Dystopian books give us so much to work with, it’s almost too easy to use them in the classroom! Below are some essay prompts to get you thinking, and project ideas to keep you busy!
- In our post on the dystopian genre, we mentioned that many books contain elements of both dystopia and utopia, Divergent among them. In what ways is Tris’s world supposed to be a utopia? Where does it fail?
- Human nature is under the microscope in Divergent. Given our tendencies, what other factions might exist, and to which would you belong?
- Four only has four fears, but most people have ten to fifteen. What would some of yours be, and how would they be represented in your fear landscape?
- It seems dystopian fiction is everywhere these days. Discuss some of the common traits in dystopian literature, and explore how Divergent fits in with these traits. How does it fit into the genre? How does it differ from other dystopian books?
- Part of choosing a faction in Divergent can be compared to choosing your group of friends in school. Discuss the way people — teens, especially — fit into social circles. Compare traditional high school “cliques” with the factions in Divergent.
- At the Choosing ceremony, each of the factions has a symbol: Dauntless is fire; Amity is earth; Erudite is water; and Abnegation is stones. Choose which faction you would belong to and create an artistic representation of it.
- Divergent takes place in a futuristic version of Chicago. Though different, many parts of it are familiar. Create a college of images that represent Divergent‘s version of Chicago using photos, magazine clippings, original art, etc.
- What elements make up each of the five factions in Divergent? Using mixed media, create five pieces of art — each representing the values of each faction.
- Give an oral presentation on the qualities of each faction, then stage your own version of the Choosing ceremony. Ask classmates to choose a faction and explain why they’re aligning themselves with that group.