dauntless army, Candor will cooperate and we will finally be able to get on with things.”

Yeah, sure, the most intelligent people is going to kill the only people who are actually working in that society. Oh, I forgot the Erudite are a hipster faction. And what about the Amity? Or no one cares about the hippies?

Tris realized that Jeanine wants to control the Abnegation, Tobias starts to threaten Jeanine, she says to him that he’s here because of his temper. She expected Tobias to understand that not all these people are innocent because he was Marcus’s son. Anyway, she finally asks that why question telling them that a lot of Abnegation people and children will be her responsibility and she needs a way to control them if they are Divergent.

“Therefore, it was necessary that I develop a new form of simulation to which they are not immune. I have been forced to reassess my own assumptions. That is where you come in.” She paces a few steps to the right. “You are correct to say that you are strong-willed. I cannot control your will. But there a few things I can control.”

No, they are not strong-willed, Jeanine. And it’s not so hard to mess with the brain circuitry of willpower. Give them L-Dopa. They’ll probably end killing themselves after a few days.

Blood trails down my back. The pain has been so constant for the past few minutes that I have gotten used to it, like a person gets used to a siren’s wail if it remains consistent.

Fuck you, book, that’s not how pain works. Immediately after you’ve been wounded, the human body releases endorphins in the bloodstream, thus dulling the pain temporarily. When does endorphins wash off, the pain will be worse. Also, how is she still standing with all the blood she’s losing? You don’t really get used to the pain, and if there’s too much pain in one point, the pain will radiate to the nearby areas. You can try to distract yourself from the pain, but it doesn’t really work if it’s too much. I’ve never been shot, but I suffered from a lot of other pains, and I remember sitting in my bed, suffering and thinking “Can I die now?” Extreme pain is horrible, whatever this book tries to deny it.

She is more machine than maniac. She sees problems and forms solutions based on the data she collects. […] Divergence is just another problem for her to solve, and that is what makes her so terrifying — because she is smart enough to solve anything, even the problem of our existence.

So, smart people are emotionless bastards? WTF? Let’s say this slowly. Smart people are also human beings with the same emotional systems as everyone, and they can act irrational from time to time. Also, this make Jeanine sound more like a problem solver, which is not really dependent upon intelligence. There are lots of intelligent people who are horrible problem solver and all they can do is make a problem more complex. There are lots of them in software engineering actually. You don’t have to be super smart to be a good problem solver. It might help not to be that smart.

Anyway, the new magical and improved serum just controls what the subject sees and hears. Which from a computing point of view is even more complex than controlling the action of the subjects. But, it’s not like this book cares about those things.

Jeanine tells Tobias that he will be her first subject, but Beatrice is too injured, so she will be killed at the end of this meeting. Tobias says he would rather die and then he kisses Tris. Then, Tobias as the Rambo hero he is, lunges towards Jeanine and tries to choke her. He is pulled by two guards, Tris tries to help him (because it’s not like she’s in pain or something), but a guard stops her.

Jeanine injects Tobias with the new serum, and he goes limp for a few seconds. But then he’s up alert and confused. Jeanine tells Tris that he doesn’t know her. And then Tobias pulls a Peeta.

Tobias looks over his shoulder. His eyes narrow and he starts toward me, fast. Before the guards can stop him, he closes a hand around my throat, squeezing my trachea with his fingertips. I choke, my face hot with blood.

How original, book. Are you also going to play a game of “Real or Not Real” or that would be too much? Jeanine explains that the simulation makes him confuse enemy with friend. Peeta was brainwashed to believe Katniss is the enemy.

They told me I could be anything. So I became a rock.

Why not?

One of the guards pulls Tobias off Tris. Why? Didn’t Jeanine said she was going to be executed? Why wait more? There’s some angst about Tobias not being himself. Jeanine sends Tobias to the control room, to monitor things. And Tris is sent to a room because they decided not to kill her? Or what? Jeanine said she was going to be killed at the end of meeting. Why don’t they kill her?

Tris, even though she lost a lot of blood and she’s shot, still manages to thrash in the guards’ arms and even bite one of them. But one of them hits her and she’s finally unconscious.  And I have only 5 chapter to go! Yoo-hoo!

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