Firstly we were all divided up into five faction groups; Abnegation (the selfless), Amity (the kind), Erudite (the intelligent), Candor (the honest) and Dauntless (the brave). Each of these groups form the futuristic society and have functions within it according to their beliefs and values.
As part of our English unit, students were placed into factions in order to experience what it was like to be confined to a singular character trait. At the beginning of the term, just like in the novel, a ‘choosing ceremony’ was held and students were forced to choose to either stay with their birth faction and ‘life as they know it’ or move to another. As part of choosing a faction, each student has had to perform various tasks and ‘quests’ to prove their loyalty to the faction; otherwise, if they fail these initiations, they risk becoming factionless.
As a part of the Abnegation initiation the students had to prove their selflessness by doing acts of service for others in exchange for tokens. Amity, in expression of their inner peace and happiness, had to create a song and show it to the other factions. Erudite initiation involved taking an IQ test to prove their intelligence whilst the Candor initiation involved scoring 100% on a true and false quiz.
Finally, the dauntless initiation involved manning and ‘protecting’ the school tuckshop over lunch breaks. The initiations had only just begun though; after each task the challenges became harder and harder to pass. After all initiations were complete, only a handful of students were left in the running. On Monday, they were officially made members of their factions.
As the unit came to a close, Mr Maguire shared some profound thoughts on what it means to stand out in a society that demands you conform. Everyone who had passed their initiation, along with the many factionless, were then given the opportunity to reject their label and choose individuality. Let’s see what the rest of the term will bring!