Dystopian Divergent

Divergent is a film about a 16-year-old named Beatrice Prior who lives in a dystopian version of Chicago. Their society is broken into five factions: Erudite, Abnegation, Dauntless, Amity, and Candor. Beatrice, along with all other 16-year-olds in their society take a test to see which faction they will spend the rest of their lives in. Beatrice is a rare case and tests into all five factions, called Divergent, a dangerous trait in her society. She ultimately chooses Dauntless, where she meets Tobias, who is also divergent and they eventually develop feelings for each other. One day, they notice that Erudite is planning a war against Abnegation and that Dauntless is going to be used as their soldiers. They realize this, however, after tracking chips were placed into all Dauntless, allowing them to be controlled by Erudite. The book ends in war with Beatris and Tobias trying to stop things from worsening.

Although the film is not probable, it could be realistic. In a few hundred years, we truly do not know what the world will look like and this film is just an idea from one person. I believe that this society is not probable because a higher government is basically eliminated, allowing each faction to govern each other. Based on how the world is currently operating with so much governmental control, I do not believe that we could ever get to a place where the government gives up its powers to smaller groups.

I believe the film fits very well with the true definition of a dystopia, as well as the class-made version of the definition. In class, a key factor that we used in our definition is that the people live under some form of oppression. The division of society into groups so that they can be easily controlled is a large example of oppression. Having different factions encourages people to stick to what they know and to not expand their knowledge of other skills. Also, the setting of the film is very dystopian, with dilapidated buildings and transit. They reference many current-day landmarks, such as when Beatrice uses the John Hancock Building to zipline off of, which is an old, run-down building in the film. Another dystopian characteristic of the film is that most people seem to be unhappy. The atmosphere was very gloomy for much of the movie, seemingly because the factions limited the people to a routine for the rest of their lives.

The first historical and contemporary analog that I noticed was the division of society based on skills. Throughout history, there has always been a division in the professional world based on skill level. We have the people who went to college and chose professions, such as doctors and lawyers. We have those who chose labor-heavy jobs, such as welding and factory work. We have the farmers and countrymen, who supply food to the rest of the country, and we have those who joined the military. Divergent has all of these aspects, just condensed and with stricter rules and regulations. War is another analog that is seen in both historical and modern times. War is inevitable, which is why I believe it was included in the film. The third analog that I noticed is the factionless, who live depressingly wretched lives in the ruins of Chicago. The factionless in the movie are those who do not belong to a faction for whatever personal reasons and can be compared to the homeless in modern and historical times. Overall, Divergent is a great film that perfectly exemplifies the many characteristics of a dystopian society.

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