Beatrice Prior

Roth fashions Beatrice as a heroine many of us can relate to. Her multi-faceted personality and complex character is authentic without being clichéd. Because Divergent is written in the first-person point of view, we are privy to Tris's thoughts at every stage of the story. We get to understand how she feels about her abilities, challenges, and relationships. Like many of us, she sometimes struggles with self-doubt and fear. Unlike her brother, Caleb, she is not naturally selfless; instead of the quiet life, she prefers adventure, danger, and challenge. At the beginning of initiation, Tris is the first jumper to plunge seven stories down into the Dauntless compound. Later, she exults in climbing a giant Ferris wheel during a Capture the Flag game and revels in zip-lining a hundred stories down the Hancock building. When Tobias is threatened by a simulated Marcus in his fear landscape, she valiantly jumps to his defense.

Yet, her determination to define her identity on her own terms is never superseded by her intrinsic reverence for many of Abnegation's core values. During unguarded moments, Tris reverts to characteristic Abnegation behavior: she chooses the plainest food on Initiation Day, stands up for a beleaguered Al during a knife-throwing practice session, and denies her physical beauty in the face of Tobias's romantic interest. The virtue of Tris's divergence lies in a unique character born out of decision, conditioning, and experience. Tris’s character compels our interest because she embodies a powerful truth: that we are all unique and complex creatures with the ability to make a difference in our world.