Five Reasons Why ‘Divergent’ Is Not ‘The Hunger Games’

Shailene Woodley Theo James in DIVERGENT (Image Credit: Jaap Buitendijk / Summit Entertainment)
Shailene Woodley Theo James in DIVERGENT (Image Credit: Jaap Buitendijk / Summit Entertainment)

This coming March, another popular young adult novel will be heading to a theatre near you. Similar in structure to The Hunger Games, Divergent by Veronica Roth sees a teenage heroine fight for personal identity and fairness in a post-apocalyptic world. But, other than that, Divergent greatly differs from The Hunger Games and people need to know this before they see the film! So, below is a list of five reasons why you shouldn’t just write it off:

Politics

The world in which Divergent is set, isn’t nearly as oppressed as the The Hunger Games’ Panem. In Divergent, children must choose one of five factions to join at age 16 (that they’ll be a part of for the rest of their lives) via a mental evaluation. These five factions help keep society “stable and structured” but obviously leave little room for true freedom and choice. The main heroine, Beatrice Prior, discovers through her test that she doesn’t necessarily fit one single faction – a dangerous quality known as Divergent. So, Beatrice goes with her gut and chooses a faction she thinks might benefit her, while simultaneously disguising the truth.

Coming-of-age story

Katniss Everdeen is forced to kill 24 other teenagers in an arena, and incidentally becomes a beacon of hope after she refuses to do so. From there on out, she’s constantly battling internal demons and her story could be called a tragedy. The story of Divergent is more of a choice-focused, democratic one. Beatrice leaves home and from there it’s more of a story concerning personal identity, ultimately implying that only you can decide who you truly are.

Romance

The romance that blossoms between Tris and Four in Veronica Roth’s novel is essentially night and day from Katniss and Peeta’s relationship. Tris initially admires Four, her trainer and supervisor in the faction, Dauntless, she chooses. Following the coming-of-age structure, Tris has a school-girl crush on Four that slowly develops as the story progresses.

A Different world

The world of Divergent seems sleek, industrial and not nearly as theatrical or colorful as the Capitol. People are more rational and each of the five factions has its own structured compound, all of which work together to do their part in society.

Violence

Also sticking with the coming-of-age aspect, Tris is bullied and the violence in the faction Tris chooses is arguably alarming considering its young adult label. The violence, though similar to Katniss’s story, is in a different context here as Tris must go through trials to become an official member of her faction.

Divergent is a cool story and it’s exciting to see it come to the big screen. The cast is pretty great as well, with Academy Award-winner Kate Winslet in a villainous role and Golden Globe-nominated Shailene Woodley as Beatrice “Tris” Prior. Check out Divergent when it comes to theatres on Mar. 14, 2014 to see what I mean and the clip below for a sneak peek the film.

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Jesse Tabit is a native of Charleston, WV. He studies journalism at West Virginia University.

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