Book vs. Movie – Divergent

Book vs. Movie – Divergent

Hello everyone! Welcome back to another segment of Book Vs. Movie! It’s been a long time coming since my first post, and I apologize for the delay. As I mentioned in my previous post, this segment will discuss the similarities and differences between books and their movie counterparts. Sometimes I read the book before I watch the movie, like I did with The 5th Wave, or I watch the movie and eventually make my way to reading the book, like I did with Divergent. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

This week’s post will be about Divergent. Based off the amazing novel by Veronica Roth – a synopsis which is posted on my blog – this was an amazing movie experience. I remember when it first came out and I had never read the book. I got to go in to the movie without any expectations except for the trailers that I watched up until the point the movie came out. The movie came out two years ago, with two sequels since then, and only recently have I been able to actually read the book that started it all. It was such a relief to say that I liked the book as well as the movie.

But was there a certain part of the book that I felt should have been shown in the movie? Was there possible more than one? Of course there was.

****If you have not read the book or watched the movie and want to avoid spoilers, I would suggest not reading any further. Consider this your warning :)****


First of all, I have to say that I honestly feel like the movie and the book kept the same tempo for the majority of the time. It was actually really interesting to feel like I was watching the movie in my head while reading a book for the first time. Sometimes I feel like it’s better to read the book after watching the movie, but then again no matter what there are downsides, as well as upsides. So, here we go. Down to the discussion.

First of all, there was a really big difference between the book and the movie that really changed the premise of the story. In the book, once Tris finds out that Four is really Tobias Eaton, he would rather have her call him by his real name, saying that he misses the sound of his own name after all these years. It was actually part of the book that I really appreciated. It made me feel like even though Four/Tobias wasn’t going to ever forgive his father for the abuse that he endured in his childhood, he still wasn’t going to completely discount his past. He still had some ties to it, and he didn’t erase his identity from the Abnegation boy that he grew up as. In the movie, however, Tris continues to call him Four even though she found out his true identity. Not once did he want Tris to call him by his real name, nor did he want to acknowledge who he really was. It becomes even more important to me in the next movie installment, where he doesn’t even want to hear that name from anyone else that knows his true identity. That small fact changes the tone of the story for me, in a big way.

Sure it may not feel big to other people, but it’s the little details like that that make a story great.

There were also a lot of gruesome parts in the book that I honestly feel should have been kept in the movie. Of course, that probably would have changed the rating to R, like I would imagine it to be, and defeated the purpose of drawing its target audience into theaters. For one, when Tris and the other Dauntless initiates had to jump off the train for the first time, one of them actually didn’t make it. In fact, it was a Dauntless born that didn’t make it, and she ends up dying. For all their acts of bravery, this death so early in the book shows that life is not guaranteed no matter how much society wants them to believe so. It would make sense for a transfer to be the one to die first, not being used to jumping onto buildings from moving trains and all. But to have a Dauntless be the one to miss it that first and only time, after spending her life training to do exactly that kind of thing really brings things into perspective for Tris and the rest of them. They now realize just what kind of faction they got into, and it opens their eyes to see that it’s not just all fun and games. They are part of the security of the society, built to keep everyone within the walls safe. But that doesn’t mean the Dauntless themselves are guaranteed their own safety in return.

The other gruesome part that they should have kept in was when Edward got stabbed in the eye right after proving that he was the best initiate in Dauntless. Edward had a very small part in the movie, but he was the best physically out of all the initiates. He was so good, that Peter and his cronies felt so threatened by him that they ended up stabbing him while he was sleeping. They probably meant to kill him when they stabbed him in the face, but Edward was lucky that only his eye was destroyed. Maybe it would have been better for him if he died though, rather than become factionless due to a bunch of cowards who weren’t ready to face the idea of not making it past the first round. This action, this shocking part in the novel would have shown a much brighter light on Peter’s cowardice, not just when he tried to throw Tris into the Pit with Al. 

There was also a part in the movie that I thought was really nice. After Tris stood up to Eric during the knife-throwing scene. The only person who really had an issue with Tris was Peter. Everyone else, Molly included, thought that Tris was really cool, and really brave for standing up to him. In the book, Molly never showed any signs of respecting Tris at all. She was too busy being Peter’s lackey to know just how much of a bad ass chick Tris was becoming. I liked that the movie made Molly seem more approachable, even though we did see her beat up Tris to a pulp. Then again, that wasn’t really her fault. She was only following orders, after all.

I could go on and on about the difference between the movie and the book, and it would take me forever. At least it would feel like forever to me. So I will just touch on one more part that I really liked about the movie that was different from the book.

When Tris and her mom fight against the Dauntless together.

Yes, that was the moment that I was really proud of Tris and her mom. It was then that Tris finally realized that her mom was Dauntless (in the book she found out on the Parent Visitor Day while in the Dauntless compound), but to actually see her mom in action even though she hadn’t been in Dauntless for years was amazing to see. Her mom was the one who saved Tris from being executed right on Abnegation territory, and it was her mom that helped her get as far as she did right before she sacrificed herself for her own daughter. Her mom’s bravery and selflessness during the heat of battle was something that I wish was included in the book, but I was so glad that the movie showed it. I feel like it did her mom justice, and really portrayed to the audience that her mom was a force to be reckoned with. It showed where Tris got her strength, not just from herself but from her mother as well.

So, after all that, all the differences I found and after just rewatching the movie one more time to fully make sure I wanted to talk about the points that I felt were so important to me, I’ve made a decision on which one was better:

The MOVIE totally won this time.

And that’s officially it for this segment of Book vs. Movie. This felt like a long post, so thank you for bearing with me on this. If you haven’t read Divergent already, I honestly suggest you do. Plus you should also watch the movie and let me know your thoughts. Was there something I left out that spoke to you more than what I included? Let me know in the comments below.

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