They Get Captured Again: Insurgent Chapters 15 and 16

Posted on November 21, 2014 by

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If they’re not visiting one of the post-apocalypse’s many Hufflepuffs, it’s a pretty safe bet that Tris is getting captured.

Chapter 15

Tris determines that whatever kind of gun she was hit with only knocked her down, and Insurgent goes all out and includes a literal smokescreen to cover up how slowly it’s moving.

Cylinder[s] are everywhere, filling the room with smoke that does not burn or sting. In fact, it only obscures my view for a few seconds before evaporating completely.

Tris asks a surprisingly astute question.

What was the point of that?

Tris observes that the others are lying unconscious, and plays along when the Dauntless traitors enter the scene, where a generic henchman also asks another good question about why this novel is supposed to make sense.

“Not sure why we can’t just shoot them all in the head,” one of them says. “If there’s no army, we win.”
“Now, Bob, we can’t just kill everyone,” (side note: generic henchman is so generic, his name is Bob) a cold voice says. […] It belongs to Eric, leader of Dauntless. “No people means no one left to create prosperous conditions,”

Whoa, hold up Eric Rand. Brief explanation of capitalism aside, I’m still confused when someone’s going to explain what the fuck kind of post-apocalypse we’re living in where “prosperous conditions” are even a thing?

"If you saw the Faction System that holds the world on its shoulders, and the greater its effort, the heavier the narrative bore down upon its shoulders - What would you tell it?" "To drugs!”

“If you saw the Faction System that holds the narrative, and the greater its effort, the heavier the narrative bore down upon its shoulders – What would you tell it?”
“To drugs!”

Speaking of drugs.

Whatever they gassed us with, it had to be simulation-inducing or I wouldn’t be the only one awake. IT doesn’t make any sense – it doesn’t follow the simulation rules I’m familiar with

Simulation rules?!

snape bitch please

What simulation rules? The ones that the book has been making up as it goes along literally this whole time? In this book where the main point – Divergence – is simultaneously genetic and a personal choice? When were the simulation rules ever consistent enough for Tris to understand them?

When Eric and the others move on. Tris steals a blue-armband uniform from a dead Dauntless traitor. Uriah reveals that he’s awake and that he’s therefore… Divergent! Which is a surprise we knew since the end of the last book when there was a random unidentified Divergent for a page during the time where Uriah was the only other living minor character. So…

Tris and Uriah think about their plan (the book significantly spends time explaining to us that Tris has no idea what she “expect[s] to gain from submerging myself in an army of Dauntless traitors”, but then immediately has an idea anyway, because we have 500 pages to fill), and split up to go look for other Divergent.

Then Tris tells the narrator about nursery rhymes about the factions, because maybe you haven’t figured out what the different factions are 44% of the way into the Divergent series.

Tris somehow looks for hidden Divergent in the same gassed crowd of Candor that the Dauntless traitors – including Eric – are searching. I guess Divergent is also the ability to seamlessly blend into your surroundings when you’re very obviously not.

Fact: Dwight is therefore Divergent.

Fact: Dwight is therefore Divergent.

The Dauntless traitors find a few Divergent and drag them away to decide which ones to kill and which ones to keep as part of their weirdly macroeconomics-focused evil plan. Tris eventually finds a Candor girl pretending to be asleep and tells her to run away (somewhere) when the others aren’t looking (somehow). The girl gets away, but Eric discovers Tris. They fight, and Tris realizes that Eric isn’t trying to kill her, and must not be allowed to yet.

Eric still wins the fight though.

“I want one gun on her at all times,” says Eric. “Not just aimed at her. On her.” […]
A Dauntless soldier shoves Uriah – whose lips are stained with blood – toward the short row of the Divergent. […] If he’s here, he probably failed. Now they’ll find all the Divergent in the building, and most of us will die.
I should probably be afraid. But instead a hysterical laugh bubbles inside me, because I just remembered something:
Maybe I can’t hold a gun. But I have a knife in my back pocket.

Chapter 16

But before an exciting action scene can happen in this action novel, a biology lesson:

I focus on the mechanics of my breathing, imaging air filling every part of my lungs as I inhale, then remembering as I exhale how all my blood, oxygenated and unoxygenated, travels to and from the same heart.

I figured you guys hadn't seen this gif in a while

I figured you guys hadn’t seen this gif in a while

Okay, real talk. I get that Tris is nervous right now and needs to focus on something else. That’s fine. And this is first-person writing, too, so it’s actually a good thing to include a detail like this. But maybe remember that this is Tris’s distraction from the story – not the reader’s? I should more anxious right now, not wondering if Magic School Bus is on Netflix.

Spoiler: IT IS.

Spoiler: IT IS.

But, lo, it gets worse. For now that we’ve brought up the heart…

SYMBOLISM

But I am thinking of the heart. Not of my heart anymore, but of Eric’s, and how empty his chest will sound when his heart is no longer beating.

Eric paces in front of the group, just out of Tris’s grasp, while he explains to the row of captured Dauntless that he has orders to take only two Divergent back to Erudite for testing, because a group of people obsessed with the scientific pursuit of knowledge apparently hate reasonable sample sizes.

He keeps walking and stops in front of the boy to my left.
“The brain finishes developing at age twenty-five,” says Eric. “Therefore your Divergence is not completely developed.”
He lifts his gun and fires.

It’s a good thing Eric finally got a decent evil villain moment.

I close my hand around the knife handle and squeeze. He leans closer.
“Just between you and me… I think you might have gotten three [results in the aptitude test]. Care to enlighten me?”
I lurch forward, pulling my hand out of my pocket. I close my eyes as I thrust the blade up and toward him. I don’t want to see his blood.
I feel the knife go in and then pull it out again. My entire body throbs to the rhythm of my heart. […] I open my eyes as Eric slumps to the ground, and then – chaos.

The scene erupts into chaos as the Dauntless traitors grab for their guns, the other Dauntless suddenly show up with Tobias out of nowhere, and then we learn that Eric’s not really dead. Because then this narrative would be technically making progress.

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Posted in: Insurgent