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The Chrysalids Essay

961 words - 4 pages

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham is a dark book where the plot, characters and setting are all influenced by death. The word “Chrysalid” is a scientific term which refers to the larva that most insects pass through before becoming adults. John Wyndham metaphorically compares this definition to the story by comparing this process to humans. He is saying that the state humans were in before Tribulation was a “baby” state and now they are maturing into adults. It does not come at an easy price; sacrifice and death affect the process of change. The influence of prejudice and bigotry throughout The Chrysalids leads to death in the lives of Sophie Wender, Aunt Harriet and Joseph Strorm.
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Another character that influences death in The Chrysalids because of prejudice and bigotry is Joseph Strorm. Joseph’s strong belief against deviations results in death among them and him. Firstly, the incident with Daker’s cat proves that Joseph would go to extremes to enforce his own beliefs. “Such shilly-shallying in an obvious outraged my father’s principles and he personally attended to the demise of Daker’s cat.”(37). Joseph felt compelled to enforce his beliefs by executing Daker’s cat because of its deviation. Secondly, Joseph’s strong opposition towards Aunt Harriet’s baby’s mutation push Harriet against the Strorms; this results in Joseph murdering her because of her defiance towards his beliefs. In this quote David hears of Harriet’s death and knows that her death had resulted because of the Strorms prejudice towards her baby. “Nobody told me how she came to die, but somehow I knew that it had not been by accident.”(76). Lastly, Joseph’s prejudice towards Sophie’s sixth toe leads to the capture and death of John and Mary Wender. “Come on now. Sullenness isn’t going to help you. Who was this child-this Blasphemy-you were with yesterday?”(51). Joseph’s overpowering prejudice towards deviations and willingness to fight for his beliefs leads to many deaths throughout The Chrysalids including his own.
Moreover, the secret murder of Aunt Harriet and her child show the lurid side of prejudice and bigotry and what it can result in. When the Strorm’s discover Aunt Harriet’s baby’s deviation, their prejudice push them to turn on the ones they love and take action against them. Chiefly, in this quote David’s mother Emily is hastily turning on Harriet because of the discovery of Harriet’s baby’s deviation. “You have the effrontery to bring your...

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