Tris returns to her dormitory, where she finds her fellow recruits reading a paper together. Peter reads the story aloud—it’s about Tris and Caleb’s father. The story argues that Andrew Prior (Tris’s father’s name) must be a corrupt man, or his own children would have chosen to follow in his footsteps instead of leaving Abnegation. The story also alleges that Marcus, Andrew’s friend, had a child who left Abnegation two years before, due to Marcus’s sexual abuse. Tris wants to attack Peter for reading the story out loud, but Will pulls Tris away before she can land a blow.
This is a sign that Tris is still fiercely loyal to her family—she doesn’t yet put “faction before family,” as she’s supposed to. Here, Tris allows her pride and family loyalty to overcome her calmness and self-control—and we also see just how aggressive and angry her time in Dauntless has made her. The mention of sexual abuse in this section is troubling as well, even though it appears in the otherwise mostly false Erudite story.
Christina and Tris go to get tattoos, and Christina convinces Tris to get a tattoo of a flaming circle—the Dauntless seal—to go with the tattoo of the birds. Afterwards, Will asks Tris about her hallucination. It calms Tris to talk to others about the experience. She learns that Will is frightened of acid.
Tris’s Dauntless tattoo celebrates another milestone, and symbolizes her acceptance within the Dauntless community. She’s no longer a weak, frightened recruit—she’s a full-blown Dauntless woman.
Tris goes to the Pit, where she’s surprised to find Four, who is drunk and staggering close to the railing. Four tells Tris that she “looks good,” and Tris can’t help but smile. Al finds Tris and escorts her to dinner, though he notices some romantic tension between Tris and Four. Tris has a fun night horsing around with Al and her other friends—she’s forgotten her horror at her own hallucination.
This section is somewhat amusing (and makes the sexual tension between Four and Tris more explicit), but it’s also implied that Four got drunk because he’s depressed about what Tris said to him—that he could have done more good by choosing a different career. It’s also refreshing to see Tris behaving like an irresponsible teenager, not a soldier (it’s a nice reminder that this a young adult book).