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Divergent, A Revelation of Societal Boxes Versus True Self
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In a futuristic Chicago society, enclosed by walls, five factions exist to which one is supposed to find their place and where they belong. They are- Erudite, the “brainy” people, Amity- the “farmers”, Candor –who are upfront and speak the truth, Dauntless- the crazy risk taking law enforcers and Abnegation- the caring, selfless people. It is out of the faction, Abnegation or known as “stiffs” by the other factions, we meet Beatrice, later to be known as Tris. The time has come, at 16 years of age for Beatrice and her brother Caleb to go for the test, as they trust the test to tell them which faction they belong.
Beatrice and Caleb were raised by their Abnegation parents. The test results reveal to the brother and sister they were not what they were raised to be. Beatrice knows that helping people does not come naturally to her like it does for others in Abnegation and longs for adventure, excitement and freedom of being in Dauntless faction. As time goes by and the series of tests continue to confirm Beatrice’s faction, it becomes increasingly clear that she is Divergent, meaning not belonging to any one faction. To be Divergent is to be seen as a threat, non-conforming and uncontrollable, as it is a mix of qualities and attributes that doesn’t fall into any of the five factions. So, to cover herself, Beatrice, A Divergent, goes undercover, trains hard and takes on the identity of Dauntless, stripping away the outer covering of Abnegation and her parent’s ideals. Caleb ends up choosing Erudite, thus the pair end up choosing, “ faction before blood “ the enclosed society’s catch cry, as they pursue separate journeys, that resonate with their true selves.
In training with Dauntless, Tris is pushed to breaking point physically and mentally. Her trainer, Four, a leader in Dauntless takes a special interest in her and her journey, and soon uncovers through the testing process the truth of her identity –being divergent. They fall in love with each other and in a bid to protect Tris, four helps her by going into a hallucination, a simulation to test the recipitants by going inside of their minds and observing their responses to fear and shows her how to respond in the “Dauntless way”, to avoid detection, in the next faction test.
As four and Tris grow closer, he helps her deal with suspicious and insecure faction mates, protecting her from their violence. They also find out when Tris visits her brother Caleb, the leadership of Erudite have a plan and have been undermining the leadership of Abnegation (public servants –leaders of all factions), in an attempt to overthrow them. Jeanine, paranoid leader of Erudite, is petrified by divergents and anyone outside of the five factions that can’t be controlled by their ideals. Jeanine believes that “human nature is the enemy and a weakness that needs to be overcome”, and also that it is human nature to, “keep secrets, steal and lie.” In her state of paranoia over Abnegation breaking rules and harboring Divergents, she initiates a plan to use mind control serum on Dauntless to then control and kill Abnegation. As Tris and four get wind of her intentions and corrupt ways, they revolt against her to save the innocent lives of Abnegation and free their friends in Dauntless of the effects of the mind control serum, Jeanine’s worst fear of losing control of Divergents comes true as Tris injects the serum into her and forces her to shut down the mind control program, exposing her as a malicious control freak to all the factions. Tris and Four end up escaping beyond the walls of the faction, to live a life free of control and free to be their true selves.
Divergent, A Prophetic Picture
The enclosed faction city is a place where people exist. It permeates church, societies and cultures. The people there are told who they are and how to behave according to controlling leaders’ beliefs and ideals. Yes, they are given many choices by leaders, cloaked to look like freewill choices. If you fail to conform to those choices, you stand out as different, rebellious and uncontrollable, much like a Divergent.
These cultish leaders enforce law on them, to keep them in line and inside the walls, to keep them submerged and under control. They are fed lies of danger, isolation and excommunication, (the root of that being fear) to stop them leaving and ever emerging as their true selves. To be their true selves, under control of no man, but in Christ alone and in true freedom they seek other brothers and sisters who see them as the Father does, submitting to one another in love and aligning together as led by Holy Spirit to fulfil the Father’s purposes in the earth.
These children of God, sons and daughters have broken away from the old familial identity and religious structures of bloodlines past and identified with who they are in Christ now, as new creations, the offspring of God. Human nature does not need to be overcome, it was dead and nailed to the cross over 2000years ago, by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:14). Fear, suspicion and paranoia with it, doesn’t belong to the true children of God. They are filled with the government of God-the Spirit of the Lord, wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and fear of the Lord and led by His Spirit. It is in choosing to take on His identity that His children find true freedom and are able to express themselves. They are made in the image of God, their Father and Jesus Christ lives in and through them! His virtues or fruit (Galatians 5:22) that comes from living in them is evidence that they are His offspring. (Romans 8:14, Acts 17:28)
They are fearfully and wonderfully made, each one with unique personalities, looks, gifts and talents. Together, like many facets in a diamond, the children of God make up the whole expression of His body. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14)
There are no power struggles when they are secure in their Father, His love for them individually and then as they love and respect others, seeing their uniqueness through His eyes.
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