There are five factions everyone gets to choose to count part of. One of them dresses in modest clothing, and are deathly afraid of over-spicing their food for fear of sin -- Abnegation, of course. They look showered … which is about their only physical difference to what lies outside the factions -- the homeless, who've gone whole-hog destitute. When choosing day comes, they hope their children will choose their clan, even when they'll be baited with the Dauntless, who are totally bad-ass and own the streets, and Erudite, who are essentially the officer's club, absent the brandy. Since the parental bond is a nest of sympathy the society seems bent on showing it can rape, at the moment of choosing kids really do feel like they've got a choice -- and so of course flee their parents' pathetic asses left and right. Their parents pretend they're happy, which is hard to do, after being raped, and so just look like they've just been.
The main protagonist Tris chooses Dauntless. If she doesn't perform well in her initiation, she'll fall blow the bar and join the homeless. Half the recruits in every faction, that is, will quickly follow their enthusiastically being embraced by their faction at the moment of their choosing, by being dumped down the garbage shoot. Something about them shows that, if they'd been in on this, it wouldn't have daunted their pleasure and gratitude one bit. Tris starts poorly but gets better and is counted in. If I remember correctly, we're spared seeing the bottom half dumped down the shoot, and forced to work retail or something. Tris actually gets in barely, but actually she's the best there is: she's not aptituded for any particular class, but for all of them. She's got a lateral mind; she's divergent.
At this point you have to wonder how she could be friends with anyone but other divergents, because the way divergence is shown means everyone else is autistic -- great at mathematics, say, but completely dumb outside their genius. I mean this; in one of her tests a landscape is on fire and she's being attacked by birds, and she jumps deep into water -- this would be divergent for a Dauntless to do, for a reason that isn't entirely clear. In an other, her glass cage is filling up with water, and she contrives to break the glass, which is something, again -- divergent, even though it was more forthright than the pause-and-assess, make-your-clothing-into-counter-its-original-purpose, "divergent" problem-solving actually expected. Truth is being divergent looks an awful lot like not cooperating, something more childishly truculent than exceptional. But anyway, sex would for her be with the 4/5ths lobotomized, which should be more ucky than child-sex. Good thing the victim of child abuse she falls in love with is actually a divergent as well, or things would have compounded deep into the ghoulish.
Last part of their training is that they need to show they can shoot their parents straight through the head. This will show they're undaunted. They all apparently are able to do this, with the most empathic of them needing only to look away when they nevertheless shoot bullets through their craniums -- they're equivalent to the more emphatic Nazis, that is. But it's okay, because the only parents we see shot are the ones from Abnegation, who, truth be told, probably are unconsciously pleading to be put out of their misery. They. are. afraid. to. spice. their. foods -- and they chose this! Of course they want to be put out of their misery.
But the reason all the members of Abnegation are actually on route to be slaughtered by some conniving Erudites and their legions of drugged Daunted stormtroopers, is because they look so damn vulnerable. It's foremost why all their kids fled them -- they join the two overly phallic groups, physical or mental "muscle," and feel like they've spurned all their own troubling child vulnerability for good. But just to be sure, it's best to dispatch Abnegation out of the faction system altogether, through death, which they get about doing, or by just dropping them down a slight notch and having them joining their fellow rags on the streets.
Don't know about the film yet, but the book is apparently very popular. Ah, our glorious future!
|Gee, I wonder if we should stay with this drab group of pathetic forlorn?|
|Or jump ship as fast as possible ...|
|And be this?|