Divergent is every adolescentâ€™s dilemma magnified. Will Beatrice â€śTrisâ€ť Prior (Shailene Woodley) model her life on that of her parents or risk everything and strike out on her own? The core questions in this film are conventional: Who am I and where do I belong in the world? Yet Trisâ€™s dilemma is universal, and Divergent illuminates an age-old question in a new setting.
The film is set in postapocalyptic Chicago in a society with the motto â€śfaction before blood.â€ť Each young person must make a public commitment to one of five factions that structure the societyâ€™s social life: Abnegation, Erudite, Dauntless, Amity, and Candor. Once made, the decision is irrevocable and determines the course of oneâ€™s life. Before they choose their factions, young people are given a neurological test that shows which faction best suits them.