Divergent

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Divergent Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Beatrice has just joined the Dauntless faction. She notices her parents—her father looks accusatory, but her mother seems to be smiling. The ceremony ends abruptly, and the Dauntless initiates leave the Hub, Beatrice among them. Beatrice notices a boy who’d once been in the Erudite—he’s chosen to join Dauntless, too.
As Beatrice tries to come to terms with her own decision, she’s pleased to learn that she’s not alone in the world—there are others just like her, who’ve had to make difficult choices by switching tribes. This is a sign that Beatrice will hopefully be able to find her own community among those who are similarly trying to reinforce a newly chosen identity.
Themes
Identity, Choice, and Divergence Theme Icon
Strength, Selfishness, and Selflessness Theme Icon
Competition, Groups, and Rivalries Theme Icon
Outside, the Dauntless walk to the nearby train: to prove their loyalty, the new Dauntless are supposed to jump onto the train. Although she’s frightened, Beatrice jumps onto the moving train. She notices a former Erudite boy who’s just joined Dauntless—he fails to make it onto the train, meaning that he’ll be factionless for the rest of his life.
Right away we recognize the danger and uncertainty of life among the Dauntless. Because they celebrate bravery above all else, cowards are harshly punished—and are even allowed to die. Beatrice thought she’d find a community for herself as soon as she arrived in Dauntless, but it’s clear this isn’t the case—she’ll have to keep working to earn her place in the community.
Themes
Strength, Selfishness, and Selflessness Theme Icon
Competition, Groups, and Rivalries Theme Icon
Onboard the train, a girl named Christina introduces herself to Beatrice. Christina thinks that they’re headed to Dauntless headquarters, though she has no idea where this is. As Beatrice listens, she thinks about her parents—who’ll have to go home to an empty house now. She wonders how she could have missed the fact that Caleb was an Erudite: for years she’d assumed that he was a natural for Abnegation.
Beatrice’s mistake is to assume that Caleb “is” an Erudite, simply because of his decision at the choosing ceremony. Caleb isn’t a different person than he was before, but Beatrice is so used to thinking in the factions’ terms that she now tries to reinterpret Caleb’s entire life, searching for evidence of his “true” Erudite nature.
Themes
Identity, Choice, and Divergence Theme Icon
Competition, Groups, and Rivalries Theme Icon
After some time on the train, some of the Dauntless begin jumping off. The new recruits follow suit, jumping off the train onto nearby rooftops. Although some of the recruits refuse to jump, Beatrice forces herself to jump from the train, along with Christina. As they land—hard—on the rooftop, Christina starts laughing. “That was fun,” she says. Beatrice is worried, and she wonders if she’ll be able to survive for long among the Dauntless. As she thinks about this, she notices a body lying underneath the train tracks from which she just jumped: someone has died trying to jump off.
Beatrice is full of doubt about her ability to survive among the Dauntless, but based on what we’ve already seen, she’s probably not alone. Although Beatrice assumes that her peers are cockier and more confortable than she, it seems likely that they’re going through the same anxiety that she’s experiencing—especially at the sight of this grim reminder of the risks they’re taking.
Themes
Competition, Groups, and Rivalries Theme Icon
Fear, Bravery, and Maturity Theme Icon
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As the Dauntless recruits gather themselves, a man named Max speaks up. He announces that he’s a leader of the Dauntless. Although the recruits have just jumped from the train, they’re still standing on a tall building. Max challenges the recruits to jump off of the building they’re standing on. Worse, he doesn’t say what’s awaiting them at the bottom of the building. Before anyone else can react, Beatrice forces herself to jump off the building. As she falls, her body hits a net, which catches her safely.
It’s suggested that Beatrice immediately jumps off the building not because she’s feeling particularly brave, but rather because of sheer willpower—she wants to do something impressive to validate her presence in Dauntless. Thus courage (or “dauntlessness”) doesn’t always mean a lack of fear altogether, but instead acting despite one’s fears.
Themes
Competition, Groups, and Rivalries Theme Icon
Fear, Bravery, and Maturity Theme Icon
The other Dauntless recruits follow Beatrice off the roof, and one by one, the net catches them. As Beatrice and her peers climb out of the net, they find that they’re surrounded by a large building complex: they’re standing in the Dauntless headquarters. A girl named Lauren notes that it’s unheard of for someone from Abnegation to be the first to jump. When she asks Beatrice for her name, Beatrice hesitates and then replies, “Tris.” Lauren introduces Tris to a young man named Four, who tells her, “Welcome to Dauntless.”
For Beatrice, a lifelong member of Abnegation, being special and unique (other than in her newly discovered Divergence) is a novelty—she’s always been taught to be modest and “blend in” with other people. In a sense, Beatrice is being reborn as a new, more confident person, so it’s only appropriate that she rename herself at this time.
Themes
Identity, Choice, and Divergence Theme Icon
Competition, Groups, and Rivalries Theme Icon
Fear, Bravery, and Maturity Theme Icon