Divergence is the tendency to diverge from the norm which is, in this case, the mindset and way of thinking the factions are meant for. If you get a faction choice of more than one from the results of your aptitude test, you are considered Divergent.
Faction leaders want their members to think and act a certain way, according to how their faction states. For most, it is easy to adapt..
The factions have conditioned their members to think and act a certain way, and they've made their members find a pattern of thought that works and stays that way.
The Divergents' minds are said to "move in several different directions" and can’t be confined to one way of thinking, meaning they cannot be controlled. They also are special and will be killed if they are found out.
For this reason, the faction leaders are terrified of their ability and see them as threats who will always cause trouble for them. The only known factions so far which have taken action against the Divergent are Erudite and Dauntless.
- For those who don't make it through initiation, they are transferred to being Factionless, which means that they are homeless.
The majority of people born Divergent are from Abnegation. But not all, considering Uriah is Divergent and he is Dauntless born.
There is also a high population of Divergents in the factionless, as someone who has aptitude for multiple factions may find it hard to adapt to one way of thinking: so they either drop out so they don't get murdered, or simply fail initiation.
So far, there are two ways to determine if someone is Divergent. The first way is the aptitude test. Individuals who are Divergent will receive inconclusive test results. The second way is to determine which people are unaffected by simulation serums.
Divergence is when someone takes the aptitude test to determine the best faction for himself or herself, but instead of the usual one faction, two or more come up as a result. The most factions a Divergent child has ever gotten is three, when Beatrice "Tris" Prior received Abnegation, Erudite and Dauntless as her test result.
Being Divergent in Chicago is considered dangerous. Since a Divergent mind cannot adapt to one certain way of thinking (at least for long), faction leaders are terrified as to what Divergents are capable of. One common characteristic among Divergents is they are all (in knowledge) able to control simulations. In other words, they are fully aware that they are in a simulation, and they can calm down or do whatever it takes to move on to the next scenario or fully stop the simulation.
Management of SerumsEdit
Four managed to find out that Tris was Divergent in her second fear simulation. In the simulation, she was trapped inside a glass box with water rising, entrapping her. She was able to break the glass, whereas others would find other means to escape the box. (Others could escape the glass box by putting a jacket or piece of clothing into the hole were water comes out.) However, Four has most likely assumed this before the running of Tris's test. (It is assumed he suspected this before, as he is also Divergent.)
Before the ending of Insurgent it is revealed the Divergent population are meant to rise up and control the world that they inhabit.
- Main article: Allegiant
It is revealed during Allegiant that the Divergents are actually individuals who, after generations, have recovered from genetic damage caused to their ancestors through genetic manipulation. By testing his DNA, it is revealed that while Tobias is resistant to simulations, his DNA is still damaged, proving that he is not in fact Divergent.
Note: It is revealed in Allegiant that Tobias Eaton is not actually Divergent. He can just manipulate and resist serums like one.
- Since Divergence affects DNA, it can be passed down through families. This can especially be seen in Tris, as her mother was also Divergent.
- A partial example can also be seen in Four. Since his father is Divergent, Four gained resistance to simulations; however, his DNA is not undamaged and thus he cannot truly be Divergent.
- Being Divergent in the society that Veronica Roth wrote is usually a death sentence.