When it comes to popular Divergent quotes, the quotes below might not be the first ones that come to mind. After all, when fans think of Four and Tris, images of a great love story and gun-toting freedom fighters take the cake, pun intended.
But from a food in literature perspective, the following conversation has much to offer the reader and follower of material culture. In a passage that’s less than 150 words long, the culture portrayed in Veronica Roth’s popular young adult trilogy comes to life.
We may think, “What’s the big deal about Dauntless chocolate cake?” But this is looking at the world of Divergent through our eyes. We can run to the store anytime and buy a box of molten chocolate lava cake mix or create one from a recipe.
But for the people in Tris’s world, food and food restrictions become a defining cultural feature. Food scholar Kyla Wazana Tompkins in the article Literary Approaches to Food Studies calls the study of food the study of material history. As well, she reminds us that the food and food rituals that we partake in join us to the self and to our communities. You can see this in the following Divergent quotes about the food in the various factions.
Quotes from Divergent – Dauntless Chocolate Cake
“I heard the Candor made ice cream,” says Marlene, twisting her head around to see the lunch line. “You know, as a kind of ‘it sucks we got attacked, but at least there are desserts’ thing.”
“I feel better already,” says Lynn dryly.
“It probably won’t be as good as Dauntless cake,” says Marlene mournfully. She sighs, and a strand of mousy brown hair falls in her eyes.
“We had good cake,” I tell Caleb.
“We had fizzy drinks,” he says.
“Ah, but did you have a ledge overlooking an underground river?” says Marlene, waggling her eyebrows. “Or a room where you faced all your nightmares at once?”
“No,” says Caleb, “and to be honest, I’m kind of okay with that.”
What Dauntless Cake Tells You About the Characters
For those not familiar with Veronica Roth’s books, Divergent takes place in a post-apocalyptic Chicago. To keep the peace, the city has been split into five factions: Dauntless, Candor, Erudite, Abnegation, and Amity. Each faction has its strength, and something that the people living in the faction bring to the city. Tris, the one who tells Caleb that Dauntless had good cake, came from Abnegation (as did Caleb, her brother).
In Abnegation, life was all about selflessness. The clothing was neutral – gray, no fancy elements. Members of the faction only looked in the mirror when they got their hair cut. And the food was very bland in keeping with the modesty of the culture of the Abnegation faction. In the world of Divergent, when people turn 16, they have a test that determines where they will spend the rest of their adult lives.
Usually, the test puts them back into their same faction, because that’s what they have an aptitude for (though not always). However, they can also choose to move into another faction, which becomes their home and family after testing day. Both Tris — full name Beatrice — and her brother chose to move to different factions, to Dauntless and Erudite respectively.
Adding a Little Spice to Life
For Tris, played by Shailene Woodley in the film version of the story, life in Dauntless is everything life in Abnegation is not. Exciting. Stimulating. Sensuous. Everyone gets tattooed. They go zip lining from the tops of skyscrapers. And they definitely can eat foods that are anything but bland, like the molten chocolate cake recipe included with this article.
The food in literature in this piece reminds them of their new freedoms. That they belong to a different faction now and food is one of the elements that sets them apart from their old faction. That it’s okay to indulge in a way that would have never been permitted in their original faction of Abnegation.
Of course, the lessons of this food in literature passage don’t just end with Tris and Caleb. However, for now, it’s good to allow you, the reader, to ponder the meaning of cake for a bit. If this essay has done anything for you, the Divergent quotes will encourage you to think about the food traditions in your own life, especially those that have been passed down in your family. These truly are the keepers of the living history of your family and the society you live in.
Molten Lava Cake Recipe Inspired by Divergent
Watch the video at the top of the screen by PopSugar Food to learn how to make the chocolate molten lava cake. Use this recipe when you’re looking for book club activities or you want to have a Divergent-themed party.
Here’s a list of ingredients care of PopSugar Food. The video will explain how and when to use them.
Ingredients for Molten Lava Cake:
- 6 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 6 ounces butter, room temperature & diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground espresso
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 orange
- Powdered sugar
- Butter for ramekins
- A pinch of nutmeg (optional)
And in case this delish chocolate cake recipe isn’t Dauntless enough for you, here are a few more chocolate cake recipe suggestions to get you started.
- Red Velvet Cake Recipe
- Oreo Brownies Plus Brownie Pizza Recipe
- Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Cake
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“Insurgent.” IMDb. IMDb.com. Web. 23 Jan. 2016.
PopSugar Food. “How to Make Chocolate Molten Lava Cake | Get the Dish.” YouTube. PopSugar Food. Web. 22 Jan. 2016. <www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKR3t52JooQ>.
Roth, Veronica. Divergent. Print.
Tompkins, Kyla Wazana. “Literary Approaches to Food Studies: Eating the Other.” Food, Culture and Society: An International Journal of Multidisciplinary Research 8.2 (2005): 243-58. Print.