"Those who blamed ignorance became the Erudite." -Divergent
In Veronica Roth's Divergent trilogy, Erudite might be the most controversial faction. Because in book one, they're the enemies. . . or so we think.
Some of them are decent people who do not understand what their faction has done, but if their entire building collapsed in on them before my eyes, I might not find it in myself to care. - Insurgent
You might have my head, but- I kind of like the Erudite, in some ways.
In the book the Erudites are shown as arrogant, unfeeling, power-hungry, know-it-alls. A lot of them were. Jeanine Matthews, yes. But not all of them. I sometimes wonder if some of the people in the factions adopt the faction's cliched vices just because it was expected of them. Anyhow, the people of Erudite are committed to gaining knowledge. If you're a naturally curious person, you'd feel right at home there.
I should have known that the main Erudite building would be a library.- Divergent
|I think a true Erudite would look like Caleb.|
No concern for physical appearance; it's too
illogical when you have better things to do,
His brown hair is tousled, his shirt buttons in the wrong buttonholes. He is handsome in a careless way, my brother, like he has no idea what he looks like most of the time. -Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Many also thought believed Erudite was prone to being power hungry. Knowledge does give you power. If you withhold that knowledge from other people and make them reliant on you, you will definitely have a lot of power. In light of that, it wasn't the best idea to give one faction control over the vast major of knowledge and scientific advancement. The other factions were kind of asking to be controlled and overthrown, in a way.
"Valuing knowledge above all else results in a lust for power, and that leads men into dark and empty places." - Tris' father, Divergent
I can see how they can turn unfeeling. They're scientists who run tests on animals and people all day. If their work becomes too important to them, they begin to value the test results more than the human life in the experiment (kind of like the Bureau in Allegiant?). They stop viewing people as people and instead they're just another way to gain knowledge. Another thing to take apart and learn how to control. Is it a good thing? Most certainly not. It's what a lot of superhero movies are about: Don't go trying to take the human out of humanity.
Here's what I do like about the Erudite, they're intelligent, they ask questions, they want to know things, they love to learn. I like to learn. I tend to be curious about things and people for the most part. I like to think for myself. And it always makes me sad when I see people who dislike learning and all their curiosity has been killed by bad schooling experiences. Learning is so much more than textbooks. Thinking has nothing to do with memorizing tests answers. It's about asking yourself questions about life, about people, and examining the world around you to find the answers. Generally speaking, to do things, you have to know how to do them, and sometimes it's not so simple. The world is such an interesting place. The more you know, the more you can do. The truth will set you free.
His eyes are wild with new information. Not all the Erudite are power hungry and devoid of conscience, like Jeanine Matthews. Some of them are like Caleb: fascinated by everything, dissatisfied until they find out how it works. - Insurgent
(Caleb may not have been the best comparison there. . .)
And I think that's where Erudite went wrong. Originally, I think, Erudite was created to gain knowledge and then share it with the other factions, to keep the other factions from being ignorant about their world and the potential it has. Like the Erudite working closely with the Amity to advance in agriculture; I'm sure they helped the Dauntless create better weapons and security systems; they may have helped Candor with the psychology of the human mind, how it reacts to truth and lies, and how to detect when others are lying; they *could've* helped the Abnegation with organizing the factionless and population counts (Evelyn was a former Erudite. . .). But when Jeanine Matthews became the leader of the Erudite and found the Prior video, instead of sharing that knowledge, that truth, with the rest of the world, she withheld it. And everything that happened in Divergent (to a certain extent) was because she withheld knowledge from the factions.
If the truth will set you free, than lies and the absence of knowledge will put you in bondage (sometimes known as mind control).