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Divergent – Book Quotes

Stacey Tuttle on March 25, 2014 - 4:55 pm in Book Quotes, Books

Click here to read Shepherd Project’s Discussion of Divergent!  

Note:  Due to the volume of quotes, favorites have been highlighted.

Marcus:  “Welcome to the Choosing Ceremony.  Welcome to the day we honor the democratic philosophy of our ancestors, which tells us that every man has the right to choose his own way in this world.”
                Or, as it occurs to me, one of five predetermined ways. (p41)

Marcus:  “Decades ago our ancestors realized that it is not political ideology, religious belief, race, or nationalism that is to blame for a warring world.  Rather, they determined that it was the fault of human personality—of humankind’s inclination toward evil, in whatever form that is.  They divided into factions that sought to eradicate those qualities they believed responsible for the world’s disarray.”  (p41)

Marcus:  “Those who blamed aggression formed Amity…  Those who blamed ignorance became the Erudite…  Those who blamed duplicity created Candor…  Those who blamed selfishness made Abnegation…  And those who blamed cowardice were the Dauntless.” (p42)

Tris:  But I am not selfless enough.  Sixteen years of trying and I am not enough.  (p43)

Abnegation has fulfilled our need for selfless leaders in government; Candor has provided us with trustworthy and sound leaders in law; Erudite has supplied us with intelligent teachers and researchers; Amity has given us understanding counselors and caretakers and Dauntless provides us with protection from threats both within and without….  In our factions we find meaning, we find purpose, we find life.  (p43)

Tris:  It must require bravery to be honest all the time.  I wouldn’t know.  (p62)

Four:  “The chasm reminds us that there is a fine line between bravery and idiocy!”  (p65)

My father says that those who want power and get it live in terror of losing it. That’s why we have to give power to those who do not want it. (p68)

“Are you saying that if you had known this before the Choosing Ceremony, you wouldn’t have chosen Dauntless?” Eric snaps.  “Because if that’s the case, you should get out now.  If you are really one of us, it won’t mater to you that you might fail.  And if it does, you are a coward.” (p72)

Tris:  I should comfort him—I should want to comfort him, because I was raised that way.  Instead I feel disgust.  Someone who looks so strong shouldn’t act so weak.  Why can’t he just keep his crying quiet like the rest of us?  (p73)

Four:  “We believe that preparation eradicates cowardice, which we define as the failure to act in the midst of fear.”  (p77)

Tris:  My family would never approve of me firing a gun.  They would say that guns are used for self-defense, if not violence, and therefore they are self-serving.  (p78)

Tris:  There is power in controlling something that can do so much damage—in controlling something, period.  Maybe I do belong here.  (p79)

Christina:  “Mom used to say that politeness is deception in pretty packaging.”  (p81)

Candor and Abnegation don’t hate each other the way Erudite and Abnegation do, but they avoid each other.  Candor’s real problem is with Amity.  Those who seek peace above all else, they say, will always deceive to keep the water calm.  (p81)

Tris:  Despite the fact that I have left my old faction behind, I don’t want to criticize it just yet.  (p88)

Tris:  Abnegation sees art as impractical, and its appreciation as time that could be spent serving others, so though I have seen works of art in text books, I have never been in a decorated room before. (p89)

I guess I haven’t really had a friend, period.  It’s impossible to have real friendship when no one feels like they can accept help or even talk about themselves.  (p92)

Christina:  “We try to be pretty honest about our feelings in Candor.  Plenty of people have told me that they don’t like me.  And plenty of people haven’t.  Who cares?”
Tris:  “We just…weren’t supposed to hurt people,” I say.
Christina:  “I like to think I’m helping them by hating them,” she says.  “I’m reminding them that they aren’t God’s gift to humankind.”  (p94)

Four:  “A brave man acknowledges the strength of others.”
Eric:  “A brave man never surrenders.”  …
Tris:  I feel like I am looking at two different kinds of Dauntless—the honorable kind, and the ruthless kind. (p95)

Tris:  If conflict in Dauntless ends with only one person standing, I am unsure of what this part of initiation will do to me.  Will I be Al, standing over a man’s body, knowing I’m the one who put him on the ground, or will I be Will, lying in a helpless heap?  And is it selfish of me to crave victory, or is it brave?  (p97)

Tris:  If I help [Christina], Eric would make my fate the same as hers.  Will I let her fall to her death, or will I resign myself to being factionless?  What’s worse:  to be idle while someone dies, or to be exiled and empty-handed? (p101)

Tris:  Would I even be strong enough to hold on to her?  Would it be worth my effort to try to help her if I know I’m too weak to do any good? 
                I know what these questions are:  excuses.  Human reason can excuse any evil; that is why it’s so important that we don’t rely on it.  My father’s words.  (p102)

Tris:  I wish I could move, but I just stare at her and wonder how long I have been this disgustingly selfish.  (p102)

Tris:  “You’re not a coward just because you don’t want to hurt people.”  (p115)

Tris:  Maybe there is some Abnegation in everyone, even if they don’t know it.  (p120)

Tris about her father:  He said the poor didn’t need policing; they needed help, and we could give it to them.  (p122)

I have realized that part of being Dauntless is being willing to make things more difficult for yourself in order to be self-sufficient.  There’s nothing especially brave about wandering dark streets with no flashlight, but we are not supposed to need help, even from light.  We are supposed to be capable of anything.  (p138)

Tris:  “Any idiot can stand in front of a target,” I say.  “It doesn’t prove anything except that you’re bullying us.  Which, as I recall, is a sign of cowardice.”  (p162)

Eric:  “We also take the phrase ‘faction before blood’ very seriously here.”  (p176)

Al:  “I think it’s important to protect people.  To stand up for people.  Like you did for me…  That’s what the Dauntless are supposed to do, right?  That’s what courage is.  Not…hurting people for no reason.”  (p190)

Tris:  My father used to say that sometimes, the best way to help someone is just to be near them.  I feel good when I do something I know he would be proud of, like it makes up for all the things I’ve done that he wouldn’t be proud of.  (p191)

Tris:  “The most ridiculous part is, in any other faction it would be brave of us to tell someone what happened.  But here…in Dauntless… bravery won’t do us any good.  (p206)

Will quoting the Dauntless manifesto:  “We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”  (p206)

Tris:  Maybe Dauntless was formed with good intentions, with the right ideals and the right goals.  But it has strayed far from them.  And the same is true of Erudite, I realize.  A long time ago, Erudite pursued knowledge and ingenuity for the sake of doing good.  Now they pursue knowledge and ingenuity with greedy hearts.  I wonder if the other factions suffer form the same problem.  I have not thought about it before.  (p206)

Tris:  I know why my father said the Dauntless were a pack of madmen.  He didn’t—couldn’t—understand the kind of camaraderie that forms only after you’ve all risked your lives together.  (p223)

Tris:  The first article accuses Abnegation of withholding luxuries like cars and fresh fruit from the other factions in order to force their belief in self-denial on everyone else. (p261)

Four:  “He wanted you to be the small, quiet girl from Abnegation…  HE hurt you because your strength made him feel weak.  No other reason….  The others wont’ be as jealous if you show some vulnerability.  Even if it isn’t real.”  (p285)

Tris about Four:  He is not sweet of gentle or particular kind.  But he is smart and brave and even though he saved me, he treated me like I was strong.  That is all I need to know.  (p288)

Tris:  In Abnegation no one has committed suicide in recent memory, but the faction’s stance on it is clear:  Suicide, to them, is an act of selfishness.  Someone who is truly selfless does not think of himself often enough to desire death.  No one would say that aloud, if it happened, but everyone would think it.  (p307)

Eric, about Al’s suicide:  “We do not know why…and it would be easy to mourn the loss of him tonight.  But we did not chose a life of ease when we became Dauntless.  And the truth of it is… Albert is no exploring an unknown, uncertain place  He leaped into vicious waters to get there.  Who among us is brave enough to venture into that darkness without knowing what lies beyond it?  Albert was not yet one of our members, but we can be assured that he was one of our bravest!”  (p307)

Tris:  I shake my head.  Courageous?  Courageous would have been admitting weakness and leaving Dauntless, no matter what shame accompanied it.  Pride is what killed Al, and it is the flaw in every Dauntless heart.  It is in mine.  (p308)

Four:  “You’re from Abnegation…and it’s when you’re acting selflessly that you are at your bravest.”
Tris:  I understand now.  He wasn’t persuading me to give up. He was reminding me why I couldn’t—because I needed to protect Al.  (p311)

Four:  “Intentions are the only thing they care about.  They try to make you think they care about what you do, but they don’t.  They don’t want you to act a certain way.  They want you to think a certain way.  So you’re easy to understand. So you won’t pose a threat to them.”  (p312)

Four:  “I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren’t all that different.  All your life you’ve been training to forget yourself, so when you’re in danger, it becomes your first instinct.  I could belong in Abnegation just as easily.”  (p336)

Tris reading a plaque:  KNOWLEDGE LEADS TO PROSPERITY.  Prosperity.  To me the word has a negative connotation.  Abnegation uses it to describe self-indulgence.  (p350)

Tris:  For the first time, I recognize Eric for what he is: an Erudite disguised as a Dauntless, a genius as well as a sadist, a hunter of the Divergent.  (p362)

Christina about Candor initiation:  “They give you this stuff they call truth serum and sit you in front of everyone and ask you a load of really personal questions.  The theory is that if you spill all your secrets, you’ll have no desire to lie about anything, ever again.  Like the worst about you is already in the open, so why not just be honest?”  (p371)

Four:  “I think we’ve made a mistake…  We’ve all started to put down the virtues of the other factions in the process of bolstering our own.  I don’t want to do that.  I want to be brave, and selfless, and smart, and kind, and honest….  I continually struggle with kindness.  (p405)

Tris:  I traded cowardice for cruelty; I traded weakness for ferocity.  (p405)

Eric:  “We believe in bravery.  We believe in taking action.  We believe in freedom from fear and in acquiring the skills to force the bad out of our world so that the good can prosper and thrive.”  (p412)

Jeanine:  “Why are most of the Divergent weak-willed, God-fearing nobodies from Abenegation, of all factions?”  (p429)

Four:  “Weak-willed…  It requires a strong will to manipulate a simulation, last time I checked. Weak-willed is mind-controlling an army because it’s too hard for you to train one yourself.” (p429)

Jeanine:  “We are tired of being dominated by a bunch of self-righteous idiots who reject wealth and advancement…  [We want a] new, improved government…  Improved and working toward a world in which people will live in wealth, comfort, and prosperity.”  (p429)

Jeanine:  “Currently, the factionless are a drain on our resources…  As is Abnegation.”  (p429)

Tris:  My mother submerged me in water when I was a baby, to give me to God.  It has been a long time since I thought bout God, but I think about him now.  It is only natural.  I am glad, suddenly, that I shot Eric in the foot instead of the head.  (p438)

Tris’ Mom:  “Human beings as a whole cannot be good for long before the bad creeps back in and poisons us again.”  (p441)

Tris’ mom:  “Every faction conditions its members to think and act a certain way.  And most people do it.  For most people, it’s not hard to learn, to find a pattern of thought that works and stay that way…  But our minds move in a dozen different directions.  We can’t be confined to one way of thinking, and that terrifies our leaders.  It means we can’t be controlled.  And it means that no matter what they do, we will always cause trouble for them.”  (p441)

Tris:  My father says…that there is power in self-sacrifice.  (p476)

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