Divergent Book vs. Divergent Movie

Alennys Nieves , Contributor

Divergent is a young-adult dystopian novel by the American author Veronica Roth published in April 2011. After she completed the book and it became very famous, Summit Entertainment bought the rights of the film. When the movie was released in March 2014, everyone was asking the same question: Will the movie be as good as the book? The trailer seemed like it would be, but it was not.

 In both the movie and the novel, the setting is in a supposed Divergent Universe, which shows an apocalyptic version of Chicago. The novel shadows Beatrice “Tris” Prior as she discovers her identity within a society that defines its citizens by five different factions. The main plot is action, and the subplot is the love between Tris and Four, one of her instructors at her new faction

The novel starts with Beatrice Prior as a 16 years old in an Abnegation family. She doesn’t see herself as selfless, which makes her feel like she doesn’t belong there. Her aptitude test indicates that she has an aptitude for three factions: Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless. This makes her a Divergent, the tester warned her that she can’t tell anyone about it, otherwise, there would be horrible consequences. Before the Choosing Day, Beatrice struggles between staying in Abnegation to please her parents or changing factions and feeling that there’s a place for her in this world.

The setting in the movie was exactly as it is in the novel. The production crew did an excellent job in reconstructing the railroads of Chicago. The fence that keeps the city safe from an outside attack was amazing. The characters were fine, but not all of them matched the description in the novel. Tris is a little taller than what I expected, but its fine because all the others characteristics match. Christina, Tris’s best friend, is totally off. In the book she is taller than Tris, about 6 feet and is described as a strong girl. In the movie she’s about 4 feet 6 inches and frail. It’s a shame because Christina and Tris build up a strong relationship of trust and loyalty.

The movie takes away many important scenes from the book. It took away Visitors Day, when parents went to visit their children in their new faction. This scene is when Tris starts questioning why her mother knew so much about Dauntless headquarters, and what Divergent means. Also, Tris meets one of her friends’ sister, Cara, who accuses Tris’s mother of being a thief and Tris threatens to punch. This an important scene because it shows how Tris’s personality is changing and how strong she feels.

Also, the movie messes up Tris’s fear landscape. There were supposed to be six fears but the movie showed only five. The last fear was about her killing her family, she instead of killing them she put the pistol in her head and fired. In the movie [SPOILER ALERT] she killed her family. Going back to the book, Jeanne Matthews wasn’t watching her fears, she barely appeared in the book. The producers did an awful thing by changing the scenes. In the movie Tris is attacked by Peter, Drew and Al, and from all the hurt she feels by knowing that one of her friends tried to kill her, she goes to see her brother, Caleb, at Erudite headquarters. There she asks him to do a research on what Divergent means, but to keep it secret, and he says no. After her friend’s and brother’s betrayal she goes back to Dauntless headquarters where Eric finds her. In the movie, Tris goes to Caleb to talk about her parents and Jeanne finds her. After she gets to Dauntless, she is attacked. As a fan of Divergent Trilogy, I wish that this part was not changed.

Tris and Four are slowly growing to like each other in the book; they spend time together and began to know each other. Four is the one who saves her from the attack and this is where the magic of their love begins. Later on, he lets her enter his fear landscape and she realizes that Four is really Tobias Eaton from Abnegation, and that everything that Erudite says about Abnegation is true because Marcus Eaton, Tobias’ father, used to beat him up and that’s why he left. During the attack of Dauntless and Erudite to Abnegation, Tris also learns that Tobias is Divergent like her, which makes their love more exhilarating and the book more attention-grabbing. The movie did not develop their relationship enough, so it did not connect the audience with the couple.

Finally, the movie seemed rushed, which did not let the story develop. However, to people that did not read the book, the movie would have been a good action production.