Divergent Summary and Analysis of Chapters 7-9


Chapter 7

The initiates are split up between Dauntless-born and transfers. Four is in charge of the transfers. He announces that most of the time he works in the control room, but for the next few weeks he will be their instructor. Christina, true to her Candor personality, mouths off immediately, and Four puts her in her place. The first stop on their tour of the compound is the Pit, a massive underground cavern. Built into its walls are places for food, clothing, supplies, and leisure activities. There are plenty of Dauntless around, but Tris notes that she doesn't see any elderly members.

Four then shows them the Chasm, where only a railing separates them from a several story drop into a churning river. Four informs them that it's there to remind them of the fine line between bravery and idiocy, and people have jumped and died there in the past. Then they move into the dining hall for their first meal as Dauntless, where they are approached by Eric, a Dauntless leader. There is clearly tension between Eric and Four, stemming in part from a job that Four has repeatedly turned down. After Eric leaves Tris asks Four about it, and he gets frustrated. After he leaves, Christina insists that Tris has a death wish.

Later, Eric leads the initiates down a hallway and tells them more about the training they'll undergo during their initiation. There will be multiple stages, and the initiates will be ranked in order to determine who will get first pick of jobs after initiation. Only the top ten initiates are made full members of Dauntless. If they get cut, they must live factionless. That night an initiate from Candor, Al, breaks down and cries in the dorm.

Chapter 8

It's time for training, and the first thing the initiates learn is how to shoot a gun. Tris has a lot of trouble at first, but after an Erudite boy, Will, mocks her a bit for it, she manages to hit the target. After five rounds she hits the center, and feels a rush of adrenaline at all the power and control she has in her hands. At lunch, Tris sits with Al and Christina, and they discuss the fact that their previous factions, Candor and Abnegation, don't usually associate with each other, even though Candor's real problem is with Amity. Eventually Will shows up as well, eager to get away from Edward and Myra, two other transfers from Erudite who are dating. Tris watches in distaste as they kiss in public, something that isn't permitted in Abnegation.

After lunch, the initiates will begin learning how to fight. Four teaches some technique, then tells them that the next day, they will begin fighting each other. Afterwards, Al announces that he wants to get a tattoo, and Christina decides it's time to give Tris a makeover to make her look more Dauntless and, in her words, "noticeable." She puts Tris in a black dress, takes out her braid, and gives her eyeliner. The new friends go to watch Al get tattooed.

Tori, the woman who administered Tris's aptitude test, is the tattoo artist, and she recognizes Tris and praises her for being the first jumper. Tris wants to talk to her about her Divergence, but Tori refuses, and instead offers Tris a tattoo. Tris agrees, and selects three ravens to represent each member of her family. She positions them on her collarbone, flying straight towards her heart.

Chapter 9

In training the next day, Four announces that since there is an odd number of transfer initiates, Tris won't be fighting. Christina is paired with Molly, whose nickname is "the Tank." Molly, Drew and Peter are a group of nasty Candor transfers. Peter is the leader and is cruel and competitive. Christina hates the three of them, and she lets them know it; she insists that she's doing them a favor by telling them so, reminding them that they're not God's gift to the world.

Will and Al are first up, and they spar for a long time - until Al asks when it's supposed to end. Four says that conceding is allowed, but Eric contradicts him, saying the fight only ends when one of them gets knocked out. Tris realizes that Four and Eric are two different kinds of Dauntless: the honorable kind and the ruthless kind. After that, Al manages to knock Will out, as predicted by their size.

The fight between Molly and Christina gets bloody, but Christina doesn't fall unconscious, therefore Eric makes it continue. Eventually Christina just surrenders, which was obviously against Eric's rules.

As punishment, he marches the initiates out to the Chasm and makes Christina hang over the edge for five minutes. She has trouble about a minute and a half in, but her new friends help her rally. After five minutes, they help her up.


The setting of the novel has undergone a major shift; before, set in the Abnegation sector, it was calm, dull, and predictable, and now in the Dauntless compound, it's much darker, harsher, and uncertain. The dark, hidden underground Pit suits the murkiness that lies ahead for the initiates; will they make it through initiation, or will they fail and become factionless? Gone are the days when Tris knew exactly what to expect from her life in Abnegation; in Dauntless, no part of her future is set in stone.

During her first days as a Dauntless initiate, we watch as Tris begins to develop true friendships that will play a huge role in determining her identity. Christina's blunt honesty and tough, lively personality will certainly balance out Tris well, and hopefully assist her in coming out of her Abnegation shell even more. She seems to be becoming friends with Al and Will as well. Al is kind and gentle but Will is not afraid to make fun of her. Through these friends, Tris will be able to laugh at herself and recognize her goodness. The friends Tris chooses will be integral in her journey through initiation, but at the same time, they are her greatest competition—after all, only ten of them will make it through initiation, and they've got a lot of Dauntless-born initiates to contend with.

From the moment Eric is introduced, it is pretty clear that he is meant to serve as Four's foil. He represents everything that Four is not; he's clearly power hungry, while Four turned down an opportunity for a higher rank. He is entirely cruel to the initiates, while Four is only tough when he needs to prove a point. As Tris notices, Eric represents the ruthless bravery that Dauntless has come to value, while Four stands for the more honorable kind that the faction was founded on. It appears that something in their past may have prompted this negative relationship, but regardless, Eric has already begun to bring out Four's valiant qualities by contradicting them in every way possible. Their conflict also signals a broader conflict about to grip the city - between and within the factions themselves.

The nature of bravery is an important motif in the novel. Through Four and Eric, Tris is presented with two opposing viewpoints. On the one hand, bravery can be standing up for oneself, finding your inner strength, or being a good friend or teammate. On the other hand, bravery has been corrupted into a "survival of the fittest" that makes those deemed weak prey. Tris will have to choose what bravery means to her, and how it will manifest in her life. But for now, she must continue to discover herself during initiation, so that she is able to form her own opinion and act accordingly.

It's interesting that the Dauntless have equated black clothing, crazy hair colors and cuts, tattoos, and body piercings with bravery. In their society, nonconformist or outrageous appearances help each Dauntless differentiate themselves from their companions and stand out in a crowd. In Dauntless, appearance is an extension of oneself, and styles that other factions (or our own world) may find shocking are a shorthand for daring. Though, it can be said, that all Dauntless dress in a similar manner, which somewhat negates the specialness tattoos and hair color are meant to evoke. Nevertheless, the Dauntless style is a representation of personal identity, perhaps moreso than in our own society; their tattoos represent their past, present, and future, and carry meaning far more significant than the tattoos people today get for aesthetic purposes. Tris slowly warms up to these styles, allowing Christina to apply makeup and buy her more revealing clothing. Her tattoo, however, still links her to her family, so she has not entirely shed her Abnegation skin - even if it now is inked.