Allegiant Irony

"Amy's eyebrows pop up high. 'Damn. Has it [the Chicago experiment] been disbanded?' 'Not yet.' 'That's unfortunate.' 'Unfortunate?' I frown at her. 'That's my home you're talking about, you know.' 'Well your home is perpetuating the belief that genetically damaged people need to be fixed -- that they're damaged, period, which they -- we -- are not. So yes, it's unfortunate that the experiments still exist. I won't apologize for saying so'" (350)

Amy, a random fringe-dweller who helps Tris during her surveillance mission with George and Amar, opens Tris's eyes to a new viewpoint. Before this encounter, Tris has only though of the Chicago experiment as home, as a place that she must protect at all costs. Amy tells her that the city experiment only perpetuates the idea that GDs are damaged. She's right, and Tris has to deal with the irony of her home being something that she fundamentally disagrees with: the viewpoint of the Bureau.

"'It's not fair for me to give you this choice,' I say. 'But I have to. You can lead the factionless, you can fight the Allegiant, but you'll have to do it without me, forever. Or you can let this crusade go, and... and you'll have your son back.' [...] 'Let them have the city and everything it it,' she says into my hair" (466)

At the end of the novel, Tobias gives Evelyn a decision to either keep her son or keep her tyrannical hold on the city by quelling the Allegiant rebellion. It's ironic that she chooses her son, because she has spent the entirety of her later life leading the factionless. She left her son and her abusive husband years ago, abandoning Tobias to fend for himself. She misses her son more than anything, which is the impetus for her decision to give up her hold on the city and reconcile with her son.

"'The Allegiant?' I say. 'The people currently led by Johanna Reyes...attacked a storehouse?' [...] 'Led by Johanna Reyes and Marcus Eaton,' Caleb says. 'But Johanna was there, holding a gun. It was ludicrous. The Bureau people seemed really disturbed by it'" (369)

Johanna used to be the representative of the Amity -- the faction known for keeping peace and harmony at all costs. She belonged to this faction, and she believed in its ideals more than any other faction's, yet when necessity called, she was ready to take up arms against Evelyn and her tyrannical government. She may be peaceful by nature, but sometimes one must go against their ideals to fight for what they believe in. This is the case when she leads the Allegiant in a rebellion. Tris, Tobias, and their friends are so surprised by this turn of events that they almost can't believe it.

"'Your third fear,' she says. 'Shooting that woman. Who was she?' 'She wasn't anyone in particular,' I say. 'The fear was shooting her.' 'You were afraid of shooting people?' 'No,' I say. 'I was afraid of my considerable capacity to kill.' [...]That's the first time I've ever said those words out loud, and now I hear how strange they are. How many young men fear there is a monster inside them? People are supposed to fear others, not themselves. People are supposed to aspire to become their fathers, not shudder at the thought" (239)

Tobias is supposed to be the most fearless man in Dauntless, only possessing four fears. He has killed many people, attacked even more; he seldom loses in a fight. He is strong and revered, yet one of his only fears is of his own capacity to kill. The irony of this, and the humanity and compassion that it reveals of Tobias's character, shine through during his conversation with Nita.