Vocabulary Building: Divergent Chapter 1

I am a huge fan of the Divergent series written by an American novelist Ms. Veronica Roth in 2011. Since when I first watched the movie Divergent, I have been fascinated by the story, and the word "Divergent" who cannot be categorized in one label.

Summit Screening Room — Divergent (2014) Official Trailer - Shailene Woodley

To the society in this story, "Divergent" means abnormal, a threat to society, or need to be excluded. But to me, "Divergent" is very natural humanity, and it should be appreciated. As I feel like I am Divergent, —and probably most people are— I highly empathize with the Divergents in the story, especially Tris (Beatrice), which is one of the reasons I favor this story.

I have been wanted to read the Divergent series in English for years but never started. But this month, I finally started what I said, and I am being excited reading a few pages every day. Also, it's a great way of learning English since every page brings new words to me.

Although I am not sure if I can extend my memos to spread how wonderful the story is, I would like to keep memos of newly learned English vocabulary from the series, and sometimes what I interpret from Ms. Veronica's messages.

The series is composed of four books: DIVERGENT, INSURGENT, ALLEGIANT, and FOUR. I will start with the first one, Divergent, which has thirty-nine chapters.

Author: Veronica Roth / Published in 2011

Summary of Chapter 1

Beatrice lives in a future Chicago, where the severe war destroyed most of the environment.

She turns sixteen years old, which is considered an adult in this world; she needs to take the aptitude tests to decide which faction she wants to belong to. There are five factions; Erudite (intelligent), Dauntless (brave), Candor (honest), Amity (peaceful), and Abnegation (selfless). Currently, Beatrice and her family belong to Abnegation, though Beatrice feels she doesn't belong there; she feels awkward to be selfless.

Beatrice and her same-year brother head to the aptitude tests.


suit to the context
1stool (n)footrest
2dull (adj) (as "in a dull, blond ring")listless, lifeless, boring
3in the art ofin the skill of; being good at
4vanity (n)arrogance, pride, affection
5frown (v)show displeasure; scowl, grimace
6reprimand (v)admonish, lecture
7jostle (v)push aside; shove, jolt
8dimpled cheekscheeks have natural dents; dimples
9placid (adj)easygoing, even-tempered, gentle, peaceful
10sway (v)swing, wave
11a last day maniafully enjoy the last day with enthusiasm
12smack (v)to strike sharply
13dust myself offto wipe the dust from me
14antagonistic (adj)hostile
15demeanor (n)attitude, presence
16hellion (n)(Informal) troublemaker, or mischievous person
17perplex (v)puzzle, confuse, complicate
18nostril (n)external opening of the nose
19blare (v)to sound loudly; honk, trumpet
20hurtle (v)go noisily, resoundingly
Alphabets inside the (): n - noun, v - verb, adj - adjective, adv - adverb
Using Dictionary.com & Thesaurus.com


Reading the original novel made me want to watch the movie again. Though I know that the novel and the movie are different works, I'm already excited that the details of the novel fill the gaps of my understanding from the movie.

Firstly, until I had read this chapter, I didn't understand the meaning of the scene that Beatrice sneaked a look at her reflection in the mirror, which was not allowed in Abnegation. Because paying attention to appearance is considered self-indulgent. This scene describes one of the clues that Beatrice doesn't feel she belongs to Abnegation.

Also, what particularly caught my eyes is her thought that being selfless which Abnegation admires means "losing oneself"; she doesn't want to lose herself.

I can easily tell that Beatrice is in the conflict between her wish to stay with her family and to live a different life. If she chooses another faction at the coming Choosing Ceremony, she needs to leave her family, and yet she cannot bear to be Abnegation anymore.

In this chapter, other classmates seem to have a very energetic kind of atmosphere because it's the last day before they become adults. But Beatrice clearly doesn't. She is anxious about the result of the aptitude tests because of her conflict.

Books and Coffee
Vocabulary Building: Divergent Chapter 2
Beatrice starts the aptitude tests that will tell her which faction is a right fit for her...more  
English Memo
Roth, Veronica (2011). Divergent. Katherine Tegan Books (HarperCollins).
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