Petition update

Why there should be an alternative ending on Ascendant's (Allegiant Part 2) DVD extras

gabie pp silva
Porto Alegre, Brazil

Mar 15, 2016 — All reasons are explained below. HELP SHARE THE PETITION ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, TUMBLR, ETC!

SPOILERS BELOW, PROCEED WITH CAUTION!

this post was based upon some other rants about it (authorized by such owners), the reading of the whole Divergent Series and also this post VR did explaining why she killed Tris

important statement: I’d like to say that I respect Roth’s decision and I totally understand why she felt Tris dying would be the best ending. I disagree, yes, but that doesn’t mean I think she’s a bad writer — I even share the same opinion on some topics (I figured there would be other ways to develop Tris’ character like VR wanted without killing her). this post, nor the petition, nor the blog, was meant to insult Veronica. the only purpose of this is to let things out, to share it with others, to see if someone else agrees on this, and obviously try to convince Ascendant’s director/producer (and even VR) to make an alternative ending. I apologize in advance if, at any time, I offend Veronica or those who liked the ending — THAT WAS NEVER THE INTENTION!

In the post Roth clarified why she killed Tris in Allegiant, she said “You are allowed—encouraged!— to continue to feel however you want to feel, or think however you want to think, about the ending, no matter what this blog post says. I’m the author, yes, but this book is yours as well as mine now, and our voices are equal in this conversation.” We might “own” this book as much as she does, and I completely understand she can decide the fate of the characters entirely without the opinion of the fans, but since we haven’t had the opportunity to participate in her decision of the ending, we ask now to do it for the movie. Movies adapted from books have so many changes which, sometimes, imply on serious consequences for the rest of the series, why not allow an alternative ending?

In her post, Veronica said “And I wasn’t thinking about any readers when I wrote this book; I was thinking about the story, because trying to meet the expectations of so many readers would be paralyzing. There’s no way to please everyone, because that mythical book with the ending that every single person wants can’t exist—you want different things, each one of you. The only thing I can do, in light of that fact, is write an honest story as best I can.” I understand she tries to be realistic so she doesn’t prioritize certain fans by pleasing only them, while others are dissatisfied. I also think that trying to be realistic in a book is great, but in this particular case, that does not have the same effect. She said we all want different things for a book, but there’s something I can assure you that everybody wants and expected: Tris and Four having a happy ending, being together, alive. VR also said she wasn’t thinking about the readers when she wrote the book, so now it’s the time to fix that: think about us when Ascendant starts being produced/filmed. Think about the ending every fan would have loved, the one we want, the one Four and Tris deserve. Roth made a decision to kill Tris in the books, and I respect that, but she should take advantage of the chance to film/create more than one ending in the movie. In a book, you can’t give the readers an ending with a “keep turning the pages if you disliked this” and then some pages afterwards you write another one with a title that goes “ALTERNATIVE ENDING”. But in the movie there are plenty of possibilites. You can put a complementary scene after the credits (not saying that would be a nice thing in this particular case, I’m just giving some examples), or put an alternative ending on the DVD extras (just like a deleted scene — it’s your choice to watch it or not. if you don’t want anything to change, then don’t watch it. but if you wanna find out what could have been different, then there it is!)

“she later handed over the gun to Four rather than kill him, essentially giving her life rather than taking his. She said something in that moment about the power of self-sacrifice, but her actions don’t quite apply that power in the best way—letting herself get killed, at that time, was maybe noble from a romantic perspective, but wouldn’t have saved the Dauntless from being simulation-controlled zombies, and wouldn’t have saved Tobias from his own simulation.” I see the bold part as an act and proof of strength, courage, which would apply to the character development Veronica wanted for Tris. I have a theory about the italic part thought: In the movie she takes the gun, points it at her head and gives it to Four and then says “It’s ok, it’s ok, I love you, it’s ok” so my theory is: either Four thinks, at first, he is in a simulation because he thinks Tris is already dead (since Jeanine told her ‘soldiers’ to kill her), so he starts fighting with her because he thinks that’s the only way to stop the simulation and maybe save her parents, after all that’s what she would have wanted; or he thinks he is in a simulation because he believes it’s impossible for Tris to be there in the control room with him and he starts fighting with her because that would be the only way to stop the simulation so he could save her. It doesn’t matter which one, either way, later, Tris gives him the gun pointing it at her head and says she loves him. I think that Four then realizes that if it were a simulation of his fears, Tris would have never given him the gun, she would try to convince him it’s real life and not to kill her (as she tried it before earlier in the same scene)… also, she wouldn’t have the gun, he would have to take it, she would never give him the gun anyway (just as it was when he showed his fears in a sim before to Tris). as well as Tris telling him she loves him. he knows one of her fears is to have sex with him (him wanting her just for her body), so she telling him she loves him to wake him up is so brilliant because it’s like she said “I love you and i’m not afraid of you anymore because I know you love me too”, and if it were a simulation of his fears, he knows that would never happen because she’d still have her fears, she could never overcome her own fears in his fear simulation. So when she tells him she loves him, that she trusts him and she’s not afraid of him or anything he could do anymore, he notices it is real life because that’s exactly how Tris would convince him he’s not in a sim. Tris, then, proved to be strong and brave enough to give the gun to Four, trusting him. She knew that would wake Four up, so she didn’t even think of the possibility of Four killing her and then not shutting down the simulation the Dauntless were in. (I’m using the movie scene instead of how it happens in the book because my will here is to have an alternative ending that is compatible to the movie, so we should consider the movie for all this).

“shooting Will to save her own life (which is the opposite of what she does for Tobias, further showing that Tris hadn’t quite figured out how to be selfless at that point)” I understood it as if she did it for her mother, not for herself. Besides, being brave, strong is also about having the courage to kill someone you love for the good of the others; she chose to save the society, the factions, the people… and for that she had to kill Will. She never even considered having to do the same for Tobias, and when she gives him the gun with it pointed at her head, she didn’t have to because she knew her love for Tobias would wake him up…

“This was the end she had chosen, and I felt she had earned an ending that was as powerful as she was.” She could still sacrifice herself for Caleb and live. Anyway, I agree with Roth, Tris is a powerful character, she deserves a powerful ending. But how much powerful can death be? If she was willing to serve as a body for experiences like Four was in Divergent for Jeanine, sacrificing for Four, because he had already been through that, then it would be just as powerful as Tris is. The ending to be powerful required Tris to make a sacrifice. But why did it have to be a death sacrifice? Sacrificing as dying is so ordinary, Tris should have to make a different sacrifice… but one that demanded strength and selflessness and everything Veronica wanted when she wrote her death. A possible sacrifice would be as I said before.

“But my personal feelings about the ending haven’t changed. I will miss her, that Tris voice in my head. But I’m so, so proud of her strength.” Tris has proved herself strong many times in Insurgent, especially when she “betrays” Four by making an alliance to Marcus. I guess there are just many ways of strenght and her death could have been avoided. Anyway, I kind of understand her acceptance of this ending, I somehow accept it as well, but not wholly/fully as she does. Maybe death would have been a powerful ending for Tris, if it happened differently. A death by a serum would be ok, a death by jumping in front of Tobias (even Caleb) to save him from a gunshot or a bomb explosion would be fine as well, but NOT A DEATH BY A GUNSHOT FIRED BY A MAN IN A WHEELCHAIR, SHE LITERALLY GOES IN THE CROSSFIRE, DIRECTLY TO HER DEATH. There’s nothing powerful and meaningful in that. I’m sorry, but it was a poor fate for Tris to die like that. How is that death the ending she deserved? I would have appreciated Veronica’s choice of killing Tris if she died like the courageous, fierce, young woman she was — and the fact that she accepts her death (???) without even fighting to live for Tobias, for Caleb, just makes it even worse.

Tris was so miserable for killing Will and then for her parents sacrificing for her she didn’t want to live anymore. She went to Erudite to stop her guilt and the sadness that had taken over her. But then, when the day of her execution arrives, he realizes she does wanna live. That, in order to give her life in exchange for her parents’ and Will’s, she had to live, instead of dying like she thought. She finally realized that her death wouldn’t honor theirs, but that she had to live for them! She understood what their deaths meant for her: that she had to live and fight for them. She accepts her death in Allegiant because she is “done”. She doesn’t have anything else to do for her parents, Will, Marlene… But I don’t think that, after everything, she had to die. Her life wasn’t just in order to stop Jeanine, but also to live for her parents and Will. Their spirits would be living in her throughout her life. She not only killed herself, but also her parents again. Her mom was willing to sacrifice her life for the information the Abnegation had, but when she knew Tris was there, she chose Tris’ life over it. She didn’t sacrifice herself only for peace and to stop Jeanine, but also for her daughter to have the life she wanted her to have. And then, Tris greets death as she had nothing else to do for her parents, like her life had no purpose, when it actually had: the purpose of fulfilling her parents’ will of their daughter to have a life after war.

“Tris greeting death is the way of her to accept her divergence”. Not quite. For her to finally understand and accept her divergence, she has to recognize it in herself. Death didn’t make her brave, selfless nor smart. She had the courage to sacrifice herself for her brother, yes, but what about the courage to keep fighting? And what is smart about death? She could have thought of other ways to sacrifice herself for Caleb, and death isn’t the only one. And selflessness? What about Tobias? He needed her. His worst fear came true and she was the responsible for that. They had multiple fights over her suicidal acts in Insurgent, and she knew how much Four suffered just by the thought of losing her. She ran away from him, she didn’t have to handle his pain of losing her, she left him. What’s brave about that? What about Caleb? His parents died for her sister, and now his sister died for him. He doesn’t have anyone anymore. How is he even gonna live with that? Tris knew how much she struggled to honor her parents’ sacrifice, and how empty she felt until she made it worth it, and now Caleb has to go through this without her sister or anyone in his family. She had Four, and I think she’s always felt like she had her brother too, even if he had beatrayed her, but Caleb doesn’t have anyone. And even if he has Susan or someone else, nobody will understand him like Tobias understood Tris. There’s a passage in Insurgent:

“I'm not going to pretend to know what's going on with you," he says. "But if you senselessly risk your life again -- "
"I am not senselessly risking my life. I am trying to make sacrifices, like my parents would have, like -- "
"You are not your parents You are a sixteen-year-old girl --"
I grit my teeth. "How dare you -- "
"-- who doesn't understand that the value of a sacrifice lies in its necessity, not in throwing your life away! And if you do that again, you and I are done.”

Tobias understands the value of sacrifice, that sacrifice is not only dying for a cause, for what you believe. For it to be a sacrifice, there’s no need to involve death. I just honestly think Tris sacrificing for Caleb in Allegiant is some kind of ruined character development. She got back to that childish thought that sacrifice is about dying, when it actually isn’t. It’s so much more than that, but Tris never truly understood the real concept and meaning of sacrifice. here’s a definition of sacrifice: “to surrender or give up, or permit injury or disadvantage to, for the sake of something else.” yes, maybe death could be implied in injury, but dying was never a requirement for something to be considered a sacrifice. Besides, I just think dying as a sacrifice is so cliché and overrated. If VR’s intention was to be original, that wasn’t the right way, and clearly the goal was not accomplished here.

Tris wanted her parents to be proud of her, but they wouldn’t be proud of her dying. They would be proud of her fighting for a cause bigger than her brother or even her. the pride isn’t in the death, but in the act. Tris did what she had to do, yes, but could she have done it without dying? Absolutely. You see, dying was never a condition to make your sacrifice bigger, relevant or important. it may prove you really believed in what you fought for, but that’s not necessary. We had a lot of proof that Tris had always wanted to save Chicago, that she was a strong, brave character. We knew that long before she died and her death didn’t make her stronger/braver.

In Insurgent, after the attack of Jeanine’s ‘soldiers’ in the Candor building and Tris gets caught by Eric, she thinks: “I notice that no one ever brought the Candor girl I warned to the elevator bank, which means she must have gotten away. Good.“ Anyone in that position of “waiting” to be killed by your enemies would be thinking of a way to escape. But all Tris could think of was how the girl she helped run away never got caught and that’s what mattered most to her at that time. Tris struggles to accept her divergence throughout the whole series without even knowing exactly what being Divergent means. She doesn’t see Abnegation in her, but it was there all along. Then there’s this other passage: “I want to scream at her that of course, of course I would rather know about Tobias than about my Divergence, but I don’t. I can’t make hasty decisions. She will do what she intends to do to Tobias whether I know about it or not. It is more important that I fully understand what is happening to me.” Tris now chose Erudite, ‘chose knowledge over’ Tobias because she knew that was the only way to actually protect him: to be aware of how dangerous Jeanine thought she was, of how her divergence could help her to get away and go back to Four. Her death literally happened to prove what had already been shown to us throughout the whole three books: that Tris had always been fully Divergent, that she had always been Abnegation, Dauntless and Erudite in her own ~divergent~ way. Tris was wrong about her divergence acceptance just like she was wrong about taking Caleb’s place in Allegiant.

Also in Insurgent, there’s this: “I read somewhere, one, that crying defies scientific explanation. Tears are only meant to lubricate the eyes. There is no real reason for tear glands to overproduce tears at the behest of emotion.
I think we cry to release the animal parts of us without losing our humanity. Because inside of me is a beast that snarls, and growls, and strains toward freedom, toward Tobias, and, above all, towards life. And as hard as I try, I cannot kill it.” I can’t help but think ‘where did that beast that so intensely holds onto freedom, Tobias and life go?’

Despite not knowing what to believe, what is true — after David told her everything about the Chicago experiment and stuff when they went beyond the wall and then to the Bureau — she knows she doesn’t wanna die. she doesn’t know what is true anymore, but she knows this: she wants to live… for her parents, for Tobias, for her, even for Caleb. Here’s a quote: “And I don’t want to die anymore. I am up to the challenge of bearing the guilt and the grief, up to facing the difficulties that life has put in my path. Some days are harder than others, but I am ready to live each one of them. I can’t sacrifice myself, this time.” she knows that she can live with the pain, the guilt, she knows that every urge of her being claims for life.

There’s this Tobias’ statement in Allegant: “I feel like I understand, then, the way he ranks things in his mind: his life, first; his comfort in a world of his own making, second; and somewhere after that, the lives of the people he is supposed to love. He is the sort of despicable person who has no understanding of how despicable he is.“ — this is exactly why Caleb shouldn’t even get to live. the fact that Tris sacrificed herself for such person is outrageous. Tris is literally the opposite of Caleb, she deserved so much better, yet she got what her brother should have gotten.

Not to mention the fact that instead of Tris going to press the button she could have jumped at David, get the gun out of his hand and then go for it. you may say perhaps there wouldn’t be enough time for that, so she had to press the button at that exact moment, immeadiately. but let’s not forget Tris and David were talking for a while before he shot her. she could have taken the gun, pointed at him and then ask for explanations or such things. This is an example of how poorly her death happened, of how the focus of the story here was for Tris to die, but not how nor the meaning of her death/sacrifice.

Right before Tris takes Caleb’s place in the sacrifice, during their last minutes together, there’s this passage: “I cross the room and retrieve our guns from the counter, but itching at the back of my mind is what Tobias said yesterday—that the Abnegation say you should only let someone sacrifice himself for you if it’s the ultimate way for them to show they love you. And for Caleb, that’s not what this is.” and then I wanna quote the moment when Caleb said he would sacrifice himself before such passage: “If I do this…” he says. I shake my head no, but he holds up a hand. “Stop,” he says. “Beatrice, if I do this… will you be able to forgive me?” so, Tris thinks Caleb isn’t doing this because he loves her, but because of remorse, guilt or whatever. however, to me, when you want forgiveness from someone, it’s because you care about their opinion on you, you care about your relationship with such person going forward, you love such person. how is forgiveness not about love? Caleb knew this: “I nod. “Yes,” I choke out. “But that’s not a good reason to do this. / “I have plenty of reasons,” Caleb says. “I’ll do it. Of course I will.” Caleb volunteered for the same reason Tris did when took his place later (he even told her, after she took his place, that he loved her! VR could have made Caleb take Tris’ place but obviously that would get in the way of Roth’s ending, so she made him chicken out again and once more be a coward, going back to that despicable Caleb that should have died in Tris’ place, in my opinion): they love each other, and they wanna make right by one another. Caleb tried to sacrifice himself to show Tris he loved her, in spite of all the wrongs he had done (I don’t know if it’s only me but I can feel — SO MUCH! — Caleb trying to tell Tris he’s doing this for her, because he loves her, not because of some selfish reason). Later, Tris talks to Tobias about this, and finally sees Caleb’s doing it out of love, that he loves her: “I’m not sure it’s love that’s motivating him, though.” I close my eyes. “It seems more like guilt.” / “Maybe,” Tobias admits. “But why would he feel guilty for betraying you if he didn’t love you?” / “I nod. I know that Caleb loves me, and always has, even when he was hurting me. I know that I love him, too.” but, in order to fulfill her wish of Tris dying, Veronica made Tris ignore that, go out of her mind about this and not think straight. You could say Peter saved Tris because he felt guilty and that doesn’t mean he loved her and did it out of love. that’s totally right, yeah. But guilt and wanting forgiveness are two different things; Peter’s guilt and Caleb’s are completely opposite. Peter saved Tris to be even with her, not to owe her anything anymore, to have no debts (as I recall, Tris had saved his life earlier in Insurgent), which is by far exactly NOT what Caleb was doing when he was willing to sacrifice himself — Caleb’s guilt was for being such a bad brother to his little sister, was for putting a belief in society’s rules and factions and way of thinking before his love for his sister; his guilt was for not prioritizing such love and family. And then he wanted to do something not only to gain Tris’ forgiveness, but also their parents’; to put first what he should have in Insurgent: his sister, his family, their love.

“She loved and gave her life for Caleb even after he betrayed her, the same way her parents loved and gave their lives for her after she left them for Dauntless. She was truly acting out of love for Caleb.” I get it’s a noble action to want to do the same thing her parents did for her, but she was kind of selfish about not thinking about the consequences for the world but, mostly, for Tobias… Four has been hurt for so much time, Tris was the only good thing he had to hold on to, she was everything he could have, he wanted and needed to have. She was the only one who made him feel butterflies in his stomach, and all the other love symptoms we have. She was his only proof of love. She was the only one who made him trust and believe again, the only one who made him truly understand what love is.

I think about Four so much. I guess I’ll never be able to overcome the pain Tris’ death has caused on me, and I believe Four feels the same way, or even worse.

Tris brings the best in Tobias — his true self, the Tobias he could never be because of Marcus and Evelyn (the long gone boy because of Marcus’ violence and Evelyn’s abandonment). Tris is an enormous part of Tobias’ true self and he can finally be who he really is with her — when Tris dies, Tobias’ soul dies. without Tris, Tobias would never leave the shadows in which he hid himself. he would never stop hiding. he would still be lost inside him. here’s a quote from a dialogue between Amar, I guess, and Tris:

“I can see what you bring out in him. You don’t know this because you’ve never experienced it, but Four without you is a much different person. He’s… obsessive, explosive, insecure…”
“Obsessive?”
“What else do you call someone who repeatedly goes through his own fear landscape?”
“I don’t know… determined.” I pause. “Brave.”
“Yeah, sure. But also a little bit crazy, right? I mean, most Dauntless would rather leap into the chasm than keep going through their fear landscapes. There’s bravery and then there’s masochism, and the line got a little hazy with him.”

“How have I never seen the schism inside his heart? How have I never realized before that for all the strong, kind parts of him, there are also hurting, broken parts?”

and obviously I can’t neglect the heartbroken passages of Tobias picturing a life alongside Tris (and vice versa) after the war and everything was finally over:

Tris’s fingers slide between mine. Everything comes easily this morning, every smile and every laugh, every word and every motion.

If we succeed in what we attempt tonight, tomorrow Chicago will be safe, the Bureau will be forever changed, and Tris and I will be able to build a new life for ourselves somewhere. Maybe it will even be a place where I trade my guns and knives for more productive tools, screwdrivers and nails and shovels. This morning I feel like I could be so fortunate. I could.

Tobias takes me to the atrium near the hotel dormitory, and we spend some time there, talking and kissing and pointing out the strangest plants. It feels like something that normal people do—go on dates, talk about small things, laugh. We have had so few of those moments. Most of our time together has been spent running from one threat or another, or running toward one threat or another. But I can see a time on the horizon when that won’t need to happen anymore. We will reset the people in the compound, and work to rebuild this place together. Maybe then we can find out if we do as well with the quiet moments as we have with the loud ones.

I am looking forward to it.

And now an argument based on the (very) little knowledge I have about literature (brazilian one, since I’m from Brazil and that’s the one we study here): Veronica have always said her plan was for Tris to die in the end all along, that it would make her original, not cliché/obvious, not like the other authors, that it would make Divergent Series be a different saga of books, with a not evident ending. but that wasn’t exactly original — in “Lucíola”, a book written by brazilian novelist José de Alencar in 1862, the protagonist/main character, Lúcia, dies. The story is about a courtesan (luxurious prostitute) who was drawn into this life on the age of 16 for being poor and having a family suffering with serious diseases (she obviously didn’t want her relatives to die, so she had to make some money). the point of Lúcia’s death is that she had to die for being “morally filthy” in the eyes of XIX century society. What I’m trying to say is every character with such storylines in a XIX century novel dies in the end. No need to say there was plenty of novels and most (if not all) of them had a character like Lúcia, that “deserved” to die for being morally corrupted (and most of those characters were protagonists) — I’m talking here about some of the greatest writers of worldwide literature. VR was not original by killing the main character and she didn’t kill Tris by using a literary resource that would have made her “superior” for being shocking, innovative, etc. not to mention she didn’t have a strong reason to kill Tris, if we analyze criteria of good writing based on the best writers in the whole world. I’M NOT SAYING VR IS A BAD WRITER, I’m just saying she got lost in her obsessive wish to kill Tris and didn’t think of good plot/reasons/ways to do that. I think Roth is an amazing writer with fantastic writing skills — she could have made Tris die like a hero, like a role model, like Tris —, but, unfortunately, she was so blind by her will of killing Tris that she got lost in the story and ended up making some mess. Also, if VR simply HAD to kill Tris or she would hate herself forever for not killing her, couldn’t she at least have killed Tobias too? At least they would be together, wherever that would happen...

I think killing Tris was a waste of character. Tris was such a strong, badass, powerful and inspiring character, she was one of the few interesting main characters of a series. She could have had a brilliant fate, just as she deserved. She deserved happiness. Most of the times, we read books in which the main character is, at first, “ok”, but then as you go through the series, they become boring and annoying, and you really don’t care what happens to them anymore. Tris reached our hearts, she was loved by every Divergent reader. She was so beautifully developed and full of personality, full of life. We all wanted to be a little bit like her and we loved her so much for being just what we wanted to be. Tris encouraged ourselves to take risks and be as brave, as confident, as alive as she is. She deserved a life of wonders and we wanted that for her. If she got to have a life with Tobias, that’s exactly what she would have had.


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