Tobias "Four" Eaton
In Tobias, Roth has created the perfect complement to Divergent's heroine. During Tris's initiate days, Tobias is Tris's teacher, mentor, and protector. As the story progresses, Tobias becomes Tris's ally, and the dynamic between them changes. They become each other's protectors as they battle to save their city. Like Tris, Tobias is a study in contrasts. As a skilled, formidable Dauntless leader, he commands respect but also nurses a few fears of his own. The Tobias who fiercely lunges at Jeanine is also the same one who avoids zip-lining activities for fear of heights. Additionally, Tobias is still wary of a father who abused him during his childhood. Despite these challenges, Tobias earns our admiration because he refuses to let his fears rule him; his unswerving tenacity is a testament to his inner strength.
Roth makes Tobias accessible by highlighting the challenges he faces from peer pressure, societal expectations, and domestic conflict. As a Dauntless leader, Tobias is expected to embrace the directives of his superiors, but Jeanine's brutal reinterpretation of Dauntless directly contradicts his deepest convictions. On the domestic front, Tobias struggles with his father's conception of discipline but is drawn to some virtues his former faction cherishes. Meanwhile, Tobias works to dispel Tris’s doubts about their relationship. Tobias's challenges testify to the pressures many teens face as they struggle to define themselves. Tobias's unique approach to these challenges testifies to the resilience of his spirit and the redemptive power of his divergence.