by Samantha V '18

Divergent: Book vs. Movie

Divergent has been a popular topic ever since the books came out. Being the first book out of the Divergent trilogy, Divergent introduces a dystopian future in which the only city left after a horrible war is split into five groups, otherwise known as factions. The five factions are Abnegation, Dauntless, Candor, Erudite, and Amity. These factions group people based on their most apparent quality. Abnegation represents selflessness, Dauntless represents bravery and courage, Candor represents honesty, Erudite represents intelligence, and Amity represents peace.



The book revolves around a 16-year old girl named Beatrice Prior. The plot of the book starts on the day of her aptitude test. In this society, once a child turned 16, they had to take an aptitude test that determined which faction they would live in for the rest of their lives. Beatrice was feeling very anxious, but she felt ready. After waiting a bit at her school, she was called in by a test distributor named Tori. Tori told Beatrice that she would go through a series of simulations in which she must make decisions that would best fit the situation. After the simulations were over, Tori nervously told Beatrice that she was Divergent. Tori explained that people who were Divergent were rare because they had an aptitude for more than one faction. Beatrice’s test showed results in aptitude for Abnegation, Dauntless, and Erudite. Tori said she must hide her Divergence and that she should just pretend that her results were inconclusive. The rest of the book goes into great detail about what happens to Beatrice, who renames herself “Tris”, and how she deals with her Divergence.

She encounters many new friends, enemies, and even the love of her life. Tris goes through many struggles because of her Divergence. Each day gets harder and harder for Tris to hide her Divergence, but if someone finds out, it could lead to her inevitable death. The series written by Veronica Roth recently gained more publicity due to the release of the Divergent movie which released on March 21, 2014. The general reaction to the movie was positive, but to some of the dedicated readers and fans of the series, the movie just didn’t cut it. Many scenes such as Four and Tris’ first kiss were incorrectly portrayed in the movie. In the book, Four and Tris had their first kiss in the chasm right after Four showed Tris showed her his fear landscape. In the movie, their first (and only) kiss occurred in Four’s apartment after showing Tris his tattoos. Mistakes like inaccurate scenes don’t seem like a big deal, but they are to the extreme Divergent fans. Not only were some parts of the movie out of order, but they also didn’t introduce some of the characters! Uriah Pedrad, a friend of Four and Tris and a significant character throughout the trilogy, was not mentioned once during the movie. His part in Divergent was portrayed in the movie, but he was not identified as Uriah. Two other characters not mentioned in the movie but were characters in the book are Molly and Edward.

On May 5th, the movie grossed more than $250 million at the domestic and international box offices combined. Alongside the movie’s wonderful success, the book’s popularity and the series’ popularity also increased. Since the movie came out, 17 million copies of Divergent were sold, along with an additional 4 million copies that were sold before the movie came out. On a scale of one to ten, I think the movie itself deserves around a nine. When compared to the book, it deserves around a seven due to all the inaccuracies. Ashlee Chin, an 8th grader at BSGE commented, “It was good, like, an A-. It was good as a story, but they didn’t really develop Four and Tris’s relationship. That was kind of annoying.” She continued, “They didn’t include characters like Marlene, Uriah, Zeke, Lynn. They only had one kiss in the movie, which was like the actual kiss, but it was their third kiss in the book, so that was wrong.” Gabi Prostko ’18, another 8th grader said, “I liked it, I mean it didn’t follow the book exactly, but then again, no movie does. I think it was good despite some changes.” Unlike Gabi Prostko ’18 and Ashlee Chin ’18, Romir Karnik ’18 actually enjoyed the movie. “I feel that both the book and the movie were great, but I enjoyed the movie a bit more as it brought more excitement than the book could in some scenes, such as where Tris rides the zip line after Capture the Flag.”

So if you enjoyed the Divergent book, you should go ahead and watch the movie. Just try not to cringe after noticing all of the mistakes. The movie Divergent may have had mixed reactions, but it was still a pretty good movie overall. In this case, if you would like to enjoy the movie more, you should not read the book before watching the movie. If you watched the movie first, you would not have the knowledge that the readers had, making you more open-minded to the movie. Afterwards, you could read the book and enjoy the actual story in more detail. And to all of the Divergent “fangirls” out there (you know who you are), you will be able to watch a new movie from the trilogy every year for the next three years. Insurgent, the second book of the series is currently in film production. The Insurgent movie will be released on March 20, 2015. Sadly, that is 364 days from when the first movie came out, which means lots of waiting. The third book of the series, Allegiant, will be split up into two separate movies. The first part will be released on March 18, 2016 and the second part will be released on March 24, 2017. A lot of waiting just to see the entire trilogy on the big screen, but hopefully all of the movies to come will be worth it.

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