Allegiant is a young adult novel that closely follows the characteristics typical of dystopian fiction. Generally, dystopian novels are futuristic and demonstrate an oppressive government that seeks to establish a perfect society. Roth doesn’t explain how far in the future the story is set. However, she shows advancements in technology and changes in the environment, which signify that a substantial amount of time separates Tris’s world from that of the reader. Likewise, Jeanine and Evelyn both seek to improve society through any means necessary, with harsh punishments for those who seek to disobey their orders.
Other dystopian elements present in the novel are the use of propaganda to maintain government control and limit the citizens’ knowledge, restricted freedom and choice, constant surveillance in both Chicago and the Bureau, fear of the world outside their boundaries, and the expectation that citizens will conform entirely to the norms established by the government. These elements drive the action of Allegiant’s plot. Tris, Tobias, and their friends seek to reverse all of these elements and allow the citizens freedom to choose where and how they live and to be free from fear and discrimination.
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As the novel’s protagonists, Tris and Tobias question the system they’ve been born in and feel trapped by their society’s limitations.
By Veronica Roth