There’s definitely a rising trend in dystopian series, made more pervasive I think via The Hunger Games trilogy’s popularity. Now Divergent and Insurgent have entered the medium of film, I have no doubt Allegiant will follow closely behind. But why is this genre so pervasive?
Both The Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies are written by women, which I think is significant here. Allegiant’s protagonist Tris carves a space for herself within the oppressive regime that Roth has represented, which is significant for Tris’ agency and characterisation in Allegiant.
The dystopian themes of oppression and agency are represented by Tris’ anger, helplessness, and her consistent drive to fight. Her sexual agency lies in her fear of Four taking advantage of her, as depicted in her dream-induced serum; and, her independence, freedom and physical autonomy are consistently challenged by Jeanine Matthews (the oppressive societal leader).
All of these themes are heavily represented, which I feel is the subtle way in which Allegiant and dystopian novels alike, present culture today in a mirror-like fashion. Women, traditionally, have been the “passive” sex, but these female protagonists provide distinctive questions about identity and autonomy that are integral for young women’s exposure to culture.
Ultimately, Tris suffers at the hand of power, which directly correlates to the oppressive dystopian regime portrayed in Allegiant. The agency of one must be sacrificed so that others can learn from it, and they do. Tris enabled emancipation for everyone she cared about.
Allegiant wasn’t my favourite of the series, I definitely loved Divergent the most. But the themes throughout were what kept me reading, as they resonated deeply. I loved it, I cried, and I’d recommend it to anybody willing to jump into Tris’ decisive, relatable mind.