The most conspicuous symbol in Divergent is also one of the most complex. Beatrice Prior is Divergent, meaning that she doesn't have a strong allegiance to any one of the five factions: on the contrary, she has qualities that align her with more than one of the factions. Divergence also suggests a unique kind of mental state that isn’t fully explained in the novel, as Divergents like Tris and Tobias have the ability to resist mind control and hallucinations that affect those more clearly “factioned.” At first, Beatrice believes that she’s alone in being Divergent: she’s the only one in her city who can’t decide what kind of person to be. But as the book moves on, it becomes increasingly clear that Beatrice isn’t unique at all. She’s surrounded by people who have secret identities or hidden loyalties: even her own mother, Natalie Prior, is Divergent. In this sense, Divergence symbolizes human beings’ inability to be grouped into stable categories and fixed identities. Nobody is brave, kind, or honest 100 percent of the time—and the society that tries to pretend otherwise is doomed to break down.
Divergence Quotes in Divergent
“Beatrice,” she says, “under no circumstances should you share that information with anyone. This is very important.”
“We aren’t supposed to share our results.” I nod. “I know that.”
“No.” Tori kneels next to the chair now and places her arms on the armrest. Our faces are inches apart. “This is different. I don’t mean you shouldn’t share them now; I mean you should never share them with anyone, ever, no matter what happens. Divergence is extremely dangerous. You understand?”