"In its center grows a huge tree. Its branches are spread over most of the greenhouse, and its roots bubble up from the ground, forming a dense web of bark."
This description of the tree that sits at the center of Amity's main greenhouse is rich in detail, providing readers with a clear image of the setting. The vivid descriptions of the setting here are so important because they reveal a lot about Amity itself. Up until this point, Amity has been the most mysterious faction; Tris rarely interacted with anyone from Amity in the first book, after all. Their unique setting, surrounded by nature and always at peace, sits in stark contrast to the war-torn city inside the fence.
"I'm struck, suddenly, by how handsome he is—all his features are proportionate, his eyes dark and lively, his skin bronze-brown."
One of the few things that Tris ever notices in great detail and relays to readers is Tobias. Nearly every time she sees him, readers are provided with a detailed description of his face, his body, or his tattoos, painting a rich picture of the man she has come to love. Though she does not spend a lot of time talking about her feelings for him—very rarely are readers given a straightforward explanation of how Tris feels—it is easy to infer how much she cares for him based on these descriptions.
"More come from the next landing, a steady flow of blue-clad people in dim blue light, the whites of their eyes bright as lamps in contrast to everything else."
Tris is hyper-aware of everything while in Erudite headquarters, so some of the most vivid imagery comes from the scenes she sees inside. In this description, readers get a clear picture of Erudite citizens streaming from the buildings, evacuating as the factionless and Dauntless attack. The color blue binds them together, and most noticeable is the whites of their eyes. This scene is especially shocking to Tris, since many of these people are innocent; through this description, readers can get a better sense of the shock she feels while watching them.
"Her nose is bleeding, and I see lines of fingernail scrapes in her cheeks, on the side of her throat, turning red with blossoming blood. She glares at me, pinching her nose closed, her hair disheveled, her free hand trembling."
After attacking Jeanine, Tris takes note of every detail of her face because the blood and scratch marks are evidence that for once, Tris has managed to beat Jeanine. Even if it was only in this moment, she broke her, and the evidence of Jeanine's weakness shows on her mangled face. This detailed description allows readers to see, through Tris's triumphant eyes, what she has done to the woman who has ruined her life.
Insurgent Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Insurgent is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.