DIVERGENT, Chapter 5: The Choosing Ceremony

Self spent last night bawling — literally  bawling — over Hunger Games fanfiction.

In one fanfiction, Katniss is a maid in the well-off Mellark household.  In another, she is hired by Peeta’s father to help out in the bakery.  In others, Peeta is King Peeta and Katniss is a winsome country lass.  Self doesn’t like these fairy tale ones as much as the others, but sometimes self needs to read something relaxing, and it’s always a kick to imagine J-Hutch wearing a kingly crown. In all of the fanfiction, the socio-economic status reflects that of the characters in Suzanne Collins’s trilogy:  Katniss = poor.  Peeta = well-off.  Stage set for melodrama of the highest order.

And now to Divergent, Chapter 5.

The heroine, Beatrice, and her brother, Caleb, belong to the Abnegation faction (a very irritating faction, don’t ask).  But now they get to choose whether to stay in Abnegation or go to some other faction that’s a better fit for their skills and personality.

Usually the teens who are choosing opt to stay with their families’ factions.  In the case of Beatrice and Caleb, that would mean Abnegation.

A boy from Dauntless goes to the center of the room and makes his choice:  Candor.

His blood falls onto glass, and he is the first of us to switch factions.  The first faction transfer.  A mutter rises from the Dauntless section, and I stare at the floor.

They will see him as a traitor from now on.  His Dauntless family will have the option of visiting him in his new faction, a week and a half from now on Visiting Day, but they won’t, because he left them.  His absence will haunt their hallways, and he will be a space they can’t fill.  And then time will pass, and the hole will be gone, like when an organ is removed, and the body’s fluids flow into the space it leaves.  Humans can’t tolerate emptiness for long.

Wow, self loves the writing.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Home Again (post-AWP/2014)

Back home, self means.

Thank goodness it’s been raining, so she doesn’t have to worry about catch-up watering.

She pores over her AWP goodies, reluctant to put any of them away.

She watched bits of the Oscars yesterday, and was surprised at how subdued J-Law seemed.  Almost, tired.  Her eyes didn’t have last year’s sparkle.  She looked thin and elegant, but — Good Lord, self never thought there’d come a day when she’d welcome Miley Cyrus’s stubborn commitment to hi-jinks.

Help help help!  What has happened to that Funny Girl of yester-year?  Nicholas Hoult was by her side, looking neither happy nor unhappy.  Are these two really getting married?

Today, self does her usual thing:  Costco.  Laundry.  Scanning her e-mail for rejections.

She inadvertently let her car registration lapse, and it’s a smog test year, boo.

Perhaps now she can finally focus on finishing Divergent. She bought her copy months ago.

The heroine is named Beatrice (which is a nice name, though not as unique as Katniss).  She is still deep in the nest of her Abnegation family.  There is a really intriguing passage on p. 37 (end of Chapter 4):

I peer into his room and see an unmade bed and a stack of books on his desk.  He closes the door.  I wish I could tell him that we’re going through the same thing.  I wish I could speak to him like I want to instead of like I’m supposed to.  But the idea of admitting that I need help is too much to bear, so I turn away.

I walk into my room, and when I close my door behind me, I realize that the decision might be simple.  It will require a great act of selflessness to choose Abnegation, or a great act of courage to choose Dauntless, and maybe just choosing one over the other will prove that I belong.

Hmmm, that’s truly excellent writing.  It continues excellent through Chapter 5, when self has to stop to greet The Man.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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