In the book Insurgent by Veronica Roth, setting is one of the most important and influential aspects of the story. The setting of a book or story is one of the most important things to the reader as it allows them to imagine the environment surrounding the characters. It creates a tone and an attitude which change the way the reader feels as they continue further into the writing. Roth is able to use the setting of Insurgent as a parallel to the book’s plot and her character’s emotions which helps the reader relate to them. The setting foreshadows most of the plot and helps to develop the characters/factions through small amounts of symbolism.
One of the most important details of the setting for any story is the amount of lighting within the scene. In many works of literature light is a symbol for hope, a symbol of happiness and salvation to anything that it touches. Insurgent goes past the cliché heavenly glow of light and shows a world where light is blinding and hides truth. There are several points in the story where excess and unnecessary amount of light will shine while a character is deceived or mislead by another. Early in the book the main character, Beatrice “Tris” Prior, is drugged by the Amity faction to calm her down. She is given a “peace serum” which alters brain function and rids the user of anger. Beatrice notes, “The room is so bright I have to squint to see.” (Roth, 57) From the beginning of the book, light is the symbol of deception and evil for all who are enveloped in it.
As the counterpart of light, darkness is commonly viewed as an evil and dangerous entity which consumes all and leaves nothing. However, Insurgent ignores the old and cliché use of darkness and makes it the symbol of truth and all that which is good. There multiple times in the story where light fades or is completely gone while a truth is revealed or a good character appears. When Beatrice is given a “truth serum” at the Candor faction compound she tells her deepest and most important secrets to hundreds of people. Before she does so she notes, “I see the darkening sky above me, starless” (Roth, 133) Beatrice is able to resist the serum and lie but does not do so, she tells the truth and decides to face the consequences instead of holding guilt any longer. Revealing her secret under the dark sky is not detrimental to her in anyway as it helps her cope with what she did and then move past it.
When viewed more in-depth the setting also helps to develop the factions and foreshadow their choices/actions. The first faction to be further developed by the setting in the book is the Amity. Many small things like the colors or the excessive light in the setting of the Amity compound help to develop their faction. Although the Amity are simple people and their clothes vary they always include the color yellow, commonly as their shirt. The color yellow symbolizes optimism, hope and friendship1 which are the traits of the Amity people. It is later revealed that...