Divergent Chapters 1-5 Summary & Analysis

Veronica Roth

Divergent

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  • Features 39 chapter summaries and 6 sections of expert analysis
  • Written by a literary scholar with a PhD in English and a Master's degree in Philosophy
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Divergent Chapters 1-5 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 1 Summary

A 16-year-old girl sits in front of a mirror as her mother cuts her hair. The faction her family belongs to, Abnegation, only allows her access to a mirror once every three months. However, she is due to attend an aptitude test that will indicate which faction she is best suited to. Then, at the next day’s Choosing Ceremony, she will decide whether to stay with her family or choose a new faction to remain with for the rest of her life. She reflects that, on days when her home life seems the most pleasant and normal, she feels particularly guilty for wanting to leave.

The narrator and her brother, Caleb, are traveling by bus to the heart of the city.As the Abnegation faction values selflessness, Caleb has given up his seat to a member of the Candor faction. They arrive at school, and the narrator reflects that this is probably the last time that they will walk its halls. She tells Caleb that she is not anxious but, really, she has been worrying about which faction she will be matched with by the aptitude test.

The interaction between students has become tense, with those in the Erudite faction having become antagonistic towards those in Abnegation. Members of the Dauntless faction arrive, and the narrator watches in fascination as they engage in their regular practice of jumping from a moving train.Their virtue is courage.

Chapter 2 Summary

The aptitude tests begin, and Caleb is called in. The narrator notes that, as far as she is aware, he has always known where he belongs; her earliest memory is of him scolding her for not giving her jump rope to another girl. She has tried to explain that her instincts are different from his, but his reply is simply: “do what you’re supposed to” (10).

The narrator is then called by her name: Beatrice Prior. She walks into a room where a Dauntless woman named Tori awaits. Beatrice notices that she has a tattoo and blurts out, “Why the hawk?” (12). Tori remarks that she has never met a curious Abnegation before, and Beatrice…

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