Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I've just finished Veronica Roth's INSURGENT, the second in the DIVERGENT series.

DIVERGENT summary (from Amazon):

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 

When DIVERGENT first came out, it was all the rage to do The Faction Quiz on facebook, and share the results on blogs and twitter feeds everywhere.  I did the test, but I never shared my result.

I am Candor.

Why have I never mentioned that, despite the fact that I enjoy the book, and participate in other memes with fair frequency? Firstly, Candor is about the least exciting a faction can be. Secondly, they're not really painted in the best light. And thirdly, I don't wholly identify with them. 

The thing is I didn't need the test to tell me I'm Candor. I'll tell anybody any day that I prize truth about all else. It's about the only thing I can guarantee I'm good at. I might not be the most selfless, or the bravest, etc, but I can almost guarantee that I am the most honest person you will meet.  If you ask me a question, you wil get an honest answer, probably sugar-coated, but still honest.

So let's look at why I haven't claimed my Candor until now. As I said, they aren't that exciting. All the other factions get to do all this cool stuff. If you look up badass in a dystopian dictionary, there's a picture of the Dauntless symbol. You have to respect Abnegation for the sheer level of will it takes to constantly put others before themselves. And they make great leaders because they always think of the common good. The Erudite spend their days thinking and developing the technology that the rest of the society needs. And Amity, apart from not getting involved in the politics of the society, grows the food for everyone, because they have the patience, of course.

 I guess it's a reflection of my real life. I mean it sounds really cool that I'm out in Japan. And it is actually pretty cool. But I'm a regular teacher. And while teachers are awesome, we're a dime a dozen. Even moreso than that, I am a writer. I just want to tell my stories, write my truths, philosophise. (Guess what my best subject was in my Coast Guard Academy days? Morals & Ethics. Thoroughly useless, but Candor all the way.) And writers aren't cool. Not unless they have 3-book deals with Harper Collins or "NYT Bestselling" in front of their names or they are one of the handful that everyone in the world can name.

And then there's the way Candor is painted in DIVERGENT. All of the factions take their virtue to the extreme, sacrificing other virtues on the way. But Candor feels the worst to me. They sacrifice consideration for others in the name of truth. They say whatever comes to mind, whether or not it's hurtful. That's too high a price for the truth. 

So I'm Candor with a caveat. I believe in truth. Truth above all else. But I don't believe that I must always sacrifice everything else in the name of truth. Nor do I believe that everyone else has to believe the same things I do. Unlike the Candor in INSURGENT, I don't share my truth where it's not asked for or neccessary, essentially shoving it down the throats of others. 

I suppose, if you've been following this blog for a little while, you've could come to these conclusions on your own. I share my opinions here, even when they are not the popular or political correct ones. But I never shut down anyone who thinks differently. And I try hard to present my posts objectively, even when they are personal and passionate.

I am Candor.
Of course it doesn't help that this guy's supposedly one of us. Yum!

Come back tomorrow for the sequel to this post. And share your Faction if you have one.


Sidrah said...

I haven't read the series but it sounds good. Going to take the quiz. I remember how I sad I got when Pottermore put me in the Hufflepuff house =/ but it doesn't matter. You are you. Different and unique from anyone else.

Love the sugar-coated part =D
"If you ask me a question, you wil get an honest answer, probably sugar-coated, but still honest."

Claire Dawn said...

Funny you should say that. I was thinking about Harry Potter when I thought this through. Everyone wants to be Gryffindor, the Brave. You're disappointed with Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw and angry about Slytherin.