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What's in a Name? by Veronica Roth

What's in a Name? by Veronica Roth

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Taken from World of Divergent: Path to Allegiant.

Order the third book in the No. 1 New York Times bestselling DIVERGENT trilogy - Allegiant - now http://amzn.to/104zvux
Taken from World of Divergent: Path to Allegiant.

Order the third book in the No. 1 New York Times bestselling DIVERGENT trilogy - Allegiant - now http://amzn.to/104zvux

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Categories:Book Excerpts
Published by: HarperCollinsPublishersUK on Oct 23, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/01/2013

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What’s in a Name?
Obviously I have a thing about names, or else Beatrice would not have become Tris, and Four would have goneby Tobias in the beginning. I believe the names we chooseon our own can be powerful, and they can embody a new identity for us. When I was young my mother wanted to call me Nikki(a less popular short form of Veronica) and I absolutely 
refused
to respond to it. The same thing happened whenpeople tried to call me Ronnie. I just wasn’t having it. Thenickname I chose was V. I think it’s because it soundedless cutesy or girly. What I chose for myself was some-thing that fit with my personality—I’m not exactly cutesy.(Though I am girlier now than I ever used to be—maybethat’s why I don’t go by V as much anymore?)Name changing is also interesting from a religiousperspective. In the Torah, when a biblical figure has anencounter with God, sometimes he or she is given a new name. Abram to Abraham, for example. Jacob to Israel.Sarai to Sarah. Same thing in the Bible—Saul becomesPaul; Simon becomes Peter. This usually signals thebeginning of some kind of transformation or indicatesthat a transformation has already taken place.If you want a more current example, think Mr.
 
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 Anderson versus Neo in the Matrix movies, or Augustus versus Gus in
The Fault in Our Stars
(a little different, butinteresting to consider, I think), or Andrew versus Enderin
 Enders Game
, or Tom Riddle versus Voldemort in theHarry Potter books and movies, or Anakin versus Darth Vader in Star Wars. (Wow, apparently I really 
am
attractedto this concept, because it’s in all the things I like. . . .)Its like we have some kind of need, once we feel that wehave changed, for people to call us something different. Isit for us, to suit the way we see ourselves? Or is it for them,to force them to think of us differently? Or a combinationof both?It’s these musings about names that led to the Tobias/Four divide in the first place. Four views Tobias as thename of a helpless little boy, so he chooses Four asthe name of his adult self in an attempt to leave thepain behind him. It signifies his strength rather thanhis weakness. But what he finds is that he can’t ignorehis past; it keeps creeping up on him, especially in hisfear landscape. So in
divergent
, he “gives” Tris his oldidentity—he trusts her to know his vulnerable side, theside of the child and not the man. She recognizes thesignificance of this, which is why she starts to call himTobias. It’s the name he gave to her, the one he trusted her with, and she begins to treasure it for that reason.

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