This week, YA Highway asks: Which faction from Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT series best represents you?
In DIVERGENT, a faux-utopian society, everyone is split into one of five factions that best characterize their personality. (I have a whole host of conspiracy-theory social control thoughts about the reason the society is constructed this way, but that’s for another post.) Amity represents the Friendlies, who soothe others’ pain and spread sweetness and light. Dauntless is always up to fight the good fight, and never backs down from a challenge. Erudite is devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and advancement. Abnegation denies themselves of life’s luxuries so they can aid others. And Candor is committed to honesty and integrity–they are the Fact-Finding Commission of every day.
But not everyone in this society sorts neatly into one of the five factions. Some are cast aside and forgotten by the others. They are the drifters. The Factionless.
Friends, I’m afraid I would be cast aside as Factionless.
My mom possesses a videotape of my dance recital when I was three. I’m pretty sure she’s saving it for blackmail. In this video, all the other ballerinas are following our carefully choreographed steps, practiced all year long. And I’m following too, for a time. But then you can see the moment, on my face, when something clicks and my eyes say “fukkit”–and I break out into this wild flailing dance party of one.
I can’t follow recipes–not without at least twelve substitutions or alterations. Me and Swedish some-assembly-required furniture do not bode well for a quiet evening. Sometimes, magic happens and the furniture ends up sturdier than before and the dishes come out brilliantly! Other times . . . well . . . I could tell you about the time I made trifle with angelfood cake instead of poundcake and 2 cups of spiced rum instead of 2 shots of sherry (IT SAID 2 CUPS WHEN I LOOKED AT IT I SWEAR), but frankly, the evening got a little fuzzy after that.
I am Factionless. I can call upon the strengths of the five factions when needed (and, usually, after a fair bit of internal hemming and hawing), but my life is a Large Hadron Collider of circumstances where even though everything works out in the end, the messy collisions required to get there are still unexplainable by modern physics.
Dauntless? Okay, I love rollercoasters, I’m always up for a thrill. I can engage Mommy Hulk Strength to scoop up my sheltie from the middle of the road when he’s rendered incontinent by a particularly intimidating breeze. I can hit Send on my newest ms draft to Agent Awesome, despite every synapse in my brain screaming at me not to. But I’m left powerless by other terrifying features of modern life: telephone calls. Filing taxes. Performance evaluations. Remembering to pick up the drycleaning. I am the sheltie, and day to day minutiae are the dread winds.
Erudite? I love me some book learnin’ and I devour every issue of The Economist, but I’m also all about casting aside the shackles of maturity and informed decision-making, and engaging in some trashy paranormal television beer-chugging nimcompoopery. Or Guild Wars 2 beta weekend benders.
Amity? I’m really not good with people. I’m just now getting past that stage where “Good morning!” greetings don’t make me freeze up, tongue-tied and baffled. Dogs, though. I could totally be the Amity rescue shelter worker.
Abnegation? AHAHAHAHAhahahahahahaahah okay moving on.
Candor? I always seem to get hung up on that “the awful truth” part. I do some ridiculous verbal gymnastics to try to always have something nice to say, which is probably more insulting in the long run.
So there you have it. I might be able to fake it in Dauntless or Erudite for a while, but sooner or later, I’ll wind up Factionless. I’ll be over on that street corner, muttering to myself. Could you spare an apple for me?