Brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest...

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.
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TangledinText
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Re: Brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest...

Post by TangledinText » 28 Aug 2015, 11:32

I would say that the goal to be brave in the society this live in is a remarkable goal and just like in societies here that have chaos pursuing all it would take it one to stand up and change and show an example for others to follow.
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Post by RooneysReviews » 04 Sep 2015, 16:22

I think one of the most remarkable parts of this book is how their world is so mysterious. Most people today (with unfortunate exceptions, of course) could not comprehend being under that sort of repressive government. I think it truly changes people when they are fighting for their freedom. It makes morals more of a second choice and ideologies about freedom take the foreground of peoples' minds.

So when Four is listing out these traits he admires, they just don't seem applicable in his society. Sure, some are large assets in a revolutionary setting - bravery of course, and brains - but honesty and kindness will be lost in warfare. His ideals appear to be stationed in the society he wants to live in, rather than the one he's at in the moment. This may be a foreshadow to the future of the series. Here is are traits that apply not to this moment, but rather to a moment that has yet to exist.
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Post by courtney8847 » 08 Sep 2015, 21:34

I think that it is realistic for him to be all of those qualities. However, living in dauntless it would be best for him to act brave above all else, so as to draw less attention to himself in terms of defying the social norms.

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Post by RooneysReviews » 11 Sep 2015, 16:34

There is a different to wanting certain traits compared to actually having them. I think that Four would (and does) have a difficult time being all of these things in his society as well as in our own. Sometimes, true honesty would not be kind, and intelligence would make being cowardly (choosing to run instead of fight) the right decision. Specific to this book, Four's very faction of Dauntless prevents many of these qualities. It is not like the Dauntless to be selfless (which can be argued, but my mind always returns to the girl who did not make the jump from the train) or even very kind. Of course, their society encourages each person to only have one of these traits, so Four would not be accepted if he did display each trait.
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Post by doyle5 » 02 Jan 2016, 13:55

I think he's being human. Everyone feels the need to be good. The characteristics that the factions represent pretty much make up the traits of a perfect person. Who doesn't want to be perfect.

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Post by foreverreading » 02 Jan 2016, 18:12

Some of those values can contradict themselves. For example, when a friend runs into your house, claiming there's a murderer after him, of course you will let him in. When the murderer asks if your friend is in your house, the honest thing to say would be yes, but the brave and smart thing would be to say no... However, all those traits are important in a well-rounded person(but it would be bad for factions).

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Post by Howitz47 » 19 Jan 2016, 18:42

Honesty is not always the best policy. Wires can be crossed, and good intentions taken the wrong way. The other qualities seem worth
striving for, even if life can be tricky so often.

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Post by dhaller » 21 Jan 2016, 04:51

I'm going to play Devil's Advocate and say that it isn't realistic of him to want to have all of those qualities in his society. Fact of the matter is, in the Divergent books, people are profiled by their primary character trait. And in that society, refusing to be labeled or categorized is a bad thing, a social no-no. Four wants to be the best person that he can be, but his society demands that he specialize.

It's like a Southerner pre-Civil War who campaigns for abolition. It's idealistic, yeah, and morally correct - we see that now - but it's not a realistic position to be in.
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Post by zoelaurynn » 25 Jan 2016, 13:29

I think Four's desire to be brave, smart, kind, honest, and selfless is much more realistic than only being one thing. In our world, it's nearly impossible to succeed without having more than one of these traits. That being said, while I do think it is realistic, I don't think it is easy.

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Post by MRogue » 09 Mar 2016, 14:16

Four's desire to possess all those qualities does not seem practical in the society they live in. They are divided into factions which basically rule all with these qualities all belonging to different factions.
His desire may be great and he may possess these qualities in mind and heart but practically he has to belong to only one faction.
His possession of these qualities would however be more than useful after the faction system is abolished.
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Post by fari30 » 10 Aug 2016, 11:01

I think the reason Four is one of the main characters of the book is BECAUSE he wants to be all those things. While some would rather blend in, it is those who are different that people either admire or fear. I do think it's realistic in his society, even if unwanted.
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Post by Taylor Razzani » 20 Sep 2016, 20:41

It seems like they would be more realistic in our society than his. Those traits seem to belong to someone who would be considered Divergent, so in their society that wouldn't be a good thing. If everyone could be like that in our society that would be great! Though it might be hard to balance all of that out in one human being, but I don't think it is too farfetched to consider.
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Post by Naval Aulakh » 09 Jul 2017, 08:19

I feel that Four's longing to have those qualities is not practical to the way of life these days, however it is a cute desire.
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Post by Yemurai » 08 Aug 2017, 15:02

I don't think it's possible to be all, maybe he can have 3 of the characteristics

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Post by Mallory Whitaker » 08 Aug 2017, 17:12

I don't think so. If we're separating selflessness and kindness, then I don't think any of the characters, divergent or not, portray this. Even though the divergents are supposed to. Tris never even had Amity available to her. It's an admirable goal, but with how the book/society defines bravery, I think it leaves little room for kindness. I think it's possible in reality though.
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