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Transcript of The Chrysalids
Newfoundland & Labrador
Waknuk is where most of the story takes place. It is a small farming community almost on the frontier, near the Fringes. Waknuk is very religious and the people believe that "God" sent tribulation and that the "true image" must be kept.
The Fringes is the border between the Badlands and Waknuk. It's were Waknuk throws all their "mutants".
Hyperboles, Metaphors and Personification
is very important
People We Don't Like
"Our household was extensive. There were my father and mother, my two sisters, and my Uncle Axel to make the family," (p.21).
"The other six were Michael who lived about three miles to the north, Sally and Katherine whose homes were on neighbouring farms two miles farther on,...Mark, almost nine miles to the north-west, and Anne and Rachel, a pair of sisters living on a big farm only a mile and a half to the west," (p.81).
The Chrysalids is set in a post-nuclear apocalypse world in which there are not many places to live (because of nuclear radiation) and not many people living. There are two important places in the book Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Zealand. N&L contains Waknuk and the Fringes, and New Zealand is Sealand. The book is set in the future (or more accurately is set in the future 60 years ago) but we're not sure how far.
"For a long time it had been disputed whether any parts of the world other than Labrador and the big island of Newf were populated at all," (p.39).
"'But, darling, "z" doesn't mean anything. Now, Sealand obviously means a land in the sea,'" (p.136).
Man vs. Self
Man vs. Man
Man vs. World
This guy has a sideways view
The Chrysalids is told from 1st person Point of View, by the protagonist David. It is the only P.O.V. used in the book although, when Uncle Axel is telling a story it comes close to changing.
"Our schooling as I have said was sketchy... mostly writing... and a little elementary figuring,"(p.81).
"'It's this way, Davie. I reckon the church people are more or less right about most deviations - only not for the reasons they say,'" (p.80).
This is Uncle Axel speaking
"'It is war. Some day I'll kill them for what they've done to Katherine,'" (p.130).
"'It's quite a time now I've been hoping that one day I'd meet your father on equal terms,'" (p.163).
David was rather mad at himself for telling Joseph and the Inspector about Sophie. Even though it was not his information that lead to their capture he still felt extremely guilty for betraying them, despite the fact he was whipped until he told them.
Anne wishes that she couldn't thinkspeak, and for a while tries to shut out the thoughts, and is quite successful at it. In the end though, she hangs herself possibly partially due to the stress of that.
David vs. Concious
Anne vs. Her Brain/mutation
Gordon vs. Joseph
David vs. Joseph
Thinkspeak vs. Society
The Central Metaphor
"A toy-like creature herself," (p.83).
"...it was as if something had hit me physically," (p.83).
"Then there was pain, a demand pulling like a fish-hook embedded in my mind," (p.83).
"...on the path was Rosalind, running like the wind," (p.83).
This book uses a few literary devices (the standard ones: Simile, Metaphor, personification and Hyperbole) but mostly similes. In fact almost all of them are similes.
Gordon is quite mad at his brother, Joseph, for
"stealing" Waknuk from him. Although Joseph had nothing to do with that originally, he then became a crusader for the True Image, which Gordon is not of.
Notice a trend here anyone?
Cough, Cough, *Joseph* Cough.
This is something that should not happen (father vs. son) but it was inevitable in this case, if not for Joseph's terrible parenting techniques, then because of David's mutation.
This is caused by two things that are related. First, the Thinkspeak group all have a mutation which is "hateful in the sight of god" and so by everybody that doesn't have one. The Second reason is that this mutation allows superior communication and thinking as well as being hard to spot. People are scared by that and so want to hunt them down even more.
"So it might be that what I was seeing was a bit of the world as it had been once upon a time - the wonderful world that the Old People had lived in; as it was before God sent Tribulation," (p.5).
"I was a normal little boy, growing up in a normal way, taking the ways of the world about me for granted. And I kept on like that until...I met Sophie. It is... that...day when my first small doubts started to germinate," (p.6).
"Anne announced that she was going to marry...[We] didn't want to believe that she was serious. For one thing, the man was Alan Ervin, the same Alan...who had informed on Sophie," (p.90-91).
"Somehow, through caution, luck, and quick recoveries we managed to escape direct suspicion and live our two diverging lives for the next six years without the sense of peril becoming sharp.
Until, in fact, the day when we discovered that the eight of us had suddenly become nine," (p.82).
"'It'll be better not to fool with us, boy. It's you they're after, and you've brought trouble this way with you. Why should we care what happens to you? Quite easy to put one of you where they'd find you.'
Petra caught the implication of that, and panicked.
'More than a hundred men,' she said," (p.162).
"So, I did what I was told, kept on going - for a few yards, until the trees hid me; then I doubled back under cover.
Just what they were expecting. But they didn't shoot me; they just beat me up and slung me back among the undergrowth. I remember flying through the air, but I don't remember landing...," (p.164).
"Suddenly [Gordon] stiffened. His bow came up like a flash, bent to its full. He loosed. The shaft took my father in the left of his chest. He jerked, and fell back on Sheba's hindquarters. Then he slithered of sideways and dropped to the ground, his right foot still caught in the stirrup," (p.187).
"'Can't you guess, David? It's people. Lots and lots of our kind of people.'
I realized she must be right, and I listened to it for a bit.... We were over the land now, and [I] looked down at the city coming up to meet us," (p.200).
The Chrysalids is "a modified form of science fiction, a form [John Wyndham] called 'logical fantasy'," (p.1). The fact that it's a Dystopian Fiction was not mentioned.
So we've established that it's a dystopian fiction and one of the purposes of dystopian novels is to warn us about things that we're doing wrong by showing us the consequences. The Chrysalids was written during the Cold War, and the world in the book has been ravaged by a nuclear war. So one of those warnings is about being
careful with nuclear weapons. The only book that survived the war was the Bible and the way it was interpreted was devastating to their world because of the
lengths they took to follow it. The focus of their interpretation of the Bible was to stop any change, to keep things 'pure'. They were
rigid about the 'true form'. All the groups (Waknuk, The Fringes and Sealand) judge each other
harshly without real reason and will happily kill each other merely because they think they're superior. I think you got the point, anything is bad when it's extreme.
"ACCURSED IS THE MUTANT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD AND MAN," (p.76).
"But, Uncle,if we don't try to be like the Old People and rebuild the things that have been lost, what can we do," (p.79).
They're so obsessed with being the same as before they don't even know what else to do. They never allow any change, any deviation from before.
The main metaphor is of course comparing the three main locations in the book to the stages of the chrysalis (in this case the Pupa, Cocoon and Butterfly). The book does not specify which is which, but lets you decide based on information that we are given throughout. I have decided (sort of) which one is which from a few different perspectives and this is what I have: Waknuk is the never the butterfly and is usually the Pupa. It is the least developed in every way except in technology, where it is ahead of the Fringes. Sealand and the Fringes switch between the Cocoon and the Butterfly, because they are more advanced socially.
This one is based on judgement of others: Waknuk is the Pupa because they are extremely judgemental, and they act on their judgement. If you have a mutation you will be neutered and banished, whereas in Sealand while they judge you, the worst they do is act superior. That is why Sealand is the Cocoon. That only leaves the Fringes, which are in this case the Butterfly. They in general don't care much about what you look like, or if you have a mutation, so are less openly judgemental.
"She says we ought to be sorry for them because, however old they grow, they'll never be able to understand one another much better," (p.145-146).
"'None of it's like any other part. That's why the Fringes is the Fringes; pretty near nothing grows true to stock here,'" (p.152).
This will mostly be information about the author to prevent overlapping with the Theme to much.
The authors full name is
John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris
He is English but wrote his books mostly for publication in the US.
He wrote under several other names all of which were different combinations of his many names. He wrote as John Beynon and Lucas Parkes before World War II and only as John Wyndham after. All of his successful books were written as John Wyndham.
Interestingly, his brother Vivian Harris was also an author and was in fact the person who inspired John Wyndham to write again, because of the success of his books.
During WWII he worked as a censor for the Ministry Of Information and then as a Corporal Cipher for the Royal Corps of Signals
M. Grace Wilson
This book was first published in 1955
by John Wyndham
by: Guess Who
Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris