On Saturday, I was able to watch the much anticipated Divergent in theaters starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James. It’s funny because the timing was impeccable for me. I recently started reading the dystopian novel “1984” and I found striking resemblances between the two works of art. *Warning, may contain spoilers*
A major idea in dystopian novels or movies usually involves malpractice by the government. Usually the government has taken a bad turn and begins abusing its power. In 1984 and Divergent, the government plots to suppress the people and essentially control them. Thought police, new languages, and 24 hour surveillance all contribute to the oppression of the people in 1984. Similarly, There are 5 different factions – Dauntless, Erudite, Amity, Abnegation, Candor – that separate the people that allow them to be accounted for and controlled. However, there is always a fear of rebellion which causes the government to take precautions and try everything imaginable to keep the people inept. Tris Prior was divergent which meant she fits under all 5 factions and can’t be controlled by the serum that allows the people of the Erudite faction to control those of the Dauntless faction. In the movie, she was injected by the serum but was still herself unlike some of her peers who became mindless zombies who obeyed the every command of the Erudites.
As I read 1984 and watch Divergent, I’ve pondered the idea of dystopian societies. Are we really that far off from being apart of one ourselves? I mean, the government has information that spans from knowing our information to having archives of our phone conversations. They can even see us naked at the airports. Sure it’s for inspiring safety and preventing terrorist attacks and other traumatic incidents but where is the line drawn. In Divergent, everything was working in harmony until one faction tried to take control of the others. It only took a couple smart minds to stage a coup on the leading faction at the time (Abnegation) and almost succeed. Our own nation may be just a couple steps away from tail spinning into disaster. It is interesting to wonder how these dystopian societies seem so far fetched but could actually be possible.
All in all, the checks and balances were created in order to prevent such things from occurring. Although it is described to be stable and hard for any branch to overtake the others, you never know what could happen in the future.