Divergent is Cool

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“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked…And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imaginations of his evil heart.” (Jer. 17:9, 18:12, KJV)

This persuasive essay will defend the opinion that humanity’s goodness is fleeting and fragile at best as depicted in Divergent (2011) by Veronica Roth. It is the opinion of this author that goodness is unsustainable by humanity as a whole. Four factors threatening mankind’s ability to maintain moral goodness are pride, power, and impatience. This paper will explore examples of each of these factors from Roth’s novel intertwined with other relevant media examples to defend the concept of mankind’s inability to sustain goodness. From an evaluation of humanity’s need for pride and power to a probe into impatience’s contribution in the destruction of morality this author will demonstrate the fragility of goodness among men. Let us now begin this exploration with the revelation of the importance of pride and power.
Pride
Webster defines pride as a “proud behavior or treatment; insolence; arrogance; distain” (Webster’s, 1939). Being proud is acceptable, even good, to a certain extent. Having pride in the way you look, your handwriting, or something you take seriously. People take pride in the little things that are personal and loved individually. Being a little prideful can lead to confidence; however people often mistake arrogance (an exaggerated pride) for confidence. Prideful people seek to prove their superiority in every aspect of their lives Roth provides the reader with a vivid illustration of this exaggerated pride. The initiates in her novel are supplied with multiple opportunities to st...

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...e desires above all else (p.432). The negative propaganda is not working fast enough to end the power held by the Abnegation faction (p. 244-246), “the failings of choosing government officials based on their faction, asking why only people who define themselves as selfless should be in government”(p. 261-262). Beatrice concludes that “Selflessness and bravery aren’t that different” (p. 396) not through impatience but through longsuffering and goodness.
Conclusion
This author believes that humans strive to maintain goodness but our prideful desire for power leads us to take the shortest route to gratification. Divergent demonstrates both our ability to do right and our inability to sustain goodness without strong restraints on our desires. This is why societies must maintain rules and punishments in order to try to sustain our goodness for as long as possible.

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