“Becoming fearless isn't the point. That's impossible. It's learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”
Here, Four explains that courage isn't the absence of fear but the ability to act decisively despite one's distress. When Tris becomes distraught after a fear simulation practice session, Four reminds her that fear is an intrinsic human emotion and that the initiate program was never designed to obliterate all fears. Instead, the simulations teach self-control as a coping strategy. Future Dauntless soldiers are trained to ignore their fears so that they do not flinch from danger in their efforts to protect the innocent and the defenseless. Four's words prove prescient: Tris is eventually forced to confront her fear of drowning when Jeanine cages her in a rapidly filling glass tank. By staying calm, Tris manages to remain calm until Natalie rescues her.
"My first instinct is to push you until you break, just to see how hard I have to press . . . Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up. I've seen it. It's fascinating . . . Sometimes I just . . . want to see it again. Want to see you awake.”
Four finds Tris fascinating because she does not react to fear as others do. Instead of paralyzing her, fear inspires Tris to act creatively, independently, and courageously. While her Abnegation peers flee to Amity, Tris prepares to return to her archenemy's sphere of control. Despite her near-death experience in a glass tank, Tris refuses to concede defeat. She gathers her allies and spearheads a daring mission to retrieve the...
(The entire section is 825 words.)