The first act of Divergent centers around Katniss Potter’s angst about her upcoming aptitude test and Sorting, wait, sorry … Choosing Ceremony. Because in this dystopian society, everything from your neighborhood to your career is determined by your personality type, or “Faction.” Members of the “Abnegation” Faction are selfless and incorruptible, making them best suited for leadership positions. “Candor” is known for honesty, so they run law and criminal justice. “Dauntless” is the faction for military service and security – they’re mostly train-hopping sociopaths with badass tattoos. It’s basically a dystopian story about teenagers, mood rings, and high school-caliber cliques. Obviously, it was a monstrous success.
In order to determine each citizen’s Faction, the government conducts an annual, state-sponsored drug trip for teenagers. Once a year, every 16-year-old is rounded up, dosed with a psychedelic techno-potion, and observed by an administrator as they battle their way through an action-packed hallucination. You know how some inventions are actually based on science fiction tropes, like the Star Trek communicator predicting the cellphone? We’d like “mandatory high school ball trippin’” to be next, please.
Not only does the government expend a massive amount of time and money for these individual administrators to babysit tripping teenagers, the whole test is more of a suggestion than a rule. While the drug sequence is designed to reveal someone’s natural Faction, anyone can pick whatever group they want, for whatever reason, regardless of how they scored. It’s as if the government just made way too much LSD and were trying to find the most hilarious way to get rid of it.