Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy is set in dystopian Chicago, where citizens are divided into factions meant to uphold a virtue of humanity. We’ve placed some favorite YA characters into the faction we believe they’ve shown the most aptitude for.
I choose to turn away from my reflection, to rely not on myself but on my brothers and sisters, to protect always outward until I disappear.
Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games
“I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!”
Katniss stepping forward and taking her sister’s place in the 74th Hunger Games will go down as one of the most selfless moments in literature. Facing almost certain death, Katniss shows her true Abnegation colors by putting the lives of her loved ones before her own. Her attitude doesn’t change once inside the game. She helps rival contestants Rue and Peeta—with the knowledge that such a blatant defiance of the government controlled games would make her a target.
Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings
“Come, Mr. Frodo! I can’t carry it for you, but I can carry you.”
Frodo dubbed him Samwise the Brave, but beyond all else Sam is Abnegation. He leaves his home and the only life he knows to follow his friend to the ends of the Earth; he carries their luggage when Frodo grows too weak; he even hauls Frodo’s dead weight to the edge of Mount Doom to ensure that the ring will be destroyed! Arguably he’s the true hero of Middle Earth and when Sam returned home, he used the gift of earth, given to him by Lady Galadriel, to replant the trees that had been cut down during Saruman’s reign—once again using what he has to help others.
Truth makes us transparent. Truth makes us strong.
Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice
“Every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters.”
Though society dictates that Elizabeth marry the most favorable suitor, Lizzie has no trouble expressing her desire to marry for love. Like any Candor, she speaks her truth and the brutal honesty of it is shocking to many around her—especially Mr. Darcy. But a facet of honesty is also being able to turn inward. As she grows to know Fitzwilliam Darcy, Lizzie realizes that holding on to her original judgement would mean lying to herself. As she begins to see Darcy as a man of affection, not arrogance, Lizzie adopts a new truth.
Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye
“It’s partly true, too, but it isn’t all true. People always think something’s all true.”
Holden contradicts himself, goes back on his word, and seems to be the opposite of the Candor faction. But what is true about Holden is that he exemplifies a generation. He’s a teenager who speaks his mind and in that moment truly means what he says… and if and when he changes his mind then he truly means that too! His version of honesty is in flux as he’s growing out of adolescence and into adulthood. It’s something everyone goes through and that has helped Holden’s unique brand of truth stand the test of time—he’s an honest telling of a familiar character.
Knowledge is the only logical solution to the problem of conflict.
Annabeth Chase, The Lightning Thief
“If you’re going to save the world, I’m the best person to keep you from messing up.”
As a daughter of Athena, the goddess of wisdom, it is hard to imagine Annabeth would be destined for anything but Erudite. Whether she is outwitting gods or spouting knowledge of her opponent’s weaknesses, it is her brain rather than brawn that shines. Without Annabeth’s fierce intelligence, it is unlikely Percy Jackson would have survived his many quests.
Artemis Fowl, Artemis Fowl
“I never tell anybody exactly how clever I am. They would be too scared.”
At age 12, Artemis uses his wits to trick a fairy into giving him a book of secrets and then thwarts an attack by a biological bomb. At 13, he outsmarts a criminal mastermind, and by 14, he has created a mini super-computer. Whether he’s fighting for his own gain or helping save a magical race, Erudite is the only faction for him.
Give freely, trusting that you will be given what you need.
Carlisle Cullen, Twilight
“Every life is precious.”
Carlisle was a born (uh, reborn?) Amity. The 23-year-old human-turned-vampire believes he brought compassion from his previous life and doesn’t plan on giving it up. He refuses to kill humans, living off of animal blood instead, and, though werewolves are a natural enemy of vampires, Carlisle helps form a treaty allowing both to live a peaceful existence in the same town. On top of that, his chosen profession for over 300 years is a doctor, a peaceful healer.
Susan Pevensie, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
“Is he—quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
Sometimes believed to be too practical, Susan serves as the voice of reason among her siblings. While they’re ready to rush into battle or even deeper into Narnia, Susan is concerned if everyone is wearing a coat and acts embarrassed when her skills with a bow and arrow are used to best others. She prefers a life of quiet, driven by common sense and caution. Named Susan the Gentle by Aslan, her rule is remembered as a warm and peaceful time in Narnia. Amity is certainly where she’d feel at home.
We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.
Clary Fray, City of Bones
“I don’t want tea. I want to find my mother. And then I want to find out who took her in the first place, and I want to kill them.”
After witnessing a murder, finding her mother missing, and defeating a monster—most 15-year-olds would want to find a safe place to hide until the world became normal again. Clary instead dives headfirst into the world of the Shadowhunters. As she learns about demons, werewolves, and magic, Clary takes the new world in stride and lets no hint of danger keep her from finding her mother and protecting her new friends.
Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars
“I’ll fight it. I’ll fight it for you. Don’t you worry about me, Hazel Grace. I’m okay.”
They don’t make ‘em much braver than Augustus Waters. This teenager has already faced losing his leg to bone cancer, but when he goes into remission, he meets it with unmatched courage. When he realizes he’s falling for Hazel Grace, another teen living with cancer, he’s brave enough to allow himself to fall in love despite the very real possibility that one or both of them won’t survive long enough to have a future. Augustus Waters is a Dauntless through and through.
Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
“You’re just as sane as I am.”
Unlike others on the list, Luna Lovegood is not so easily placed. She’s a member of Ravenclaw, a house known for those with great intelligence—which Luna has in spades! But she is not the typical Erudite. As a member of Dumbledore’s Army and a leader in the Second Wizarding War, Luna shows that she possesses courage that would make any Dauntless proud. Luna’s also extremely open and honest about who she is and always says what she is thinking, which fits right in Candor. With the aptitude for Erudite, Dauntless, and Candor; Luna has all the makings of a true Divergent.
Westley, The Princess Bride
“As you wish.”
When he isn’t bravely facing the pointed end of a Spanish fencing master’s sword, brilliantly outwitting a Sicilian criminal genius, or peacefully befriending a Dread Pirate—Westley selflessly spends his time rescuing the love of his life, Buttercup. Though he’d likely be comfortable in any faction, Westley’s true colors show that he is Divergent.
Divergent symbols from Transparency.
This post was originally published on Zola Books.