David believes that Tris is trying to steal the weapons that will release the memory serum over the city, not release one of them herself. This gives her time, as she blames David for the death of her mother, the woman he loved. She barely sets off the device as David shoots her to her death. Her mission was successful, and she has a vision of her mother before she dies.
In Chicago, Tobias and Evelyn arrange a meeting with Johanna and Marcus, the leaders of the Allegiant, to discuss a peace agreement. Before they go, Tobias gives Peter the serum that resets his memory, rendering him an entirely new person. At the peace meeting, Evelyn tells Marcus and Johanna the terms of a treaty that they must agree to. Evelyn will step down, surrender all of the factionless army’s weapons, and leave the city forever. The Allegiant will not try to take over the city, they will allow any who wish to leave the city to do so, and they will make it so the remaining city inhabitants will vote on a new social system. “Most importantly, you, Marcus, will not be eligible to lead them” (482). Marcus’s pride is almost to great to accept this final term, but Johanna takes charge and accepts graciously. Tobias then finds Zeke and Hana, Uriah’s older brother and mother, and breaks the news to them that Uriah is in a coma and will never wake up. He brings Uriah’s family back to the compound with him so that they may say their final goodbyes.
When Tobias returns, Cara breaks the news to him that Tris is dead. She tells him that she survived the death serum and set off the memory reset, but she was shot and killed by David in the Weapons Lab. Tobias cannot believe it; he is beside himself with grief. He remembers her being the first jumper in Dauntless initiation, and the first time he noticed her at school…
Caleb tells Tobias about Tris’s dying wish, for him to tell Tobias that “she didn’t want to leave you” (496). His words don’t make Tobias feel better. It is then time for the doctors to take Uriah off life support. Tobias sees David sign the papers for the doctor, and he loses his control. He lunges at David, wanting to hurt the man that killed Tris. Cara tries to explain to Tobias that David is still the leader of the Bureau, that he doesn’t remember anything, that he’s a different person now.
Tobias steals some of the memory serum and drives a truck back to his old house in the Abnegation sector of the city. He is alone, and he ponders taking the serum, to begin again and forget about all the pain he now feels after Tris’s death. But Christina comes to find him, and she convinces him not to take the serum. She tells him that “‘You can’t become a person she would hate. And she would have hated this’” (505). He gives up the vial, deciding to move forward from this.
Two and a half years later, Evelyn is moving into Tobias’s apartment, finally coming back to the city after an extended leave. Everyone has moved on: Tobias is an assistant to Johanna (one of Chicago’s politicians), Caleb and Cara work for the Department of Agriculture, Matthew works in psychiatric research, and Amar and Zeke work in the police force. The group goes to the Hancock building to scatter Tris’s ashes. They all ride the zip line one last time, even Four, despite his fear of heights. The city is healing, and people from the fringe have moved in. Chicago is the only place in the country where people don’t believe in genetic damage – it’s a haven of sorts.
The definitive climax of the novel occurs in this section. Tris enters the Weapons Lab in Caleb’s place, and she successfully wards off the death serum, only to find David waiting for her with a gun. David had inoculated himself against the death serum, so he isn’t sluggish like she is. She somehow successfully sets off the memory reset in the Bureau, finishing her mission. At the same time, Tobias and Evelyn arrange a peace treaty with Johanna and Marcus, the leaders of the Allegiant. The rebellion will not occur in the city, and a new social system will form. These two critical plot events occur at the same time, right before the end of the story, creating the climax.
The theme of sacrifice comes into play in this area of the story more than any other. Tris sacrifices her life to set off the memory reset in the Bureau. Evelyn sacrifices her leadership of the city to reconcile with her son. Peter sacrifices his memories in order to become a better person. More than anything, though, Tris’s conversation with David in the Weapons Lab epitomizes the meaning of sacrifice. She tells David what her mother taught her about sacrifice: to do it out of love, nothing else. And she tells him why his sacrifices aren’t true sacrifice.
Tris’s death is abrupt and unexpected. One of the major protagonists of the story is dead. It makes sense, though, for she was at peace when she died. She never would have been able to live with herself had she let Caleb go into the Weapons Lab. Her vision of her mother as she died was particularly uplifting and heart-warming to a reader. Much of the story documented how Tris found out more and more about her mother by reading her journal. The fact that she joined her mother, making both of her parents extremely proud, is an excellent ending to her story.
After Tobias finds out about Tris’s death, the mood of the story returns to its originally bleak and daunting state. Tobias doesn’t know what to do without her; she was his soul mate. Waking up each day becomes painful to him, for all he can think about is missing Tris. The author uses another hyperbole to emphasize Tobias’s feelings. He travels to the Abnegation sector of the city with memory serum, prepared to reset his own memory to make his life livable again. The fact that he is so depressed that he is willing to wipe his memory clean to forget all that has happened is saddening to a reader.
In the epilogue, the novel once again comes full circle when Tris’s ashes are scattered over the city. They are scattered as Tobias goes down the zip-line from the Hancock building, something that Tris loved more than most things. It seems that Tobias has gotten over his rough patch of depression, for the mood of the story is slightly more hopeful. The city is healing, and the characters are as close to happy as they can be. And Tris’s memory lives on eternally in her friends.