Allegiant Essay Questions

  1. 1

    Who struggles the most with an identity crisis upon learning that the city was merely an experiment aimed to heal genetic damage?

    The most likely answers are Tobias, Cara, Caleb, or Peter. Tobias struggles with the knowledge that he is not actually Divergent, despite having thought this for years. He feels as though he is limited, lesser than Tris because of his damaged genes. Caleb and Cara have similar reactions to learning the truth. They are rational, having been Erudite in the city, and all of the new information proves particularly difficult for them to process. Peter, on the other hand, seems to obsess over the vastness of the world. He, more than anyone else, ponders the insignificance of life. Any of these 4 characters could serve well in answering this question.

  2. 2

    How are Tobias and Peter similar? How are they different?

    Both consider injecting themselves with memory serum to reset their memories. Peter thinks about this to start a new life, no longer an evil coward who hurts others and likes it. Tobias considers it in order to forget about Tris, having no reason to live after her death. Their character traits are vastly different. Tobias's compassion and love are constantly present, and his vulnerability, mostly toward his relationship with Tris and his parents, make prominent appearances. Peter, however, shows none of these traits. He is self-centered and loathed by many of the group.

  3. 3

    How does Tris's reaction to the Bureau sculpture epitomize her character?

    She doesn't like that the sculpture only lets out a tiny drop of water at a time. She wants the Bureau to release all of the water at once, so as to have a bigger effect in the quest to heal genetic damage. This is characteristic of Tris because she likes to act. At the end of the story, it is her idea to release the memory serum on the Bureau. This is a huge move, nothing like the patient effort of the Bureau over the years. She is impulsive; she listens to her instinct and is constantly planning effectually. She isn't a person ready to wait for long-term results. She looks to the short-term.

  4. 4

    Why does Tobias choose to go to his mother instead of his father when he goes back into the city to stop the Allegiant revolution?

    Many answers are possible. He sees hope of reconciliation with his mother, and no such hope with his father. He is still scared of his father and would rather not approach him if he doesn't have to. He makes a spur of the moment decision because he doesn't really know if either will be receptive to him. He thinks his mother cares for him more than his father. The answer isn't truly specified, but many arguments can be proven.

  5. 5

    Who has the most twisted idea of what sacrifice means in the story?

    Caleb is a possible answer. He believes that sacrifice is sometimes the only way to escape your own guilt. This is why he volunteers to enter the Weapons Lab. Peter is also possible, as he believes the sacrifice of his memories will make himself and the world a better place. Instead of working to become a better person, he chooses the easier way, taking the memory serum. David is also possible, as his idea of sacrifice does not even involve himself. His sacrifices involve using others for the good of his experiments -- resetting people's memories to prevent destruction and shutdown of his experiments. Last, Nita's idea of sacrifice is twisted, in that she is prepared to sacrifice many lives in the Bureau to get her revenge and to strike at the Bureau. None of these people truly understand the meaning of sacrifice.

  6. 6

    Once Tris's mother entered the Chicago experiment, do you think she should have told her family about what was outside the city?

    The Bureau raised Tris’s mother, and even though she was assimilated into the experiment, she was still loyal to the Bureau. She shouldn't have told her family the truth about the outside world because it would have resulted in the Bureau wiping the city's memory. She liked her life in the city, and if the Bureau knew that she had revealed their secret, nothing good would come of it. Another possible answer is that she should have told her family, but only after conditions in the city became very close to civil war. Both arguments could be proven.

  7. 7

    Is Tobias right to feel so guilty for Uriah's comatose state?

    Yes, because he did play a role in the plot that resulted in the explosion that sent him into the coma. Though he had no idea that such destruction would come of Nita's plan, and he never wanted any of his loved ones to get hurt, he still played a role. This still deserves his guilt, especially because of what he promised Zeke (to protect Uriah outside the city). Others may argue that his guilt isn't rational. He simply acted to undermine the Bureau. If he had known Nita's true plan, he probably wouldn't have gotten involved. One cannot blame oneself for everything.

  8. 8

    What really convinces Tobias not to reset his own memory at the end of the story?

    An answer pointing to Christina is only partially correct. The correct answer must mention staying true to Tris's memory. Tobias knew that taking the memory serum would make him a coward, and that Tris would never approve of that. He couldn't just forget her as if she never existed. Christina told him all this, but it's Tris's memory that convinces him.

  9. 9

    What makes Tris want to know more and more about the Bureau?

    Her mother's journal. She knows that her mother lived in the Bureau, that some of these people knew her. It's the journal that makes her want to know more about the Bureau and the fringe. She craves any knowledge that will make her feel closer to her mother. Many might answer with curiosity, or a will to make right what is wrong with the Bureau, but her mother's past presence in the compound drives her even more.

  10. 10

    Who has a more enlightening venture into the fringe, Tobias or Tris?

    Tris's experience seems to be more enlightening, especially because of her conversation with Amy. Amy opens her eyes to the viewpoint that her old home, one of many city experiments, only perpetuates the belief that GDs are damaged and need to be cured. It's the first time she comes into contact with this viewpoint. Both characters see the desperation and poverty of the fringe, but Tris's experience almost foreshadows her attempt to shut down the city experiment (by resetting the Bureau leaders' memories).