“The quality of our lives depends not on whether or not we have conflicts, but on how we respond to them.” This is a perfect representation of Tris’s conflicts in Divergent, a story authored by Veronica Roth. Tris is a girl residing in a world where the citizens are split into five factions, Amity, a faction based on love, Erudite, a faction where everyone craves for knowledge, Abnegation, a faction based on selflessness, Candor, a faction for the honest ones in the world, and finally Dauntless, a faction for the brave and courageous. Tris has to face many conflicts in the world of Divergent consisting of conflict against nature, where she has to fight against nature, an external conflict where she faces off against other humans, and finally internal conflict where she has to fight against her decisions inside and outside of the Dauntless.
Tris has watched the Dauntless each day attempting courageous acts and when she joins the Dauntless she has to struggle against nature to keep up with the Dauntless and most importantly, to keep herself alive. The first part of the Dauntless initiation was to jump onto a moving train which Tris has watched hundreds of times at school, this was the first conflict against nature we see in this story. “We run with the car a few steps and then throw ourselves sideways.” (Roth, 50). The second act and probably one of the most important conflict against nature was to jump off a ledge and into the unknown abyss, being the first to jump would prove to the other initiates that she was not just some girl from Abnegation, she was a brave girl striving to become a member of the Dauntless. “I can’t back down now. Not with all the people betting I’ll fail behind me.” (58). “I don’t think. I just bend my knees and jump.” (58). Tris has to trust in herself to win the battle against nature.
In order for Tris to become a full-fledged Dauntless member she has to pass the first round of initiation, Tris has to use her newly learned skills to defeat other initiates in hand to hand combat in order for her to have a chance to become a member of the renown Dauntless faction. The first round of the initiation consists of mainly combat and the ability to handle projectile based weapons well. “The first thing you will learn today is how to shoot a gun. The second thing is how to win a fight.” (76). In order for Tris to pass the first round of initiation, she has to engage in external conflict with others in order to obtain a reasonable ranking for the first round. She had to engage in hand to hand combat with many of her friends and enemies the most detrimental one being Peter. “I kick him in the side. Or I would have kicked him on the side, if he hadn’t caught my foot and yanked it forward, knocking me off-balance” (109). This is a perfect representation of her fight against Peter she could not land a punch or kick and she just got pummeled, this external conflict was important as it increased Tris’s desire to become a Dauntless member.
Tris has to make meaningful decisions in Dauntless and in the initiation, she fights against herself each and every day arguing with herself about her choices in and outside of Dauntless. Tris has to fight against her fears in the fear landscape to try and overcome her fears, Tris has to make decisions that will affect the rest of her life, and each day she fights against herself debating whether she made the correct choice or decision. “Tomorrow, those two qualities will struggle within me, and only one can win.” (37), this quote was taken from the choosing ceremony showing that Tris is struggling against herself to choose which faction to join. “He slumps to the ground. Our eyes meet like the yards between us are nothing.” (471). “For every second that I waste, another Abnegation member dies.” (471). Tris has to ignore that her dad just got killed right in front of her and keep moving for the sake of every other Abnegation member. Tris’s decisions will impact herself and everyone else forever and she has to make sure she makes the right choice for the sake of everyone and herself.
Tris’s conflicts are many of what others face in the world today, some have to face the burden of making the right decisions or facing a family member’s death but to keep moving, some have to fight against nature itself to survive, and some will have to fight against others for their own lives. Tris has to face all of these conflicts in Divergent, she has to face off against nature to keep up with the Dauntless members, she has to fight against other initiates in hand to hand combat, finally, and most importantly, Tris has to fight against herself by making challenging decisions and to overcome her fears in order to outlive the others.
I am 77.5% Humanist because I do agree with most of the beliefs of Humanism, I agree with having the citizens learn to read or to write and have their own education. I agree with the fact that each individual should be assessed by their own achievements and I agree that if you have wealth you should be able to help the commune and the citizens around you. What I am opposed against is the fact that they are opposed to following a religion to help you make decisions, I believe it is your own choice to follow a religion and not anyone else’s.
“Self-belief and hard work will always earn you success,” this quote is the exact representation of what Waverly is in Rules of the Game authored by Amy Tan. Waverly is a girl from Chinatown in San Francisco, she began to play the game of chess since her brother obtained a chess set from a Christmas convention. Waverly is a person who is very focused on what she does, she always tries very hard to achieve her goals and she loves to learn new things which also makes her a fast learner.
Waverly is very focused on what she does, she listens to new tactics and strategies very carefully. “As I began to play, the boy disappeared, the color ran out of the room, and I saw only my white pieces and his black ones waiting on the other side. A light wind began blowing past my ears. It whispered secrets only I could hear.” (Tan, 4). This shows how Waverly is focused is focused when playing chess and how she clouds out the rest of the world to vanquish the opponent.
Waverly always tries very hard to achieve what she sets her mind to, she always tries her complete best to achieve her goals. “I borrowed books from the Chinatown library. I studied each chess piece, trying to absorb the power each contained.” (3). She did not know the rules of the game for chess when her family first acquired the chess set, even though it was not necessary, she still borrowed books from the library and tried to understand the rules and the chess pieces, therefore, she tries her best to achieve her goals.
Waverly loves to learn new things that pique her interest, and she also is a very fast learner, for instance, she learned chess with astonishing speed and she looked up many things she did not understand in the books she borrowed from the library. “I read the rules and looked up all the big words in a dictionary.” (3). “By the end of the summer, Lau Po had taught me all he knew, and I had become a better chess player.” (3), proving that Waverly is a fast learner, since she won a tournament just after one summer, and that she loves to learn anything that is interesting to her.
Waverly is just like my father, my father also tries very hard to achieve his tasks, he runs a dental business and he started off with nothing and he had to work very hard to make his business flourish. Waverly also tries her best since she spent a plentitude of her own time reading the rules and words in a dictionary. Waverly’s nature is just to focus all her energy on what she is striving to achieve as she tried her best to master the game of chess, Waverly also tries her absolute best when working on a task, finally Waverly learns like the wind, she learned chess and managed to win a chess tournament within the time span of a summer, this also adds on to the fact of how she loves to learn new things in life that interest her.
In my first week of school in eighth grade, I talked with my friends after two months of not talking with them. I was introduced to many new teachers for my classes and the only teacher that I knew from last year was Ms. Cheng. I wanted to join the band for my enrichments but I was too late to join, I was also looking forward to joining the tennis ASA but unfortunately, tennis was not a choice for season one sports. The one thing I disliked about the first week was that we have to present an impromptu song in music class on Friday.
- What are you looking forward to learning in grade 8 this year?
During the course of grade eight Humanities I am mostly looking forward to learn about the history of different countries and the revolutions that happened within those countries. The knowledge of the history of different countries will help me understand more about those countries and the knowledge will help me in the future, for example, during high school or college we might learn about history and with my prior knowledge I will do better in that class.
- What challenges will you face?
The challenges I will face in eighth grade Humanities are that I will mostly have a hard time working with others, I will mainly want to work with my friends instead of other new people that I haven’t talked with before. I will also have a hard time presenting or giving a speech in front of the entire class since I get very nervous when I am presenting to large groups of people even if they are my classmates.
- What is your plan to meet those challenges?
To face my challenge of wanting to only work with my friends, I will try to talk more with others and contribute more when I am working with others in a group of people that are unfamiliar to me. When I talk to more people and contribute to conversations, I grow more comfortable talking around them so I will work better with others. To overcome my problem of speaking in front of a large group, I will try to practice in front of others like my parents to get better at talking in front of larger groups.
I created a juggling video that showed skills and tricks for juggling. My successes were that I was able to juggle well and not bad since I haven’t juggled in a long time. My challenges were that I wasn’t really good at tricks since I hadn’t practiced the tricks I knew in a long time but I practiced them and got better. I think I will continue with the juggling video, but I will add more tricks and skills to show the audience how to do more tricks and skills. Also next time I might teach the audience how to juggle. My impact is that I taught people how to do juggling tricks and skills if they already knew how to juggle.<iframe