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What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Discuss the June 2014 book of the month Divergent by Veronica Roth. While only Divergent--the first book of the series--is the book of the month, feel free to use this subforum to discuss the rest of the series or to talk about the movies, but make sure not to post spoilers unless noted in the topic title.

What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#1 by Scott
» 03 Jun 2014, 13:19

The following discussion question was included in some copies of the June book of the month, Divergent by Veronica Roth.

How does the idea of “faction before blood” come into play throughout the book? Do you think this idea has a place in today’s society, or is it contrary to what most people believe? In our society, what ideas and beliefs are people loyal to in the way Tris’s society is loyal to the concept of the factions?
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#2 by gali
» 04 Jun 2014, 23:54

I think that family comes first and it is wrong to force one to forgo all connections with the family. This idea does not play out in our society and rightly so. I believe that our family comes before everything. Those ideas fit fascist societies who put the state above the people and trample human rights.
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#3 by LittleWilma
» 05 Jun 2014, 06:51

In my opinion, God should come first and family second and would certainly put both before anything else and would find it difficult to do otherwise. In the book, it is ingrained in the kids from the time they are born, so although it is still difficult to leave the family behind when they choose another faction, they expect it. In the Divergent society, I can see how it is necessary in order to keep the factions separate.
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#4 by Paliden
» 06 Jun 2014, 08:38

I agree. God first, family second. But then how do we define family? I think that is the question of "Faction before Blood". They are saying that if you belong in that faction, then you can't relate to your family members like you can to the other faction members. I know that when you go through trials and difficult circumstances (i.e. training), you form a bond with those people that in a way makes them family. I think the military is a good example of this in our day and age. You are trained that your brothers-in-arms are everything. It is ingrained into your core. And that isn't necessarily a bad thing. So I understand both sides of it, I guess.
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#5 by Tianarenee3
» 06 Jun 2014, 17:41

I actually took this in a more worldly way than just family versus work; I found connections between how the political system in America works among its politicians and understand why the Divergent series, along with the Hunger Games, and any other dystopian novels/series, why some books are banned and some are controversial in regards to world leaders. Faction before blood sounds like a personal sacrifice one must make in order to stay safe among the rest of the city realms, and if not obeyed, the leaders see you as a risk to society, a threat they need to take out. in this way, i distinguish a message from Veronica Roth that enforces her caution and her dignity to her readers everywhere.
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#6 by musiclover182013
» 06 Jun 2014, 18:16

I believe that "Fanction Before Blood" can be taken either way. In today's society, I find this to be passion before family. Now, in some people, they do in fact believe that what they are passionate about takes priority over family. In my case, I find family to be of more importance although my passion does come a close second. In Divergent, the statement "Fanction Before Blood" makes more sense seeing as if you choose to switch factions, you choose to leave your family. If you are willing to make that choice, you should be able to deal with the consequences (I say that, but I probably wouldn't be able to solely dedicate myself to either choice myself). Luckily, we don't have to make such a hard decision because I, like many in the book, would struggle a bit.
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#7 by CrescentMoon
» 11 Jun 2014, 12:35

I really don't like this idea of faction before blood. In my opinion, it's something that a tyrannical government would want its citizens to believe in, to give up their family and become loyal to them. Family ties usually are supposed to be very strong, and I don't know many people who wouldn't do anything for their family. That is a threat to the government so I feel like the message of faction before blood is a way to brainwash people into believing that their loyalty needs to be to the factions and society at all times, that way they are easier to manipulate and control.
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#8 by H0LD0Nthere
» 11 Jun 2014, 22:25

"Faction Before Blood" strikes me as a purist, idealistic slogan, coming out of a philosophy that puts ideas before natural social ties and feelings. It sounds very, very familiar to me. I think we are often urged to set aside our "traditional" ideas and sign on to some new, counter-intuitive philosophy, because by so doing we can save the world. We have learned from the hard sciences that the facts are often counter-intuitive, and we take that to mean that our social feelings tell us nothing, and that we should never listen to them.

And, I don't know whether this is part of the same phenomenon, but in modern America, I would say our concepts of loyalty to family are very basic, almost nonexistent. For example, parents are supposed to have no say in who their son or daughter marries. They are supposed to give teenagers "privacy" even about things that could potentially ruin their lives. On the other end of the spectrum, Mom and Dad are supposed to be able to make their own decisions about who they date, and "have their own lives" regardless of the effect it might have upon their kids.

So obviously, I am not a big fan of Faction Before Blood. That said, I realize there are going to be times when we need to put a principle, or someone who is non-family, ahead of family. "Blood Before Faction" would not be a practical slogan either. Both Faction and Blood are just too limited to be made the be-all and end-all that always trumps everything else. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, the worst thing we can do is pick just one value out of the whole moral framework, and make that the one thing to which everything else must bow.
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#9 by aluric
» 16 Jun 2014, 12:06

"Faction Before Blood" is something you see throughout the world today. Our factions are based on religion, political philosphy, education level, place of birth, occupation, or even favorite sports team. It's natural to want to be with people that have the same beliefs and values as you do but this can be taken to extremes. On a personal level it could mean loosing contact with your family because you choose not to a follow their religion or the career path they think you should. On a larger level it splits nations and causes wars.
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#10 by stoppoppingtheP
» 17 Jun 2014, 04:46

I do not agree with 'faction before blood', or indeed even 'blood before faction'. In either of these situations you are being told to choose a group and agree with the decisions of a group no matter what those decisions are.

I would rather choose "truth before anything else", if there is such a category.
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#11 by ttuso22
» 17 Jun 2014, 21:32

I think the idea of faction before blood is an interesting concept. Obviously in our world we can't understand what it means to be apart of a faction like the ones in this dystopia and thus can't understand the bonds that the characters developed, but I think we develop similar relationships with friends especially when we are away from our families. Still others remain closer to their families than friends. I prefer to have blood before faction because that is a group that always shares something common with you whereas friend come and go and often change over time.
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#12 by sybil1reader
» 18 Jun 2014, 20:02

I believe that family comes first. How can you give up your family just because you pick a different faction than you were raised? I know that Tres' mother was Dauntless, but I choose to believe that she would have visited on family day even if she had not been. I also think that it put pressure on some when it came time to choose because they did not want to hurt their parents.
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#13 by soulessginger
» 21 Jun 2014, 14:33

It is absolutely contrary & applicable to what most people believe in our society today.
"Faction before blood" is such a fuzzy concept as so many others who've posted before me have concluded. How do we define blood? Most will use the term "family" as the definition of blood, but then we're forced to answer the question on how to define family.

Some may take the literal interpretation - those individuals who share genetic traits with each other - but then you could isolate common elements (such as marriage) in that definition. More commonly, from where I come from at least, family is defined by those individuals who maintain a presence in our lives enough to influence our decisions and behaviors. While many will advocate that blood runs thicker than water, we as humans should readily admit that our initial desire is to gravitate towards like minded individuals (like the book club for example!). We find solace in being surrounded by people who understand our desires, thoughts, goals, joys, etc. Often times, those people are individuals you meet along the path of life - and its those people who you will often find yourself describing as being as close as a "<insert family member title here>."

Much like in the case of this book, the line between faction and blood becomes blurred. Roth accurately describes the torment we experience when trying to find the common ground between those who raised you and those who are able to help you continue your path of success. It's an initial struggle, one that each and every day we are challenged to overcome in society, but one nonetheless we can overcome. I don't think Roth meant that she had to turn her back for once and all on her mother & father. She needed to embrace the idea of the Dauntless in order to succeed in her chosen path, which required her to temporarily set aside the teachings of the Abnegation that she grew up with. I think most of us can identify with Tris as we watch her struggle with the guilt and grief she faces each day in her decision and the struggle to prepare for the war that is threatening her and everyone she loves.

Just as a side thought if we were to open the newspaper or turn on the news, we're bombarded with evidence every day that factions do indeed exist in this world!
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#14 by Heather
» 30 Jun 2014, 21:39

I believe family should come first. And in the end, family is what Tris cared about (Tobias included, as he could potentially be who she creates her own family with).
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Re: What do you make of "Faction Before Blood"?

Post Number:#15 by emilywagner
» 09 Jul 2014, 12:25

Personally, my family comes before everything else I absolutely could not imagine having to abandon them forever. I really appreciated Tris's dedication to her family as well, despite the societal rules. It seemed representative of the lengths most of the people I know would go to protect and be with their families.

I must say though the idea of faction before blood is not all that foreign either. Once many people are kicked out of the nest you will see them select new ways of life and new people who may treat them better than their biological family. In a way their new faction becomes their new "blood" so it is an odd concept to think about.
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