Insurgent Chapters 32–39 Summary & Analysis

Veronica Roth


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Insurgent Chapters 32–39 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 32 Summary

The next time Tris and Tobias pass each other in the hallway, they briefly escape their guards. They locate a central control room, which was Tobias’s real goal: identifying the locations of the two central control rooms. He tells Tris to hold on, because they have a plan. In exactly two weeks—on the day that Jeanine has scheduled Tris’s execution—the factionless, the loyal Dauntless, and the Abnegation will storm Erudite headquarters and destroy all the simulation data, freeing Tris in the process.

Tris doesn’t want to survive this process, but she doesn’t tell Tobias that.

Chapter 33 Summary

Caleb approaches Tris before one of the results sessions. She cannot understand his betrayal of their parents, or her. Caleb arrogantly assumes that his decision is right because he sees the big picture, which eludes her.

Tris discovers that she has more mirror neurons in her brain than a typical person; these neurons account for her flexible personality and multiple aptitudes. Tris cannot bring herself to care. She just wants everything to be over.

Tris wakes up inside the next simulation, in which Tobias is helping her to escape. She soon realizes that she is inside a simulation and ends it. Jeanine is so furious that she is driven to attack Tris and holds a gun to her head. Tris is a problem that Jeanine cannot solve, and it drives her mad. Tris attacks Jeanine, scratching her face and punching her in the nose. Tris triumphs over Jeanine.

Chapter 34 Summary

Peter tells Tris that her execution has been scheduled for the next day. Jeanine will continue the experiments with Tobias. Tris makes peace with herself.

Chapter 35 Summary

Peter is Tris’s executioner. Tris believes that she is going to die, but when the heart monitor stops bleeping, Tris is still aware and conscious.

Chapter 36 Summary

Peter repays his debt to Tris, by rigging her execution and helping her and Tobias escape. They return to Tobias’s old house in the Abnegation sector. Uriah and Christina are there too, along with many of the Dauntless and factionless who are preparing to fight.

Tobias and Tris declare their love for one another; Tobias promises to be Tris’s family, now that she has lost everyone else.

Chapter 37 Summary

When Tris wakes up, the house is full of Dauntless and factionless, including Evelyn, who has taken over the house, kicking Marcus out. Tobias looks forward to defeating Erudite and the end of factions. Tris doesn’t want to argue with him, but she does not think that the Candor and Dauntless will agree to the end of the faction system.

Tris sees how at ease Tobias is among this strange mix of company, and she realizes that Tobias is special in his ability to get along with and accept a wide range of people.

Tris wanders around her old neighborhood, ending up in Abnegation headquarters. Marcus follows her into the building. He tries to convince Tris to help him regain the information Jeanine stole; he tells Tris that her mother died trying to get that file back from Jeanine, not just trying to save Tris. He also confirms that the file contains information relevant to the Divergent and to what is outside the fence. He refuses to tell her exactly what the information is, but he does reveal that they were all placed inside the fence for a reason.

Tris realizes, as Marcus does, that if the factionless/Dauntless plan succeeds, then all Erudite information will be destroyed, including this important secret. However, she refuses to help him because she thinks that he is trying to manipulate her by telling her about her mother, and she knows that helping him would involve betraying Tobias.

Chapter 38 Summary

As she continues to walk through the neighborhood, Tris debates with herself about Marcus. He might be both good and bad—mostly bad—but that does not mean he is lying.

She finds everyone gathered together as Evelyn and Tori explain the battle plan. As she listens, Christina and Tris realize that they are just planning to do to the Erudite what Erudite did to the Abnegation. It doesn’t feel right.

Tris leaves the group to think. She recognizes that she must help Marcus preserve the secret information. She lies to Tobias when he tells her that she is going to be in his battle group, attacking the control rooms, saying that she cannot hold a gun and doesn’t want to participate in the battle. He is completely sympathetic and tells her that she should stay behind.

Chapter 39 Summary

Tris and Christina disguise themselves as Amity; they are meeting up with Marcus to enact the first step of their plan. Christina too wants everyone to know the truth, so she has agreed to help Tris and Marcus. They travel to Amity, where Marcus and Tris ask Johanna for her assistance.

Johanna agrees to speak to the group on their behalf the next day. While the Amity are discussing the problem, Tris runs into Cara, and Cara also agrees to help. The Amity refuse to get involved, but Johanna and several others leave Amity to join Marcus.

Chapter 32 – 39 Analysis

These chapters describe the brutal torture Tris is subjected to as part of Jeanine’s scientific experiments. The reality of Tris’s struggle is epitomized by her brother’s betrayal; at one point, she doesn’t want to live anymore because she has lost so much, and she nearly breaks down. Through her repeated defeat of Jeanine’s simulations, however, Tris gains strength. Significantly, through the simulation involving her mother, Tris processes some of her grief. By the time her execution day arrives, she is at peace; however, she no longer looks forward to death.

Though Tris experiences great cruelty, she also learns more about the Erudite. Though deeply hurt by her brother’s betrayal, she bears him no ill will. Through her exposure to the different factions, she discovers the positive and negative of each and incorporates that knowledge into her world view. Tris grows up.

She chooses to help Marcus and to deal with the consequences of betraying Tobias later. For her, the truth is more important than destroying her enemies. It is striking, however, that she never considers telling Tobias about her plans. She never gives him a chance to support her or stop her.

Throughout the novel, Tris is the more secretive of the two, failing to tell Tobias the truth to avoid arguing with him. Perhaps her biggest betrayal of Tobias lies not in helping Marcus, but in rushing back into battle, risking her life once again, just as she discovers that she wants to live. What she betrays is Tobias’s belief that she will be safe when she is really once again in danger. She risks losing his faith in a future for their relationship.

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