Words Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in The Chrysalids, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work. By classifying David as a Blasphemy, however, the leaders of Waknuk contradict… Ways of Knowing The citizens of Waknuk rely mostly on tradition and religious texts as sources of knowledge about the world.
Plot summary[ edit ] The inhabitants of post-apocalypse Labrador have vague knowledge of the "Old People", a technologically advanced civilisation they believe was destroyed when God sent " Tribulation " to the world to punish their forebears' sins.
The inhabitants practise a form of fundamentalist Christianity; they believe that to follow God's word and prevent another Tribulation, they must preserve absolute normality among the surviving humans, plants and animals, and therefore practice eugenics.
Humans with even minor mutations are considered blasphemies and either killed or sterilised and banished to the Fringes, a lawless and untamed area rife with animal and plant mutations.
Arguments occur over the keeping of a tailless cat or the possession of oversized horses. These are deemed by the government to be legitimate breeds, either preexisting or achieved through conventional breeding.
The government's position is considered both cynical and heretical by many of the orthodox frontier community. The inland rural settlement of Waknuk is a frontier farming community, populated with hardy and pious individuals. David Strorm, the son of Waknuk's most religious man, has dreams of large cities and horseless carts.
He makes friends with Sophie, a girl who secretly has six toes on each foot. Later, Sophie's family attempts to escape from the reprisals ceremonies where blasphemies are sterilized because she was discovered by a local boy.
David and other children in Waknuk hide their mutation: David's Uncle Axel, who knew about the group from talking to David about his telepathy when he was young, protects them from persecution. Axel kills the husband of one of the group the boy who told the Inspectors about Sophie because he was going to blackmail the telepaths to the Inspectors.
Some of the group almost get exposed when David's younger sister Petra cries out to the other telepaths mentally for help when a large catlike creature attacks her horse while she was riding into the forest. Later, two telepaths, Katherine and Sally, are captured and tortured for information, while David, his cousin Rosalind, and Petra go to the Fringes.
A telepath named Michael stays behind to throw off the people who are tracking the telepaths. A group of men from several districts chase them.
The group includes Michael, who is trying to lead them off the trail. Later, with Petra's strong telepathic abilities, they contact a society with telepaths in a different country, called "Sealand" New Zealand. With Sophie's help, who is living in the Fringes, David, Rosalind and Petra escape the group hunting them and are rescued by a Sealand expedition.
Unfortunately, they do not have enough fuel to take the craft back to Waknuk to pick up Rachel so they continue to Sealand. Michael stays in Waknuk to save Rachel from the Inspectors. Tribulation[ edit ] Though the nature of "Tribulation" is not explicitly stated, it is implied that it was a nuclear holocaustboth by the mutations and by the stories of sailors who report blackened, glassy wastes to the south-west where the remains of faintly glowing cities can be seen presumably the east coast of the US.
Sailors venturing too close to these ruins experience symptoms consistent with radiation sickness. A woman from Sealand, a character with evident knowledge of the Old People's technology, mentions "the power of gods in the hands of children". Major characters[ edit ] David Strorm is the narrator of the story.
David is one of a small group of youngsters who can communicate with each other via telepathy. However, their community's theological prejudice against anyone who is abnormal means he and the others must keep their abilities carefully hidden.
David and Rosalind's love for each other is kept secret from their parents because of a bitter feud between their families. Sophie Wender is a young girl born with six toes on one of her feet. Sophie lives with her parents in an isolated cottage somewhere north-west of Waknuk, her deviation from the "norm" keeping her from associating with other children.
She befriends David after he discovers her secret but promises not to reveal it. Joseph Strorm is the father of David and Petra.
He is a domineering personality, deeply religious and unyielding on the subject of mutations and blasphemy, even punishing David severely for an unintentionally blasphemous remark about "needing an extra hand" to apply a bandage.
Uncle Axel is a widely travelled former sailor, open-minded and willing to question conventional religious precepts. Upon discovering David's telepathy, he counsels caution and extracts a promise that David take great care not to allow others to learn of his mutation.
Petra Strorm is the youngest of the Strorm children. The group of telepaths discovers that her ability is extraordinarily strong and difficult to resist, placing the group at greater risk of discovery.
Rosalind Morton is David's closest friend among the group of telepaths. They become more of a couple later on in the book. She lives on a neighbouring farm and is David's half cousin.
The Sealand woman and her people are from a more technologically advanced society where telepathic ability, while not ubiquitous, is far more common and is accepted, promoted and studied.A good overview of The Chrysalids may be found here.
Some themes prevalent in the novel include: 1. Isolation and Alienation: David and the "abberrations" are considered as outcasts and alienated.
The Theme of Religion in the Novel The Chrysalids. words. 1 page. An Examination of the Characters in The Chrysalids by John Wyndham. 1, words. 3 pages. An Analysis of Waknuk a Place Where Anything Out of the Norm was Wrong and Sinful. 1, words. 2 pages. A Definition of the Terms of Utopia and Dystopia.
Some of the significant themes in "The Chrysalids" include death, loss of personal freedom and punishment. Learn more about the underlying message of the novel, with examples from the text. The Chrysalids exposes the hypocrisy and ludicrousness of any society that kills its members in an attempt to be more pure and moral (read full .
The Chrysalids (United States title: Re-Birth) is a science fiction novel by British writer John Wyndham, first published in by Michael Joseph. It is the least typical of Wyndham's major novels, but regarded by some as his best. The Chrysalids (United States title: Re-Birth) is a science fiction novel by British writer John Wyndham, first published in by Michael Joseph.
It is the least typical of Wyndham's major novels, but regarded by some as his best.