The Chrysalids is a story set in the future. In the story, the “normal” people living in Waknuks, where David came from, were searching for the abnormal, or the ”mutants” and tried to kill them. Throughout the story, they were very eager to look for David and the rest of his telepathy group to investigate their special powers or even, to kill them. The reason of them really doing so was not because of that the telepathies were actually different, but is due to that they were scared that the telepathies would rule the place as they had special, extraordinary abilities, which “normal” people did not have. Other than that, normal people certainly did not deserve the rights to destroy mutants just because they were not shaped like God’s image, or simply, like everybody else.
“And any creature that shall seem to be human,
But is not formed thus is not human.
It is neither man nor woman.
It is a blasphemy against the true image of God,
And hateful in the sight of God.” (Wyndham 13)
The quote proved that the Waknuks believe people that were not imaged like God should not be considered human, and they should be destroyed— David, Rosalind, Petra and Michael, the main characters of the story, were considered as mutants as well, as they could make up thought shapes and communicate in their minds, and according to the Waknuks, they were not normal human and should be considered as mutants as well. However, to Uncle Axel, God can read everyone’s minds, and it may be an ability that human should have as well if they were to God’s image. He stated that human probably lost it due to tribulation, and God granted this special ability to a small group of people only. From this, I think that the normal people were actually chasing after the telepathies out of jealousy and fear. It only made them the “normal people” because they were of the larger proportion of population. It does not give them the power to kill the mutants.
We humans have a wide array of emotions. Some are rarely felt and others can dominate our lives. Fear is an example of the latter. Despite what we may think, fear controls the way you live your life. It gives you a sense of right and wrong and provides the understanding of consequence. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham uses fear as one of the most dominant themes of the novel. The plot of this novel is based around David Strorm, a boy who lives in the post-nuclear-apocalyptic town of Waknuk. The entire town of Waknuk fears another tribulation; another nuclear holocaust, and is forced into a religion based on fear. Fear guided David away from his dystopian lifestyle and towards a new and better life.
After the nuclear apocalypse, as civilization reconstructed, religion became a major part of society, and so the definition of man was born. The definition of man cited what makes up a normal person before tribulation, and closes with “And any creature that shall seem to be human, but is not formed thus, is not human.”(p.13) Eventually the people built a land called The Fringes. Anybody who does not fall within the criteria of the definition of man would be deemed deviations and forced into this new land, a place inhabited solely by deviations. Religion controls the entire population of Waknuk as they believe a new tribulation is coming, as it is said by Old Jacob “Give me the old days when a man was allowed to do his duty and keep...
...Nikita Nguyen Friday, January 12, 2010
Essay Writing for The Chrysalids by: John Wyndham
In society today, discrimination presents itself as a major issue around the world whether in favour or against the lack of individuality leading up to religious intolerance. In the book, The Chrysalids, written by John Wyndham the story reveals a world unhinge by genetic mutations. The Waknuk district is a community that isolates themselves from anything they believe is a deviant or does not follow the description of the ‘true image’ of God – also referred to as the Fringes people. The Waknuk community shows resentment towards the Fringes people because they dread the mutants which they consider as ‘blasphemies’ since the community believes they are sent by the devil to tempt them away from Purity. Their community is very restrictive and does not tolerate any change. Their obsessive compulsive need to cleanse and purify all deviations reflects on the Waknuk community because of their religious values, which results in more bias ways. The process of development is evolution, which results in prejudice, conformity, and fear
Fear is one of the main aspects in this book, such as fear of the future or the unknown. “‘You understand what that means, David? They are scared of us. Ready to break us down in attempt to find out more about us – once...
...Sacrifice a Discovery and a Mistake
The plot revolves around them, they are the main characters. Characters are so important because they give you the main plot and conflict in the story. Being the main character in The Chrysalids David is shown threw the whole book from his childhood to his teens, we see him grow and with his growth shown threw the story a lot of sides are shown such as his emotions, action and abilities. Getting to know David threw the whole story we see what problems he runs into and situation he had to handle. Sacrifice, discovery and mistakes were situations David avoided made and ran into while he was growing up, but with the situation came change to the story providing reasons and important events in the novel.
The word sacrifice is used in many different ways often to mean giving up something. So people sacrifice their time, or their money or even their lives. In the Chrysalids David has to sacrifice his own life and his world to one secret, to keep his ability to make thought shapes also know as telepathy from people he loves and knows. David is not the only one with this power there are other such as Rosalind, Michael and Anne who are one of his closest friends. They only know about each other and uncle Axel is the only person that knows about them but does not have the power and he makes David keep a promise to never tell anyone else, “‘Davie,’ he said, ‘I want you to make me a promise.’ ‘Yes Uncle Axel?’ ‘It’s...
Have you ever dreamed of a place where you will have to hide your true identity to survive. “ The Chrysalids” by John Wyndham shows the reader exactly that. In this novel there are many different themes but the main themes are ; Survival to live in this community, discrimination, and punishment.
Survival in this community is vital because if you are born a deviant you must learn to hide yourselves to blend in with the group otherwise you are banished to the fringes. As David states “ till our whole consideration if we were to survive must be to keep our true selves hidden; to walk, talk, and live indistinguishably from other people. We had a gift, a sense which, Michael complained bitterly, should have been a blessing, but was little better than a curse.”( ) *(Chapter 9)* It is clearly proven that for David being a deviant must hide himself from his community in order to survive. This was also quoted by the Sealand women “ Your work is to survive. Neither his kind, nor his kind of thinking will survive long. They are the crown of creation, they are ambition fulfilled -- they have nowhere more to go.” ( )*(Chapter 16) somewhere in the middle end)* The Sealand women said clearly that people who are not broadminded will not survive for long. They will kill their own people if needed to perderve “purity”. Also in this community you would have to do anything survive as Aunt Harriet give an example “It would only be for a day...
...David’s Fight for Justice
By the time David is sixteen, he has already experienced major changes in his life. His views towards the Waknuk society, and his opinions on deviations differ from everyone else living in Waknuk. In the book, The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, a young boy with the name of David finds out that he is telepathic, and that he is not the same as everyone else. Being telepathic is classified as having a deviation and living in Waknuk with a deviation is against the law. He meets a girl named Sophie who has six toes. She also has to hide her abnormality from the rest of the population. When David finds out about Sophie’s secret, it changes that way he views people with deviations, and how he views the laws on deviations. His father has raised him to believe that every human who did not fall under the Definition of Man was not perfect, and should be punished for his or her imperfection. He now does not view people the same way as his father does. He believes that someone with a deviation should be treated with the exact same amount of respect as someone who does not have a deviation. David is a fearless and daring boy who does not believe that people with deviations should be just thrown out of civilization to die.
David believes that every living thing should be treated equally no matter if they have a deviation or if they do not. He believes that individuals should have the right to stay and live in their own town. They should...
...Characters Reactions in Moments of Desperation in The Chrysalids
People react differently in moments of desperation. There are generally many different kinds of reactions towards moments of desperation in the world. Joseph Strorm and David Strorm (his son) had different reactions in moments of desperation. Joseph and his son had opposite reactions in the novel. Joseph Strorm and his son had opposite reactions in the book. Joseph Strorm reacts to deviants very seriously and without sympathy. He is also portrayed to be very religious. David Strorm on the other hand, is the only son of Joseph Strorm. He possesses a telepathic ability which is unacceptable in his community, Waknuk. David’s reactions towards deviations are quite different from his father. He makes certain decisions wisely. He is very considerate unlike his father. Joseph Storm shows no sympathy towards mutants because he believes that they are sent from the devil. In the Chrysalids, how characters react in moments of desperation reveals insights into their true nature.
Joseph Strorm’s reactions in moments of desperation show his true nature in The Chrysalids.
Joseph Strorm’s reaction towards David was very extreme because he was associating with a deviation. David befriends Sophie and discovered that she had six toes on each foot. David promised to keep her secret. However, when Sophie and David were...
...Hunger for Survival, A Greed for Life
Religion teaches one to fear change, or more specifically, natural succession, which occurs when an original population evolves or invades and outlives the population prior.
According to Nicholas’s Repentances, a religious text worshipped in the novel, religion provides
a reason for destroying or dispersing deviants as seen through the eyes of God (which includes but is not specifically limited to noticeable physical abnormalities). Such actions delay the inevitable succession of the Norms. The greed for life itself and the belief that expelling deviations of any kind (people, animals, crops) will satisfy that greed, fuels the practice of religion in the community of Waknuk. In John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids, the fear of change is provoked by religion, which is used to justify self-righteous attitude.
The importance of religion in Waknuk is introduced early in the novel, and right away it is obvious that Repentances lay strict law upon deviants and upon the community in order to destroy them. When one is in the presence of a deviant he or she is obliged to report it for the common good, otherwise the deviant will breed impurity into society and bring back Tribulation, the condemnation God had sent to remind one of His ultimate power.
‘… concealment of a Blasphemy – not reporting a human deviation – is a very, very serious thing. People go to prison for it. It is everybody’s duty to report any kind of Offence to me...
...The Chrysalids by John Wyndham is a book that illustrates the terrifying world that is run in the aftermath of a nuclear war. Wyndham explores the topics of dystopia, telepathy, conformity, theocracy, and eugenics from a post-WWII perspective by following the story of a boy named David and his struggle with being an outcast to a very conformist society. When the book was written, there was a very common fear of a cold war. Wyndham wrote this book depicting the sure outcome of a cold war in order to warn human beings about the sure outcome of the potential cold war, which in Wyndham’s opinion will clearly render us back to the beginning of knowledge. This book exhibit many important warnings for humankind that are not to be overlooked and should be taken into account when making decisions for the future of our world as well as daily life choices.
The discrimination exhibited in this story is alarmingly relative to today’s and past’s society. Many characters in The Chrysalids commit wrongful but seemingly socially acceptable acts against living things that do not fit their society’s norm, or in other words, are considered deviations. In addition to this, people who are attempting to protect a blasphemy are discriminated against, possibly due to ignorance of what it’s like to live with the looming possibility of losing a loved one. For example, when Aunt Harriet brought her blasphemous baby to her sister’s house to beg for help, Joseph Strorm said...