Saturday, June 14, 2014

Society Divides Us Up

I was talking about books in the back of science with the girl who sits next to me, and happened to mention that I was somewhere about 27th in line for Divergent at the public library. The girl who sits next to the girl who sits next to me immediately lent forward to talk to me, and offer a precious gift: Book borrowing.

'I own the entire series.'

My eyes widen because I WANT TO READ THESE BOOKS SO BAD but I don't want to be rude. I was desperate.

'You can borrow them if you like.' She smiles, and I accept without thought. And so I entered the world of  the post-apocalyptic version of Chicago.


If you are not familiar with the Divergent series, here is the run down: In the society, everyone is divided into five factions based on their character:

Abnegation, for the selfless;
Amity, for the peaceful;
Candor, for the honest;
Dauntless, for the brave;
Erudite, for the Intelligent.

Every year, all 16 year olds take an 'aptitude' test that tells them what faction they would be best in. When they get the results, they decide whether to stay with their family's faction or transfer to a different faction. The story starts here. We find out that Tris, one of the main characters, is what is called "Divergent". She doesn't fit into just one faction, her test says she is Abnegation, Erudite, and Dauntless. Tris is forced to hid in a faction, because being a Divergent is dangerous: the leaders on the society want the Divergent dead.

A week later, and book swapping so that I have read the whole series, I am trapped in the ideas I got out of the books. I am stuck thinking about it over and over. I sit there and just think about it. After I finished the first book, I spent a lot of time thinking about what faction I would fit into. After the second book, and began thinking about how none of us could truly ever fit into one faction. After the third book (in which I almost cried at 1am while reading it, but I can't tell you why because, spoilers) I was left feeling shell shocked and just it is so wrong.

After a bit of thinking, I decided that the factions must be partly true in our world: Some of us are obsessed with learning, some hate conflict, and others spend their lives helping others. In this case, I decided that I must, like everyone else, have a dominant faction. I set out to take all the faction tests I could find.

What did I mostly come out with, if being Divergent wasn't an option? Erudite, for my love of learning. I could have guessed this, but I always follow up a guess with a researched fact. Some tests I had told me I was Divergent, others told me I was Erudite and one told me I was Divergent, but mostly Erudite.

I can accept that many of us fall into one category in particular, but I value honesty just as much as I value knowledge. I also do things for others, and I can be brave. I struggle mostly with finding part of myself as Amity. However, I think that when it comes to the factions, its not divided into what you are like, but more on how you react to situations around you, such as war or fighting.

I know of several ways people have been divided, the most popular being the 16 personality's theory (I am INTJ). I always find these idea's very interesting, because we are all individuals, yet studies of us shows that we often share similar personally traits. For example, my sister is an Extrovert, but we share the intuition trait. We can pick up when a friends mood is off just like that, without even having a reason for it. Otherwise, she is as far away from my as it gets - ENFP.

When you start to think about it, it becomes really weird. How could 7 million people fit into 16 different personality types? There are other people out there in the world who process things the same way as you do? Even weirder, they must value one of the factions as well. But while you may share these things, you might not get along!

So I have decided that when it comes down to it, I would ideally not divide people up based on how they react, or think about something, because we are all individuals. However, I think the proof points toward there being many personality traits we share, but whether the 16 personality types is the right one, I don't know.

I understand that this would make everyone Divergent, and therefore make the books pointless, but this is how I would like to show you how each piece of me fits into each Faction.

Now I have made a chart and have tried and probably failed to explain whats going on in my head.

Sorry if this bored you out of your brain, or you didn't understand any of it :(

Otherwise, what do you think about society being dived into groups because of a trait(s)? 


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