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Chrysalids - After the Bomb Context

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rees wilson

on 6 June 2012

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Transcript of Chrysalids - After the Bomb Context

The Chrysalids
John Wyndham
'Writers are at the forefront of change. They cannot help themselves but to

challenge accepted ways of thinking.'
How has this been seen in your text?

Focus Question 1
Context and Novella
Challenge accepted ways of thinking
Scientific Paradigms
Through the novella
Context
"There was the
power of gods
in the hands of children, we know: but were they
mad children
..."
"hostile
world"
"There was an unnerving quality about it - something quite different from the fatal issue of a man-to-man fight, or from the casualty roll of an ordinary battle."
"He who trusts in the atom bomb will sooner or later
perish by the atom bomb
- or something worse."
.
- Henry Wallace
"Science fiction writers were warning that the new atomic age was as likely to prove a

disaster

as a triumph." - Paul Brians
Post Apocalypse
Manipulation of Religion
"...often it is the ideological manipulation of religion, sometimes
for political ends
, that is the real catalyst for
tension and division
..." - Pope Benedict XVI
Context
Through the Novella
"Communism is Christian
heresy
" - George Shaw
"It is much better to believe in Lenin and know that our glorious state will
provide for our needs
" - teacher behind Iron Curtain
"The Norm is the
Image of God.
"
"... the
Devil struts
his wide estates and the laws of
God are mocked
."
"
ACCURSED
IS THE MUTANT IN THE
SIGHT OF GOD
..."
Fear of Enemy and Unknown
"it is so clearly a novel
about the time - and place
- in which it is written" - John Harrison
Context
"Communism possesses a language which every people can understand - its elements are
hunger, envy and death
" - Heinrich Heine
"Growth for the sake of growth is the
ideology of the cancer cell
." - Edward Abbey
In the Novella
"The mutant, the
enemy
... of the human race."
"It's in [Labrador] where
the old Devil's hanging on
and looking after his own."
Challenging "Evil" Ideology
Sophie - mutant, outcast, but friendly
Aunt Harriet - mother of deviant, vulnerable, rejected
David Strom - innocent, unknown deviation, human
Arrogance of Superpowers
Context
"...the
arrogance to tell
us where we should go or which countries should be our friends. . . . We cannot accept that a state assumes the role of the
world's policeman
." - Nelson Mandela
"He who negates present society, and seeks social conditions based on the sharing of property, is a
revolutionary
." Johann Most
The ideology of capitalism makes us all into
connoisseurs of liberty
- of the indefinite expansion of possibility" - Susan Sontag
Through the Novella
"The Old People thought they were
tops,
too."
"Arrogant
they are. The true image, and all that..."
"For
ours is
the
superior
variant."
Challenging Arrogance
Labradorians
and
Badlanders
witness
destruction
as result of their arrogance, and subsequent hostility.
The
Old People
, in their arrogance, are
destroyed.
The
destruction
of the
Sealanders
is foreshadowed as a result of their arrogance.
Communication
Context
"
telepathy
in fiction is often a metaphore ... for
communication
, for empathy, for an open style of human relationship..." - John Harrison
"An
iron curtain has descended
across the Continent." Winston Churchill
"It's always the
small people
who change things... who pulled down the Berlin Wall?" Luc Besson
"Mr Gorbachev, open this gate
!
Mr Gorbachev,
tear down this wall!
" Ronald Reagan
Through the novella
"like
more eyes
inside you."
"it gave me a
strange muffled feeling
to be cut off from the rest like that."
"There was, you see, no real communication,
no understanding
between them."
Challenge lack of Communication
Communication = Peace
Miscommunication = Ruin
Challenges both the lack of communication for the mass, and the lack of communication between superpowers.
Need for Change
"...the post-disaster novel was in itself a
feature of its times
[of] vastly accelerated rate of social, economic and technological
change
in Britain following WWII." John Harrison
Context
"Those that fail to learn from history, are
doomed to repeat it
." Winston Churchill
Through the novella
"But life is change, that is how it
differs from the rocks
, change is its very nature."
"the essential quality of life is
living;
the essential quality of
living is change; change is evolution
..."
"...the idea of completed man is the
supreme vanity
..."
Challenge to Change
Stagnation leads to ruin
Labradorians
won't accept deviations and are destroyed.
Badlanders
won't change their ways, and are destroyed.
Without change, humanity will continue down the dark path. With change -
learning from its mistakes
- it can make a better world.
Challenge Science
Dystopian
setting
- mutated crops and people, hostile home environments, war and
fear
of unknown enemy.
Critiques
the accepted values of science, and suggests a
need to change
.
Challenge Manipulation of Religion
Manipulation of Religion creates
hostility, dehumanisation
, and leads to the destruction of Labrador and Badlands.

It also
dehumanises
the victims of its manipulation.
Challenges the use of religion to
justify
actions, by suggesting that everyone is human, and that the
current path
will lead to
destruction.
Full transcript