“Harry Potter” and “Divergent”: Abnegation
In our fifth Divergent series post, we are going to discuss which characters from Harry Potter would have chosen the course of selflessness in Abnegation at their Choosing Ceremony. Without the Sorting Hat, it has been difficult placing some of our favorite characters in Dauntless, Candor, Erudite, and Amity. We have a new respect for the Hat’s perceptive nature in his placement role. However, he would have had no place in the world of Divergent since characters choose for themselves. We took on the assignment of getting into the minds of sixteen-year-old Potter characters and making the decision based on their personality and lifestyles.
In Divergent, Tris describes, “My faction is Abnegation. The rest all call us stiffs. We lead a simple life, selfless, dedicated to helping others. We even feed the factionless, the ones [who] don’t fit in anywhere. Because we’re public servants, we’re trusted to run government.” Abnegation values the virtue of selflessness first and foremost. They reject vanity and self-indulgence, theoretically protecting them from vices like greed and envy. They are expected to be compliant with everyone and devote their time to serving others.
The Abnegation Manifesto reads, “I will be my undoing if I become my obsession. I will forget the ones I love if I do not serve them. I will war with others if I refuse to see them. Therefore, I choose to turn away from my reflection, to rely not on myself but on my brothers and sisters, to project always outward until I disappear.”
Who would choose to bleed over the stones of Abnegation on Choosing Day? Without further ado, we present to you our Abnegation list.
Dobby constantly risks his own life for the sake of others. The first time we are introduced to Dobby he is warning Harry Potter not to return to Hogwarts. Of course, a 12-year-old sees this as an unthinkable request, but considering the chain of events that followed, Dobby was clearly on to something. While some of his antics may have been questionable – the rogue Bludger, for example – his heart was always in the right place. He took cruel beatings from his masters, the Malfoys, so often that he began inflicting his own punishments when he acted out of “self-interest.” Truly, Dobby’s interests were only ever to protect those he cared about, namely Harry. Even after being presented clothing as a symbol of his freedom, Dobby’s main concern is still Harry’s well-being. Dobby consistently puts other characters before himself, even after he is freed from the life that requires him to do so. He knowingly rushes into danger to aid in the rescue from Malfoy Manor and pays the ultimate price in exchange for the safety of his friends. He is selfless and kind and would be eager to join Abnegation on Choosing Day to help others.
2. Arthur Weasley
Arthur works incredibly long, crazy hours at the Ministry in order to provide for his family. His job with the Ministry is a public servant position, constantly on-call, and he must be ready to leave on a moment’s notice. He is kind and gentle with his children and Harry, giving them love and guidance rather than punishment. He is the first to warn Harry of Sirius Black’s escape in Prisoner of Azkaban, even though others were against it. He is content with his life and his home, even when Lucius Malfoy flaunts his riches and belittles the Weasley name. It is clear that the only reason such an encounter would bother Arthur is his desire to go above and beyond for his family, which is why he works as much as he does. When Harry offers to give the Weasleys money, both Arthur and Molly refuse to accept it, knowing that it would better serve Harry. Arthur is a helpful and gracious character and would feel most welcome at home in Abnegation.
3. Cedric Diggory
Cedric is a character that we know little about during the first three novels of the series, but we learn that he is genuine, good-hearted, and fair. During Prisoner of Azkaban, Diggory feels guilty about Gryffindor’s loss to Hufflepuff during a Quidditch match since Harry was knocked unconscious by a Dementor attack. Cedric insists on a rematch, displaying his honest spirit. In Goblet of Fire, when both himself and Harry are chosen as Hogwarts champions, Cedric offers advice to Harry (such as putting the egg underwater) and assures Harry he is not happy about the “Potter Stinks” badges. “I asked them not to wear it,” he tells Harry, embarrassed by the petty behavior. Cedric never flaunts his successes and keeps a cool head despite any acclaim he receives. In his final moments, he chose to work alongside Harry rather than take the cup for himself and earn the glory. As a Hufflepuff, he may have never been the most popular guy at school, but he was someone members of his House looked up to. Now he is considered a hero who will never be forgotten. Cedric and Abnegation may be more perfect than peanut butter and jelly, a true home for the world’s favorite Hufflepuff.
4. Molly (Prewett) Weasley
Molly is used to being in the shadows as a younger sibling to her twin brothers. After staying on the sidelines during the First Wizarding War due to her pregnancy, Molly ended up as a loving and nurturing mother of seven. She focuses all her time and energy on her children, serving as a stay-at-home mom to watch her boys and girl grow. Molly raises her children to be their best selves and grateful for everything they have. She puts herself in the line of fire when her children are at risk and joins the Order of the Phoenix during the Second Wizarding War. Many will remember that her greatest fear, as revealed by a boggart, was the concept of any member of her family dying. She also killed Bellatrix Lestrange after she began to attack her only daughter, Ginny. As an Abnegation woman, she aligns with the concept of never serving herself but serving those around her, which she does by always offering a smile and refusing to focus on her own woes. At age 16, it is presumed she and Arthur Weasley had been dating for some time; she may have chosen Abnegation to stay with him and continue their lives together. Regardless, due to her loving heart and desire to put others before herself, Molly would be an ideal member of the Abnegation faction.
Who else could you see choosing Abnegation? Let us know, and look out for our next installment as we conquer which characters would be Divergent.