August 16, 2015

Don't Let Anyone Put You In A Box: Divergent (2014)

Have you ever stopped yourself from doing something that you really wanted to do because it was atypical of your normal behavior, or you were worried about what other people might think? Be honest. I'm guilty of it, too.

Lead characters Tris and Four stand above a futuristic Chicago.
It's a sad and unfortunate truth that we sometimes allow other people to dictate or even become stakeholders in our lives. What's worse is that it often leads us to either making decisions that stifle our growth, and/or prevent us from being happy. And what's worse than that? The thing we have to remember is that we are all living organisms that are meant to evolve, and if we allow others to box us in, intimidating us from trying new things or simply doing what we want, then we aren't allowing ourselves to properly evolve, and that's on top of not being happy. The movie Divergent (2014) is a great reminder to us all that we shouldn't let anyone put us in a box; even if it means forging a new and unknown path.

In the movie Divergent (2014), Beatrice "Tris" Prior (Shailene Woodley) lives in a dystopian society where she is forced to choose a faction (which are basically professions based on virtues) in which she will spend the rest of her life. Just prior to choosing, she is subjected to a psychological test that was supposed to help her determine which faction to choose before the designated ceremony, but her results rendered inconclusive because she demonstrated virtues representative of multiple factions. In other words, she was divergent, which makes total sense given that no one really demonstrates only one virtue; unless you're a robot (and not an AI, either). Although Tris was advised to choose the same faction as her parents, Abnegation (the selfless), she went with her gut and chose the faction Dauntless (the brave). Doing so wasn't an easy choice; however, it did help her develop the side of herself that was previously dormant because of her home environment. She ultimately grew brave enough to help prevent the annihilation of her parents' faction, though they were already dead by then, and flee the city with her new love/fellow divergent, Tobias "Four" Eaton (Theo James).

While this movie is definitely an entertaining sci-fi action thriller, it also serves as a great reminder of the life lesson that we shouldn't allow others to dictate who we are and how we should live our lives. Sure, when we're young we have no choice, but as we grow older and reach the age of consent, like Tris in the movie, we should and must seize the opportunity to choose that which we feel is the right path for ourselves. So, go forth and choose your own path, and never allow anyone to put you into a box. We all have the right to happiness, but we'll never get there if we keep allowing others to define what that looks like for us. Be a Dauntless!

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