Category Archives: The Giver

The Problem with “Divergent” by Veronica Roth

Note: While I will not be writing on Divergent‘s content issues, they do exist, and it is more for these that I wouldn’t recommend the book than the issues I bring up here.

Dystopia- “an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.” — New Oxford American Dictionary

And, I also found “totalitarian”, since it was a new word to me:

“of or relating to a system of government that is centralized and dictatorial and requires complete subservience to the state.”

1984. Fahrenheit 451. The Giver. Hunger GamesThe Maze Runner. Divergent. These titles all share a common genre– dystopia. Dystopia is intended to make a political statement, point out where are government is heading, and hint what we should do about it. At least, originally. This is where Divergent fails as a dystopia. Veronica Roth uses the dystopian community Tris and her friends find themselves in as a convenient setting, not to teach anything in and of itself. I did appreciate the reoccurring self-sacrificial themes. The author explored certain topics and made a point in her writing, but left the focus pointing at fears and Tris’s love for Four more than anything else.

The Giver, written by Lois Lowry in 1993, and my favorite dystopia novel, sits on the spectrum’s opposite end. Lois Lowry delves deeply into memories and emotions, while perhaps forgetting to develop elements we’d find in her other novels. All the same, after finishing both, Lois Lowry has taught me far more than Divergent ever will. 

What are your thoughts? Have you read The Giver and did you like it?