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The Chrysalids

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Anna Banks

on 21 January 2013

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Transcript of The Chrysalids

The Chrysalids John Wyndham The Chrysalids written by John Wyndham is a first-person narrative told by David Strorm, a boy who lives in the future in Waknuk, a place where all “The Norms” live. The Norms are strict about individuals and animals representing “The true image of God” if someone does not represent this image, then they are considered blasphemies and exiled as outcasts to the Fringes, a place where individuals who are mutants live because of their abnormalities. Anyone who is a deviation must be reported and if they are not then are consequences for both “the norm” and “mutant.”

The beginning of the novel starts with David meeting a young deviation. Her name is Sophie, and she has six toes on each foot. Sophie and David play secretly together. During this time, David tells his Uncle Axel, who he truly trusts that he has telepathic powers in the form of thought-shapes. After that, Alan, a mean kid who lives in Waknuk discovers Sophie’s abnormality. David and Sophie escape safely from Alan, but Sophie’s family agrees they must run away to keep her safe. The following night they escape. When the authorities become aware of the escape they go to David to question him. David’s father is irritated because his son refuses to confess the whereabouts of Sophie and her family. As punishment, Joseph whips his son until he exposes the truth. Then Waknuk is invaded by Fringe people, two of whom are captured and brought to the Strorm residence. David recognizes that one of the Fringes resemble his father as well as a spider. Soon after, Petra, David’s little sister is born. His Aunt Harriet has also conceived a baby; however, her baby is a deviation thus she comes to David’s parents and pleads with them to let her use Petra to get a certificate saying that her baby is normal. David’s parents refuse and thus Aunt Harriet leaves only to commit suicide.

We fast forward to the middle of the novel; David and the others have aged. It is evident that Petra has a stronger ability to read thought shapes (telepathy) than the others; Rachel, Anne, Michael, Katherine, Sally, and Rosalind. Anne marries Alan, which is a huge risk to the others since they do not think Anne can possibly keep their telepathy a secret from her husband; this puts them all in danger. Uncle Axel kills Alan, to protect the others, which causes Anne to commit suicide. Soon after, the authorities learn of Katherine and Sally’s telepathic ability. They take Katherine and sally and torture them to try to force them to reveal the identities of any others who may have the same power. This causes Rosalind and Petra to barge in when David is sleeping and tell him they must leave before they too are discovered, since some people suspect them being abnormal. Shortly after Petra, David and Rosalind are running through the forest while being chased by “norms”.

Towards the end of the book Petra, David and Rosalind are ambushed by Fringe people in a cave and taken to the Fringes where the Spider-man, who is David’s uncle, decides he wants Rosalind to bare his children, he also keeps Petra. David is thrown out of the Fringes because he is a guy and argues with the Spider-man. When he awakens Sophie is taking care of him and helps him rescue Rosalind and Petra. Petra makes contact with Sealand people, who can also read thought-shapes. They respond by saying they are on their way to help. The Waknuk people and the Fringe people battle, thankfully the Sealand people come and spray sticky stuff that stops them from fighting. Petra, Rosalind and David go with the Sealand people while Michael goes back to get Rachel. They make their way on foot to Sealand. Moods Conflicts Summary One of the many moods in this novel is suspense because there is always that sense of danger that the main characters can get caught.

For example, when Anne married Alan, the others were very fearful. It was a huge suspenseful moment because Anne was putting all of them in danger. Alan would not hesitate to turn them all in if he were to discover their secret. After Alan's murder Anne commits suicide and writes a letter exposing the others addressed to the inspector. Luckily, her sister, Rachel goes to the house where she retrieves the letter first. She then burns the letter destroying the allegations.

The mood at the end of the novel is a sense of relief because the surviving characters can finally relax. They do not need to worry about being alienated anymore since all the individuals chasing them are now dead. The Sealand people have come to take them away to a metropolis where they are free of any laws or obligations of keeping their ability a secret. Another mood for this novel would be discovery because the characters are always learning something new. They are growing up and gaining more knowledge about how cruel their world is. Their innocence dies.
For example at the binging of the book Sophie is this sweet, happy, carefree, naive innocent child. She does not understand why an extra toe is bad. She is not aware of the situation in her community. At the end she has grown up and been stripped of that innocence. She is more aware and knowledgeable about how things work. She is optimistic because she is grateful for what little she has and is willing to fight for it, such as the attention of the Spider-man.

David as well; in the beginning of the novel is very naïve. He does not understand why fringe people are exiled and discriminated against. As David grows older he gains more knowledge, with the help of Uncle Axel who protected him, and is more aware of the situation. David himself is alienated from society because he is different. He is more careful and fearful around certain people, such as his father.

As children grow older they start to understand how unfair life is. It is as if one day they wake up and that innocence they once had has been torn away. Most of the conflicts in this novel are of Person vs. Person.
For example, David Strorm vs. Joseph Strorm, his father; Joseph Strorm is a religious man who strongly believes the teachings of “Nicholson's Repentances”, When the author writes, “My father's faith was bred into his bones, his principles were his sinews” it shows how strict and dedicated he is to this book and the “true image of God.” He is against everything that is abnormal and considers it a blasphemy that should either be taken away or slaughtered.

David on the other hand cannot see why his father hates “mutants” so much. They do not seem like bad individuals to him, then again David is still very young at the time and there is that innocence that children have where they don’t judge. That is why he didn’t rat out Sophie and kept her secret.

When Joseph Strorm discovered that David was keeping Sophie a secret, he was furious. He whipped David as a form of punishment for not wanting to reveal her and her family’s whereabouts. Joseph will not even stand for someone wishing they were a mutant like David did in chapter 3 page26. This conflict was not resolved since David and Joseph never discussed why his father hated being different, especially since his own brother is a mutant. Another example would be Sophie vs. Rosalind; this is more towards the end of the novel. It’s what most girls fight about. Sophie is jealous of Rosalind because the Spider-man wants her to bare his children, Sophie cannot do because she is sterile.

Sophie is also jealous that David likes Rosalind. Rosalind is very well kept and Sophie is not. These factors cause Sophie a lot of envy because Rosalind has gotten to live with so much, even though she is a mutant, unlike Sophie who lived in misery because her deviation was noticeable. This conflict is also not resolved since Sophie dies. Themes Prejudice Equality Connections This would be a major theme. This novel deals a lot with being different and how people discriminate.
In this novel if an animal has an abnormality they are considered blasphemies that were made by the devil and are then slaughtered. If a human is a considered a blasphemy they are sent to the fringes. In this novel there is a corrupted version of religion that the “norms” use to be able to discriminate against people who are different “mutants”. They are deviation's instead of blessing's because of their appearance.

Joseph Strorm does not accept either his son or his own brother because they are different. The people of Waknuk judged Sophie a young girl who only smiled and laughed because of extra toes. Wuknuk practically ripped Sophie of her innocence and David was punished by his father since he befriended her and tried to protect her.
There is also the theme of equality or the wanting of equality; the need for everyone in the novel to be seen as an equal.To be judged upon their personality instead of their appearance. “The true image of God” is discusses a lot in this novel, however,in the original bible it says nothing about an individual needing to have '. . . and each leg shall be jointed twice and have one foot, and each foot five toes, and each toe shall end with a flat nail....' page 13. In fact the bible says nothing about mankind needing a specific number of limbs what is does say is “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Gen 1:27–28. The book they are using to discriminate against individuals is called “Nicholson's Repentances” they treat it like a bible when it is not. They have absolutely no proof what “The true image of God” looks like. Anything that is different is labeled as a deviation created by the devil. In other words they use Religion as a way to murder and discriminate. 'No,' he said, 'souls are just counters for churches to collect, all the same value, like nails. No, what makes man is mind; it's not a thing, it's a quality, and minds aren't all the same value; they're better or worse, and the better they are, the more they mean. See where we're going?' ' Page 79-80 (Uncle Axel) This quote shows how a person thinks can determine whether they are good or bad. If a person is willing to try and change for the better; is open to new ideas and try’s their best to accept everyone for who they are on the inside.That is equality, in this novel at the end Rosalind, David and Petra go to Sealand, where they will be accepted for their ability. 1. Hitler sent people to concentration camps and killed them because they were different culturally, mentally and physically disabled this relates to deviations and mutants being sent to the Fringes. In high school teens find plenty of ways to discriminate and prejudge. We stereotype based on labels such as; emo, lesbian, gay, bisexual, rocker, hipster, hippie and this leads to bullying.

For example all blonds are unintelligent or all Asians are smart, she wears a lot of black so she must be Goth. 2. It is like “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins because of the different districts, such as Wuknck, The Fringes, Sealand. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YjSIvmNjT8 Work Cted

Wyndham,John . The Chrysalids. 27 Wrights Lane, London : Michael Joseph and , 1955.

Mean Girls. Dir. Mark Waters. By Rosalind Wiseman. Screenplay by Tina Fey. Perf. Lindsay Lohan, Jonathan Bennett and Rachel McAdams. Youtube. N/A, n.d. Web.
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