During aim practice, what dangerous act does Eric tell Al to do in Divergent?

In Divergent, during aim practice, Eric tells Al to pick up the knives he's thrown at the target but which have crashed to the floor. This is incredibly dangerous because the other initiates have been ordered by Eric to continue throwing knives at the target, and so Al could easily end up being hit.

Expert Answers

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The initiates are coming up to the end of stage one of their training. Tomorrow will be the very last day of this stage, when the initiates will resume fighting. But today they're going to learn how to aim by throwing knives at a target.

In the event, this turns out to be a lot more difficult than you might think. It doesn't help that the bullying head trainer Eric is prowling around ready to pounce on the slightest mistake. Under the circumstances, it's not surprising that the initiates might get a little nervous and miss their targets.

The worst affected initiate by far is Al. None of the knives he's thrown have hit the target. All of them have clattered to the floor or bounced off the wall. While the other initiates are collecting their knives from the board, the hapless Al is looking for his on the floor.

After Al gathers his knives together, he tries to hit the target again. But once more, he misses badly; his knife veers off several feet to the right of the target, spins, and hits the wall. As one can imagine, Eric is far from impressed and insists that Al pick up the knife.

This is an incredibly dangerous request because the other initiates have been ordered by Eric to keep on throwing their knives at the target. Not unreasonably, Al doesn't want to risk getting hit, so he bravely refuses to carry out Eric's orders.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
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