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Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

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.

Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

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

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

During initiation, is it selfish of Tris to crave victory, or is it brave? Do Tris’s friends have a right to be jealous when she’s ranked above them? If you were Tris, would you forgive them for their reactions?
"That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another's. We see so much only as we possess." - Henry David Thoreau

"Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco." Virgil, The Aeneid
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#2 by Alexsandra
» 04 Jun 2014, 17:31

Maybe a little bit selfish and a little bit more brave and who can blame her considering where she came from. She came from a world where she had to be totally selfless and now is free to deal with thing's on her own terms. She was scared of becoming factionless and had no choice but to compete and do the best she could do to survive initiation. No not selfish but determined to make it and not let them get to her. No they should not have been jealous of her because she ranked higher then them but this is a competition to see who will stay and have a future and who will become factionless and doomed for life so I can understand it to a point. I would believe I could forgive some much easier then others.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#3 by Winter
» 04 Jun 2014, 17:45

I think it's selfish, but not in a bad way -- it's just competitive, and in this case, also a question of survival of the fittest. I don't think craving victory has anything to do with bravery.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#4 by gali
» 04 Jun 2014, 23:12

I think it was only natural for her to crave victory. It was kind of brave because she knew that by winning she would make enemies. I can understand her friends up to a point, but real friends wouldn't act like that. She was right to forgive them in the end since they were sorry about their behavior.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#5 by LittleWilma
» 05 Jun 2014, 07:07

It is human nature to crave victory. Selflessness had no room in Dauntless. You were supposed to do your best, that was part of being Dauntless. Jealousy is also a part of human nature, whether it is right or wrong. She was right to forgive them.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#6 by CrescentMoon
» 05 Jun 2014, 18:28

I definitely don't think Tris was selfish for craving victory. Especially for the Dauntless faction, you need to be the best and compete to stay in, so striving for victory is something that a member of Dauntless needs to do. I can understand the jealousy and fear her friends had because it is natural to be jealous of someone who is ranked very high and with that comes the fear that they could be kicked out and become factionless. However, I think what Al did was unforgivable. He got so insecure and jealous to the point that he was willing to kill Tris in order to still stay in competition. I think her other friends like Christina are worth forgiving, but not Al.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#7 by Paliden
» 06 Jun 2014, 08:33

I don't think she was selfish. She had a lot more to prove than some of the other initiates. And for Dauntless, I think she instinctively knew that she had better be REALLY good and not just passable. And for that faction, competitiveness is a must.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#8 by that_bek_girl
» 07 Jun 2014, 12:51

I believe it was more courage than selfishness.....i mean, Who doesn't want victory? But going up against friends, and having to prove yourself on a higher level? I think she had a lot to lose and maybe fear of loss fueled the courage. I don't know if her friends had a right, per say, to be jealous, but its human nature to do so. And in her shoes, I probably would have chosen forgiveness.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#9 by L_Therese
» 11 Jun 2014, 07:06

I think craving victory is natural. If Tris had chosen to abandon initiation so that another could qualify, she also gives up any chance of serving the community as a Dauntless member. Part of the premise of the faction system is to position different types of people to the areas where they can contribute best to the whole. How does dropping out help anyone in the long run? Therefore I would argue that trying her hardest is both right and natural. Of course, if Tris had resorted to the unethical to achieve her victory (like stabbing people in the eye, for example) she would have then be in blatant violation of both principles of selflessness and bravery.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#10 by stoppoppingtheP
» 17 Jun 2014, 05:09

It is selfish,but being selfish doesn't negate her from being brave.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#11 by sybil1reader
» 19 Jun 2014, 16:42

I believe that Tris had a goal in mind when she began initiation and that was to be among the best so that she could pick the job she wanted. Being among the best requires winning and winning sometimes requires bravery. She was also taught to be selfless and I think that had something to do with her brave acts. Her friends could have behaved differently, but I had to stop and remember that they were young teens.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#12 by KasMorin
» 20 Jun 2014, 11:49

I think it's a little bit of both.

She was raised to not put herself above others. Abnegation abhors selfish behavior. So for Tris to finally look inside herself for what she wants and pursue something that might upset others (be selfish) is incredibly brave.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#13 by Snaveenaid10
» 20 Jun 2014, 18:49

It's a great depiction of our world today how we strive to be the best. We want the most money, the most expensive car, the biggest house, etc. Is it selfish? It depends. The Google definition of selfishness is, "(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure". So is Tris selfish for wanting victory? I think not but only because she still cared for her friends.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#14 by Inishowen_Cailin
» 24 Jun 2014, 12:33

It was brave to crave victory because it meant survival. Tris was going to survive no matter what she had to do even though the odds were stacked against her, in the eyes of her peers.
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Re: Is it selfish of Tris to crave victory or is it brave?

Post Number:#15 by Darling_Reads
» 24 Jun 2014, 18:02

I think being a bit selfish and brave at the same time was something Tris struggled with. Growing up in the sector that she did she was always taught to be selfless and seeking to beat others makes you exactly the opposite of that. She was going against what she was taught to do as a child. With the way Dauntless initiation works she had to be brave by putting aside the tiny voice in her head that told her this was not how she was raised and be a little selfish. Although she knew she couldn't put others before herself at all times she still was not used to this way of thinking all of the time. Seeking the victory over others for her was an act of bravery.
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