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The Chrysalids, By John Wyndham Essay

1439 words - 6 pages

“The Chrysalids” by John Wyndham is a science fiction novel about a town that does not accept difference. The novel takes place in a post nuclear time in the community of Waknuk. It describes how human nature can be cruel and the act of acceptance which everyone strives for. David Strorm morally and emotionally grows throughout the novel through character, setting, theme and plot. Significant events that David experiences teach him both something about himself and the world he lives in. When he firstly meets Sophie and realizes her difference, his aunt expressing that she does not feel bad about her newborn that has a deviation and lastly when he, Petra and Rosalind flee Waknuk.

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The quality of living David endured in Waknuk was not evolving morally and David knew he was not what his community thought was the true image of the Lord.

Setting is crucial in this novel because it describes the community of Waknuk which builds on David Strorms growth. It is a community where if you have an extra finger or your crop grows differently is seen as a deviation of the true image of the Lord. David sees his community as normal but when he meets Sophie in the forest, the peaceful community becomes the opposite of what the true image of the Lord is . " When i was quite small i would sometimes dream of a city which was strange because it began before i even knew what a city was " ( Wyndham, 1 ). The quote is important to David in the novel because he is dreaming about Sealand which is crucial for his wellbeing in the future. The world David lives in is important also for his relationships. Petra his younger sister importance grows when she is able communicate with someone like them who lives in Sealand, they exchange information throughout the novel. The fringes are also important for his emotional growth because he learns while he is sent there with Rosalind and Petra that he must fend for himself without his family and what is really is important in his life.

Theme is the essence of every novel, describing the main message the author is trying to portray to the reader. The relationships David experiences throughout the novel describe the theme both having positive and negative influences on the way David grows up and events that shape his future. Chrysalides means the state at which Larva must pass for it to become an insect, and is not able to escape, in the novel David’s father Joseph Strorm does exactly this, not allowing his community to have options in their lives and his force on humanity which dramatically effects David, knowing that he has a difference. Another theme that is crucial that David expresses is that evolution and change has to happen sooner or later in the community of Waknuk. “You my own son were calling upon the devil to give you another hand ! he accused me. “But I wasn't. I only " " You blasphemed, boy. You found fault in with the norm ". (Wyndham, ). Prejudice, static vs change and religious persecution are also main themes in the novel. The definition of what the Lords image is supposed to be is drilled into David’s mined from a young age. His relationship with his father is a fearful and worrisome, when his aunt expresses that she feels no remorse for bringing a child with a deviation in the world, his father shows his true personality even though it is his sister in law and nephew by telling her to get rid of it, this is a form of both religious prosecution and prejudice. David knowing that his community will never be able to change understands emotionally he can do nothing but leave. He understands while in the fringes thats loyalty to the group before his loyalty is more important and that if he would...

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