Divergent Book Summary, Themes, Characters & Synopsis

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Divergent Book Summary, Themes, Characters & Synopsis

About the Book-Divergent

AuthorVeronica Roth
Publication DateApril 26, 2011
No. of Pages487 Pages
GenreYoung Adult, Dystopian
SettingA post-apocalyptic Chicago


The main characters of “Divergent” by Veronica Roth are:

  1. Tris ➜ The main character, brave girl who doesn’t fit in.
  2. Four ➜ Tris’s tough and kind love interest.
  3. Jeanine ➜ The smart but not-so-nice leader.
  4. Christina ➜ Tris’s cool friend.
  5. Peter ➜ The mean guy who causes trouble.
  6. Eric ➜ Another not-so-nice instructor.
  7. Caleb ➜ Tris’s brother who faces tough choices.


The themes of “Divergent” by Veronica Roth are:

  1. Identity ➜ It’s about finding out who you really are and not just fitting into a group.
  2. Conformity ➜ How society pressures people to be the same and follow the rules.
  3. Bravery ➜ Being courageous even when things are scary.
  4. Individuality ➜ Celebrating what makes each person unique.
  5. Friendship and Love ➜ The importance of close relationships.
  6. Power and Control ➜ How some people want to control others, and the fight against that.
  7. Truth and Secrets ➜ The hidden truths behind the society they live in.
  8. Choice ➜ Making your own decisions and dealing with the consequences.


Divergent is about a girl named Tris who lives in a world where people are split into groups based on their personality traits. But she doesn’t fit into just one group. She joins the brave group and uncovers secrets about her world. She also falls in love. The story is about her struggle to find out the truth and stop a big problem. It’s a popular book that made movies too.


Chicago’s dismal future civilization is divided into five sections. Each faction values only one particular quality, which its members strive to develop throughout their lives. Abnegation, which emphasizes giving of oneself, Amity, which emphasizes peace, Erudite, which emphasizes learning, Candor, which emphasizes honesty & Dauntless, which emphasizes courage, are among the values. Children are brought up in the faction of their parents, but when they turn sixteen, they are given the choice of choosing their faction, whether or not it is the one they grew up in, to which they will belong for the rest of their life.

A 16-year-old member of Abnegation is named Beatrice Prior. She takes the aptitude test that will determine which faction they are most suited for, along with her brother Caleb, who is only about a year older than she is. A simulation of a run-in with a dangerous dog makes up the exam. Beatrice demonstrates an aptitude for the Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless factions, indicating that she is a Divergent. She is advised not to share her findings with anybody since being Divergent is risky. Beatrice decides to join Dauntless after considerable deliberation, while Caleb joins Erudite after deciding to leave Abnegation.

Beatrice changes her name to Tris in Dauntless because she believes it will give her the chance to start anew and change completely. Three other Candor transfers—Peter, Drew, and Molly—become her antagonists while she quickly befriends two transfers from Candor named Christina and Al as well as a transfer from the Erudite. There are three phases to joining this brave faction, and they are ranked after each. Only the best 10 initiates will join the Dauntless; the others will flunk out and become factionless, being compelled to dwell in squalor on the city’s streets. Their enigmatic initiation instructor, Four & one of the ruthless Dauntless commanders, Eric, teaches them how to fight during the first stage of initiation. Tris isn’t an especially skilled fighter due to her diminutive size, but she makes due.

Many people praise Tris for her brilliant idea to ascend to the top of a Ferris wheel to check where the other team is during the capture of the flag initiation rite. She invites Four along, and for the first time, she becomes aware of the sensation she experiences being near him. She gains Eric’s admiration by offering to accept the punishment intended for Al, which involves standing in front of a target while Four tosses knives all around her.

On visiting day, Tris’s mother pays her a visit to her new faction. Tris suspects that her mother may have first been a Dauntless because of the odd amount of information she knows about the Dauntless complex. Tris is instructed to go see Caleb at Erudite and request that he research a simulation serum. Tris discovers that Abnegation members are no longer allowed within Erudite. Later on that day, Al confesses that Tris is more than just a friend to him, but she doesn’t feel the same way. Tris is placed sixth in the stage one standings and is not eliminated. But Peter isn’t happy with his second-place result, so that evening he stabs the winner, Edward, in the eye and makes him leave initiation.

Tris finally starts to find her voice in Dauntless as stages two and three of initiation get underway. With the Dauntless-born initiates, she zip lines down from the Hancock building, demonstrates extraordinary skill in simulating terror, and gets closer to Four, who gradually begins to open up to her. Erudite and Abnegation, two of the factions, are tensely at odds, and Erudite frequently criticizes the Abnegation government. However, the most important issue to worry about is still initiation, and after stage two, she gets a surprise: she is rated first. Peter and Drew, seeing her as a threat, assault her with the aid of Al, who was formerly her buddy. Before they can murder her, Four saves her. Al kills himself because he is so ashamed of what he has done.

In the end, Four tells Tris who he is: Tobias Eaton, the violent Abnegation council representative Marcus’s son. They formally started a covert connection at this time. Tris departs the Dauntless complex secretly after having a rough training day. She travels to Erudite to give Caleb her mother’s directives. There, she runs across Jeanine Matthews, the head of the Erudite, whom Tris believes of working with Dauntless to assassinate the Divergent. Tris is informed by Tobias when she gets back to Dauntless that Erudite is preparing to wage war against Abnegation and will employ Dauntless in the conflict.

On the day of her initiation, Tris goes through her last evaluation, which consists of a simulation of each of her anxieties that she must face one at a time. She ranks first and achieves great success, officially joining Dauntless. She subsequently learns, however, that the Dauntless commanders had given everyone a simulation serum that day, posing as a tracking gadget, amid the excitement of the day. She is aware that they must be lying and that Erudite will trick Dauntless into fighting Abnegation on their behalf with this serum.

Tris is the only member of Dauntless who doesn’t awaken the next morning in a sleepwalking state due to her Divergent identity. Tobias can do the same, and they locate one another in the crowd by feigning sleepiness like the others. But when Eric attempts to “accidentally” kill Tobias, both of them fight back & are brought to Erudite headquarters, where Jeanine sends Tris to be executed while taking Tobias in for simulation testing after being shot in the shoulder. The following morning, Tris is transported to a big tank that resembles the one in her dread simulations, where she will be drowned. But Natalie, Tris’s mother, saves her in time and brings her to her brother and father. Mrs. Prior is compelled to make a self-sacrificing decision on the way to their hiding site to make sure Tris gets away.

Tris concludes that the simulation must be completely turned down to halt the murder, so she, her father, her brother, and Marcus Eaton go to the Dauntless control room to do it. They encounter Peter along the way, who offers Tris a deal by promising to teach her how to go to the control room provided she brings him along. Tris’s father gets shot and perishes in the process. Tris is heartbroken, but she perseveres and ultimately arrives at the simulation’s control room, where none other than a serum-controlled Tobias is in charge. He can escape the simulation he is in after hearing her voice. The two shut down the computer and took the data so that the Dauntless could not restart it.

Tobias, Tris, Caleb, Marcus, and Peter leave the city in search of refuge at the tranquil Amity enclave.

About the Author-Veronica Roth

NameVeronica Roth
BirthdateAugust 19, 1988
BirthplaceNew York City, USA
EducationBachelor’s in Creative Writing from Northwestern University
Known ForAuthor of the “Divergent” Trilogy
Famous Works-Divergent (2011)
-Insurgent (2012)
-Allegiant (2013)

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