Congratulations initiates. We rocked the box office our opening weekend and we have already confirmed that this is a franchise, as we will be getting Insurgent next year. I am very proud of us all and its very nice to not have heartbreak when it comes to a YA adaptation, let me tell you that.
Now, I’ve been trolling the inter-webs, like I tend to do and I have noticed that there is a particular scene in the Divergent movie that has some people a little…miffed, I suppose. Now, the only way for me to get involved is to talk about it, so here I am.
I admire the Divergent movie a lot. I liked it a lot. There were a few changes that were a little weird, and of course, the movie just never will be as good as the book but I honestly think they did a great job. I’ve been through a lot of disappointment lately and I was highly impressed with this movie.
Now the scene in question that has everyone in an uproar is Tris’ final fear landscape that she goes through as part of her final initiation into the Dauntless faction. Her fears are all there, like normal, but one of them tends to be a little different than in the book.
In the book, Tris has a fear of intimacy, and it is shown in her fear landscape during her final test. She is afraid of Four and what she could share with him, physically. I think a lot of that stems from nerves, and the fear of the unexpected. But I also think its a control issue too. Tris always feels in control which is why fear wakes her up, instead of shutting her down. Being intimate with someone is giving up some of your control, and before you experience it, its a scary thing. I can understand completely why this would be part of Tris’ fear landscape.
Now in the movie, they roughed it up a bit. The Four in the book just wants to share that intimacy with Tris and she’s reluctant. In the movie, we have a forceful, sort of rapist Four going on. He’s forcing the intimacy in her, questioning her “Dauntless-ness”, and using physical force to get his way. It was definitely a sexual attack, as opposed to the simple fear of intimacy in the book.
And this has a lot of people in an uproar. People don’t like that Four was represented this way (although, guys, it was a simulation, it’s not actually Four), and that changing the fear in the movie changes the way that you would see Four. Now, while I can kind of understand that, and I feel like this approach was incredible and I didn’t mind the change at all.
There is something very important going on in our world today if you’re paying attention. A woman’s body is being treated like a toy, something to be played with, and constantly argued over. Our right to birth control, our right to abortion, our right to use our bodies as WE see fit is a constant argument, and a huge part of this ongoing argument is the control that we have over it when it comes to what we let others do it. Rape is in the news all the time, and sometimes, all the time, a girl has a fear of losing control over her own body.
So while the scene in the movie didn’t necessarily copy the book scene, I understand the importance of this scene. Who are the fans of the Divergent series? Who is going out to the theaters in droves? Who is going to be mostly impacted by this? Its mostly girls, and mostly teenage girls. Their impressionable minds are the ones that are seeing this scene and processing this. So I feel like the change, whether deliberate or not, has a massive amount of importance.
Rape is not a simple thing, and its nothing something we can toss aside and act like its not happening because it is and its happening all the time. Young girls are being raped all the time and the rapists are getting away with it. We are losing control over our bodies all the time, and its terrifying. I was robbed the other night at work. I was out delivering pizzas, and a man came up to me, and demanded the money in my pocket. Luckily enough for me, that was all he wanted and he took off. But this could have gone a multitude of different ways. He could have taken me, raped me, done a number of things to hurt me. He didn’t and I’m lucky.
But so many girls are NOT lucky. This is a real problem right now, and girls are constantly in fear of what a boy is capable of doing to us. Its the fear of losing control. Losing control over my own body is terrifying. I have a control over my body, what I put into it, what I wear, what I do with it, everything. And someone taking that from me is a terrifying thing.
So I think that the filmmakers managed to capture what what was ultimately important about that scene. Its not about Four, or his representation as a character. We know Four. He would never do something like that, ever. Four lost his own control over his body as a child when his father physically abused him, and he regained that control when switching to Dauntless. It was a simulation. Four would never do that. Repeat that to yourself. Four would never do that.
But it brought to attention so many things. Rape can happen at any time, and often times, its done by someone you know. Tris has a fear of losing control of her body, and I don’t think just to Four, but to anyone. Think of what Drew, Peter and Al tried to do to her. That is a real fear. And I really think it was important to show that to this generation’s girls and to show them that they can fight and that we recognize this as an important thing, something to be noted of. I don’t know if the change to her fear landscape was deliberate but if it was, I think it a was a wise move and I really appreciate what they did.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments!