Insurgent Chapters 1–6 Summary & Analysis

Veronica Roth


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Insurgent Chapters 1–6 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 1 Summary

Tris, Four/Tobias, Caleb, Marcus—Four’s father and Abnegation leader—and Peter seek refuge with the Amity faction. They find surviving members of Abnegation there too. The Amity welcome them, treating Tris’s gunshot wound and giving them food, clothing, and shelter.

Chapter 2 Summary

The Amity meet as a group and decide that the members of all other factions are welcome to seek shelter with them—their compound serving as a safe house—as long as they bring no weapons and maintain the peace. Johanna Reyes tells them of Amity’s decision to remain neutral in this conflict; though the Amity have no official leader, they choose Johanna as their spokesperson. Tris and Tobias recognize that they won’t be able to stay long; knowing they have brought in and hidden Tris’s gun and they have no intention of maintaining peace.

Chapter 3 Summary

Tris overhears Marcus and Johanna discussing some important information that Abnegation were trying to keep secret from the Erudite. Jeanine—leader of the Erudite, attacked the Abnegation to get that information. Marcus tries to convince Johanna to protect the Abnegation and to try to retrieve that information from Jeanine before she destroys it. Johanna wants Marcus to tell her what that information is, but he refuses, fearing betrayal.

When Tris discusses this with Tobias, he believes his father is just trying to make himself sound more important than he is by talking about secrets that must be retrieved from the Erudite. Tris, however, believes that Marcus is telling the truth, despite her personal dislike of him.

Chapter 4 Summary

Talking with Caleb at breakfast the next morning, Tris recognizes that the Amity are completely self-sustaining and independent of all the other factions. They work very closely with the Erudite, who control the gate in and out of the city, where the other factions are located. Tris is uncomfortable to realize how much everyone depends on Erudite to survive.

Tris reveals to Caleb that she is Divergent, with an aptitude for three factions: Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless. She also tells him that she is able to control the simulations: something that no one else is able to do. Marcus sits down at the table with Tris, Caleb, and Tobias. He asks the remaining Dauntless to escort the remaining Abnegation members back inside the city.

Chapter 5 Summary

Tris confronts Marcus, but he insults her and insists that he will not tell her anything about the secret information Abnegation held. That night, she wakes from a nightmare and seeks out Tobias’s room. She climbs into bed with him and he comforts her, telling her that, while nothing else is alright, they are.

Chapter 6 Summary

The next morning, Tris returns to her room and finds Peter searching it. He has taken the hidden drive containing the record of the simulation. Peter tells Tris he doesn’t trust her with this information because she is unstable. Tris attacks Peter and Tobias takes the drive back from Peter. Tris is then taken into custody by Amity. They talk to her and give her a shot of a calming serum. She becomes giddy and silly; they have given her too much of the serum. Tobias takes Tris to Johanna’s office and confronts her. Johanna admits that they give the serum to those who have trouble keeping the peace, and they also put the drug into their bread supply.

Chapter 1 – 6 Analysis

Several themes are established in these opening chapters, including the themes of trust and loyalty. Marcus, the de facto Abnegation leader and Tobias’s father, trusts no one after the wholesale massacre of Abnegation members. Not many of them have survived the Erudite-sponsored attack, carried out by mind-controlled Dauntless soldiers.

With the disintegration of the Abnegation and Dauntless factions—many Dauntless have joined the Erudite in the city, while most of the Abnegation were murdered—the responses of the other factions to these events come under scrutiny.

Not only are three factions—Erudite, Dauntless, and Abnegation—but individual relationships are coming under stress too. Tris begins to question Tobias’s motivations, as he sees things differently than she does. For example, while Tobias sees the beauty of the Amity’s way of decision-making, Tris merely sees chaos and the impossibility of keeping order should one person decide to not cooperate, or worse, to do something horrible.

Horrible actions are on Tris’s mind, as she experiences symptoms of PTSD as well as guilt for having killed Will and her parents’ deaths. She turns to Tobias, who understands her grief and loss, having lost his own mother as a small child. Tris’s reactions, though understandable, foreshadow some of her questionable decisions later in the novel. Is she able to make good choices, considering the grief and stress she is experiencing?

Interestingly, Tobias discovers that Johanna drugs the faction members in Amity, in order to keep the peace. All is not as it seems in Amity, as with all of the other factions. The dark side of the faction system, forced co-operation within factions includes the loss of free will, even among the peace-makers.

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