The first time I took the quiz in the back of the Divergent book, I was a tie between Amity and Abnegation. (I think that quiz was being nice to me.)
The second time, my score was equally divided between Abnegation, Erudite, and Candor. (Could the quiz not mediate between my scores?)
The third time, I was solidly Dauntless. (Somebody goofed.)
So… Does this mean I’m Divergent? Factionless? Really bad at these quizzes? (Though given my Erudite-esque academic fervor, I’m not a bad test taker.)
I suppose that’s the whole point of the book: none of us can be categorized so easily. We should instead seek to meld the best of all these qualities. Selflessness. Peacefulness. Honesty. Bravery. Intelligence.
But by the same turn, we’re not equal parts of anything. I am much more inclined toward Amity and Erudite than Dauntless. Moreover, “selfless,” “honest,” “brave,” and the like are blanket terms—each attribute is far more nuanced than the faction titles imply. We see the same phenomenon in Harry Potter, where a Gryffindor isn’t just brave, a Slytherin isn’t only cunning. We categorize ourselves in similar ways, like in high school when we group the jocks, cheerleaders, nerds, bookworms, etc.
We do ourselves a disservice.
We are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Complex, multi-faceted. When we define ourselves strictly by our strengths, or focus only on our weaknesses, we stunt our growth in both areas.
Does this mean I’m going to hang glide or climb a Ferris wheel? A resounding no. (Unless Four is there.) But in my own experiences, my own “faction,” I’m going to try to act bravely. Kindly. Wisely. Honestly. Selflessly. I’ll fail—I already have. But obedience is what God asks of me, not perfection. So I’ll keep trying, and He’ll keep strengthening me.
Postscript: Just for kicks, which faction would you choose? :)