Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Why Every Young Girl Should See Divergent

This year will be a spectacular year for us book nerds who can't wait to see their favorite books come to life. With The Fault in Our Stars coming out on June 6th (!!!!!), and The Giver just releasing its first trailer for the movie, I am anxiously awaiting all of the fun and excitement of seeing my favorite books on screen.

Divergent kicked off my year of Must Sees on Thursday, and, of course, I was there two hours early. This novel, for those of you who haven't read it, features a super unique world in which people are divided into "factions" based on the 5 characteristics that the founders of this world decided would be important for maintaining a thriving society: Bravery (Dauntless), Kindness (Amity), Selflessness (Abnegation), Truthfulness (Candor), and Wisdom (Erudite). These factions each have their own roles in running the city, with Abnegation being heads of the government and Dauntless providing the police force.

 (For the record, I would totally be Erudite. Don't judge me.)

Tris, the main character, is Divergent. This means she is not meant to be placed in just one faction. It also means that she cannot be controlled by serums. When she transfers from Abnegation to Dauntless, she throws caution to the wind and embraces her truest self. So, as you can see, this book has all of my qualifications for REALLY AWESOME BOOK. I started it and finished it in New York City, which is a really big deal considering I was choosing to spend the afternoon in our little apartment reading over exploring the awesome city. It was that good.


The movie, however, took the novel to a whole new level. (And yes, Four is very, VERY attractive.) While the novel was excellent in its writing style and imagination of this new world, the movie took the novel and made it REAL. The actors were INSANEAWESOME in that they made me feel all of the feels. I do not say this lightly. It takes a lot for me to truly get into a movie; it takes even more to make me cry. But my goodness, did I cry. And laugh. And cheer. Whew.

The best part of the movie, truthfully, was that Tris is just a kickass girl. And no one acknowledges the girl part. NOT ONCE. Even throughout the Dauntless training, which, in the novel, is the hardest part for Tris to get through mentally and physically, no one mentions that she is a girl and that she can't possibly be as good as the boys. Dauntless initiates are ranked by their skills, not their gender.

This truly blew my mind.



I guess in the novel, I never realized just how hard Veronica Roth worked to leave Tris's gender out of it. I'm used to reading novels with strong heroines. But on the screen... Well, it's just not something you see everyday. The fact that she could be feminine AND strong made me cheer! Finally, a great female role model for girls.

Tris is such a real character. She struggles with her family ties vs. who she wants to be. She questions herself daily. She has fierce goals. She is determined to succeed, no matter the difficulties (or the bullet in her arm...). She grieves over the loss of her family. She falls in love. She fights the most powerful woman in her city, and she wins.

The most powerful scene in this movie (and, really, any movie that I can think of at the moment) is when Tris and her mother are fighting side-by-side. They both acknowledge each other as equals, as women, as powerful human beings. They fight for each other, and they sacrifice for each other. The bond between them is honest and strong. You can feel the love and the connection and the fierce will to protect the other. In the novel, I was sad that her mom died and proud of Tris. In the movie, I cried and I cheered out loud.

(We won't mention the amount of times I said "You go girl!" during this movie.)

I cannot say enough about the strength of women portrayed in this movie. Every mother should bring her daughter to see this movie, to show that women can fall in love and be feminine, while still kicking butt and saving the day.

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