Divergent and Plato’s Republic



Divergentand Plato’s Republic


Divergentand Plato’s Republic

Majorityof films and movies in the modern world are related, directly orindirectly to a book. Hollywood has a tradition of turning books intofilms. However, the most phenomenon books such as Plato’s TheRepublic are yet to be turned into a film or a movie. However,the movie Divergent is comparable to the republic in manyways. Although it is not a replica, there are several similaritiesbetween the movie and the republic by Plato. The republic anddivergent may represent different societies or civilizations butthere are some similarities.

Divergentis a movie set some time in the future in the city of Chicago. Themovie is directed by Neil Burger and depicts how the world would looklike in the future. However, the city is the movie is isolated fromthe rest of the world using walls. The society does not interact withthe rest of the world and it is divided into five factions. Thefactions that symbolize the virtues in the society includesAbnegation which represent those to provide care for otherselflessly, Amity representing the government which is powerful,Candor representing the farmers who are considered to be honest,Dauntless representing the army which is recognized for its bravery,and the Erudite representing the wise and intelligent teachers andeducators. In the Divergent society, children are raised bytheir parents within their faction. After reaching maturity age, thechildren are given an aptitude test that places them in theirrespective faction in the society. The storyline in the movie isbased on the life of a young girl know as Tris who was brought up ina family at the Abnegation faction in the society.

Sinceshe was a young girl, Tris was not sure about her self. In the firstscene of the movie, she is seen standing on the line waiting for heraptitude test when the Dauntless faction of the society arrives. Sheis fascinated by how the soldiers jump from the moving train and goesinto the field and therefore is interested in joining them. WhenAbnegation is harassed by a Dauntless, she defends her with passion.After completing the aptitude test, Tris is informed that she canjoin three of the faction in the Divergent society. She istherefore named Divergent, and thus the name of the movie. This meansthat she was someone who did not conform to the norms in the society.This she was considered a threat to the society and the city.However, the facilitator of the test is sympathetic and thereforeadjusts the test so that Tris appears to conform to one faction, theAbnegation before other people discovers her true skills. However,this does not eliminate her powers and skills. Later in the story sheis able to discover the evil doings among the Erudite and overthrowthe Amity due to her powers.

Themovie is similar to The Republic by Plato in several ways.Plato remains one of the greatest thinkers in history. TheRepublic explores the nature of the human society and thedifferent facets that constitutes the society during the times ofPlato. Similarly, the movie surveys different facets of a mythicalsociety in the future. In both the movie and the republic, the mainthemes are the major aspects of the human society that have a directimpact on love, family and the quest for self preservation. Accordingto Plato in the republics, a human society is characterized bydivision of labor. Division of labor in the society ensures that allindividuals in the society are aware of their contribution to thewell being of the society. Thus every individual has a role to playand had a place in the society. This results into a just society andjust life which is worth living. This is a society is which what isgood for one person is good for the whole society. This nature of asociety is also depicted in the movie. However, the evils in thesociety are also displayed in the movie when Tris overthrows theErudite using the power of the Dauntless faction of the society. Thisis what Plato refers to as self preservation in the republic. Asargued by Plato, Tris believed that living in a society is humannature. However, she also believes that doing evil to protect oneselfat the cost of the society is also human nature. Based on thisargument, she is able to overthrow the government and assume power.

Inboth The Republic and the movie, there is a struggle betweenvirtue and evil. The struggle is mainly as a result of an attempt topreserve the wellbeing of the society as well as the wellbeing ofself. In the movie, the Erudite believes that the society will livein harmony and prosper if every member of the society understands hisor her nature purpose and conform to nature. Thus, individuals aretested and placed in different factions in the society, depending ontheir skills and abilities. The same argument was made by Plato inThe Republic. Plato argued that individuals and societiesthrive if there is harmony and individuals are able to embrace theirtalents. The aptitude test was designed to identify these talents inthe Divergent society. However, in an attempt to preserve herwellbeing, the Erudite faction designed the test in such as way thatit is disingenuous in order to preserve her self interest. Thus,anything that threatened the powerful government or those inleadership positions was viewed as a threat to the entire society.

Inthe same way the Divergentsociety was concern about the future, Plato was also talked about thefuture of the society. In The Republic, Plato argued that the youngmembers of the society should be exposed by divergent experiences inorder to explore their potentials. In The Republic, children couldjoin any of the three factions of the society, the guardians, workers(craftsman) or philosophers. In the same way, the Divergentsociety had systems that ensured that young children had thepotential of joining the different factions in the society. However,it is important to note that there were five factions in theDivergentsociety, Candor, Abnegation, Amity, Erudite, and Dauntless. TheErudite in the divergent society applied the Plato system in therepublic to create an all inclusive society. The leader of thegovernment acted in the same way Socrates acted in TheRepublic.The leaders was dismissive and cold and believed that logic is moreimportant that emotions. Therefore, she was ready to die whiledefending what she believed in.


Burge,N. Divergent.Movie.