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Tag Archives: Divergent

Has it All Been Done Before?

I just recalled a discussion I had during a class I had with the professor who had me start this blog. She taught a metafiction class and started it off by asking “Has everything been done already in literature?”

A great question – certainly split the class in two immediately, with people insisting that we’ve borrowed ideas over and over again with different names, time periods, and plots over the years.

I remember telling her that I didn’t believe that. Poe’s The Tell Tale Heart would serve as a foundation for modern detective stories we read today. J.K. Rowling painted a world where the terms “witch” and “warlock” didn’t mean the leering, sinister figures, hungry for mischief and revenge – instead, these could be a mix of smart, kind, and evil figures who used magic and witchcraft for good and evil.

I’ll admit that with the recent surge of YA literature in the Dystopian genre, its easy to argue its all been done before. Many fans have dubbed Divergent and The Maze Runner to be Hunger Games copycats while I feel differently. While all three speak of bleak, somewhat extreme time periods, each one focuses on something different.

The Hunger Games touches on class differences along with the premise of revolution and what it does to people. In addition to that, a young girl is forced to grow up and lead a nation of people who view her as the beacon of hope in a unbalanced society.

Divergent observes how people would fair if they were divided into different groups based on a singular way of thinking. The underlying theme of fear and how one copes with it is also prevalent in the characters’ storylines as they attempt to change a society that had narrowed people’s minds and divided them based on set principles told to them.

The Maze Runner questions morality and whether testing innocent people from a young age is justified in seeking a cure for the rest of the world. The main character struggles with redemption as he tries to atone for his past throughout the series.

Where do you stand?

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Year of Film

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How many of you out there consider yourselves loyal film buffs who see at least a film a year?

When I was younger I saw a lot of films, mostly Disney and the occasional releases from other theaters. Yes, I even dragged my mom to see Pokemon The Movie 2000 in theaters – sorry Mom! Nowadays, it has been rare when I go to the theater unless there’s something I really want to see.

Starting in the later half of 2013, I purchased a membership to AMC Stubs, seeing that I knew I was going to watch The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen in 2013 and Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars, Maleficent, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, and Big Hero 6 in 2014. Guess that it was good that I did – the membership has definitely paid for itself with the number of films I’ve seen, which include Saving Mr. Banks, Muppets Most Wanted, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Guardians of the Galaxy twice and The Maze Runner opening soon. Surprisingly, I think its safe to say that this is a record year for me of films I’ve gone to see in theaters.

Catching Fire takes the record for being the film I’ve seen the most in a theater – 3 times. (Twice by myself and once with a friend who wanted to see it with a buddy.)

Personal favorites that I loved seeing include The Fault in Our Stars, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

After attending San Diego Comic Con in July, I think its safe to add The BoxTrolls to the list of films to see.

How about all of you? Any films you’re excited to see?

Well it All Started…

I started thinking about books and how many of them have unique beginnings.

Charlotte’s Web begins with a question and leads into a confrontation between daughter and father over the life of the smallest pig.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone states that the Dursleys are a normal family and proceeds to set up their daily routine.

Divergent starts with a haircut and a forbidden glance at one’s appearance in the mirror.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog starts with a young boy proclaiming that he accepts Marxism and brags about this news to an indifferent concierge.

Why do these authors choose these unique starting points to hook readers in? To some it might just seem like a catchy way to hook readers in. To me it gives the reader a hint to the author’s style and what you might expect. We can tell that the Dursleys are meant to be a normal, if not boorish family that doesn’t fit in with the fantastic oddities of witchcraft. We can tell that Fern is young yet has a big heart.

What your favorite openers to books?

To Think and Act Like One Faction or Not

After San Diego Comic Con a while ago pushed the film adaptation of Veronica Roth’s trilogy Divergent, I curiously picked up the books to see what the hype was all about. Roth created a society in the distant future where the former city called Chicago has been split into 5 communities which value one particular trait or belief.

The brave are called Dauntless, the selfless are called Abnegation, the peaceful are Amity, the intelligent are Erudite, and the honest are Candor. The books center around a girl who can easily think in the manner of multiple factions and their philosophies, which is a trait called ‘Divergent’. She is also able to distinguish what is real and what is a simulation, even when she has been put under a simulation serum.

Some of the more devoted fans are quick to choose their factions that they would see themselves going into. Apparently, the quiz in the back of the first novel claims that I have the Divergent trait and could fit within Amity, Candor, and Abnegation. Most of my friends told me that I was certainly unusual, as many of them quickly chose one faction that they could easily live in, if society was to change the next day.

It got me to thinking about the factions and how they could be applied today. The flaw I see with committing yourself to one idea of thinking is putting one at risk for being narrow-minded or limited in characteristics. I believe that I ended up with my result because I am very flexible in my way of thinking and I tend to weigh the positives and the negatives of situations while analyzing the overall concept. And frankly, I never like just thinking in one way.