With the release of the Divergent movie comes the old argument of Divergent being the same as The Hunger Games. But having read both books, I’m here to complete an analysis of just how different these two books are.
So in The Hunger Games, we’re introduced to Katniss Everdeen, a martyr, a girl who gets our sympathy vote. Katniss does what she needs to do to get the job done, but she complains at every turn and (sadly) is also ungrateful concerning the whole bunch of people who support her. This might seem a little harsh, but it’s still true. Also, her indecisiveness lasts right until the end … with not knowing who she chooses until the epilogue.
In Divergent, you are introduced to Beatrice Prior, later known as Tris. Tris is what I like to call a cold-hearted bitch. But it works for her and the scenarios she finds herself in. Although Tris doesn’t really tug at your heartstrings, you couldn’t help rooting for her and trying to reason the way Tris dealt with everything. One example of this would be when her father says, “Did you really have to shoot him?”, the answer is of course, no, but it’s efficient, and she is Dauntless, so it works.
The Hunger Games
He’s tall, dark, handsome, rugged and a son of the forest. He’s comfortable outside and is reliable enough for Katniss to trust him to take care of her sister and mother when she can’t. He’s the perfect friend because he’s exactly like Katniss. Loyal to a fault, slightly selfish, and very good at giving mix-signals.
He’s strong, blond, gorgeous in that preppy, classic way, and the complete opposite of all Katniss has ever known. Peta to Katniss is not “safe” because he’s so different. He’s charismatic, people-pleasing, and friendly. He looks for the good in people, even when they don’t want to show it.
Smart, fit, brave, a little cold, working on being kind and chiselled. Four is everything you’d expect in a man … ten years his senior. Eighteen to Tris’s sixteen, it’s hard to believe that such a guy exists at such a young age, at least in Tris’s world. Unlike in The Hunger Games, Four’s relationship with Tris is one developed in the instructor-to-student spectrum.
Their relationship is a surprise for each of them and isn’t something that is developed slowly but surely over time like Gale and Katniss’s but is more like Peta and Katniss’s with danger and death at every turn. But unlike Peta, Four isn’t weary of violence and doesn’t hesitate to protect what’s his. At the same time, Four knows how to do so smartly and secretively.
Divergent is also not a love triangle.
In The Hunger Games, we have two heroes… and the reader gets that tough choice of who to root for, much like in the Twilight series with Edward and Jacob. Much like Jacob, Gale gets his shining moment in the last book in the Hunger Games series. But by having Katniss with two guys, throughout the whole series, and her not “picking” right until the ends, shows how indecisive Katniss is. And that’s the complete opposite of Tris.
Tris, from Divergent, is barely able to handle one guy, let alone the interest of two. Being Abnegation-born makes her wary of intimacy but also helps her learn how precious trusting a person to such a degree is rare.
There’s been a lot of slack towards Veronica Roth saying that Divergent is the same as The Hunger Games because of the dystopian setting. Um, just saying, but that’s like saying that Twilight is the same as The Vampire Diaries because they’re both about vampires with human girl main characters. Um, how about no?
In The Hunger Games, you are born into a District, 1 through 12, and each has its own jobs that provide for the district, 12 being coal and mining. But in Divergent, you are born into a group, called a Faction, that has a specific job to do in the city. But unlike in The Hunger Games, you can change your Faction when you come of age, and it’s also possible for you to be turned away from the Faction if you don’t qualify.
The differences between these two dystopian governments are quite distinct.
In The Hunger Games, you have President Snow ruling with smoke-screened terror, smothering hope in a way people can enjoy, through entertainment (The Hunger Games). But the underlining fact is that he rules with the notion that people don’t have choices. The peacekeepers are examples of this because if you don’t follow the rules, you get shot. No questions, no hesitation.
But in Divergent, the government is ruled by giving the population the idea of having a choice. They think they choose which faction they want to belong in because it best fits their needs, but it’s through these choices that the government can control you.
Okay, now for the plot they’re similar but the evil guy in The Hunger Games, is a guy, and in Divergent, it’s a girl.
Katniss is all about surviving circumstances where she’s blatantly trying to be killed-hello, it’s obvious, it’s a game about killing people! But in Divergent, it’s all about espionage, and what you see might not be as it seems.
If you still think the books are the same (btw we’re talking about Book One of each series), I suggest you read it again and note just how different they are.