Chrysalids Essay, Research Paper
Thesis statement: There really is no true or perfect human image nor can it be proven right by using religious theories which are hypocritical. Their theories developed from the experiences of Man, particularly from his tribulation. The Waknuk people are insecure about themselves; therefore, they use God as an excuse for their persecution of the deviates.
In John Wyndham’s, The Chrysalids, we have the opportunity to view mankind not in the ideal way as most would like, but in a realistic way. The deviate is not perfect and because he is it, he is shunned by society, which under the guise of hypocrisy, seeks to prove that it does not have to accept anything abnormal.
The whole idea of human deviations, mutants and blasphemies is all created by the majority of “norms” at the end of their tribulation. However, not all the characters in Waknuk believe that deviations should be killed or isolated. These characters are very distinct and all have a significant importance. There are a variety of opinions produced by John Wyndham’s characters who cause many conflicts.
The main character, David has the strongest beliefs and these beliefs become even stronger as the story develops. Throughout his whole childhood, he has always been taught to honour the Repentances. After he meets Sophie, he thinks that there is nothing wrong with her and that she’s harmless for she can definitely not be a mutant. However, in his society she is considered to be a deviation and a mutant, because of her extra toe. From this point on he begins to question the childhood beliefs he was taught to obey. He doesn’t realize what their beliefs mean until he experiences them. After a while, he realizes he is in fact, a mutant, because of his ability to see thought shapes. He begins to mature as a man and is aware of his uniqueness in a society that forbids mutancy. Most of all, he becomes more aware of the danger around him. David tries to protect his kind by running away to another place with his people and finds out that they’re not alone. He also realizes that his father, Joseph Strorm’s death was justified because of his torment of mutants. David is expected to accept the beliefs of the Strorm family, but David finds happiness when he explores his own rights and realizes that his mankind deserves a better fate.
The firmest believer of Waknuk is definitely David’s father, Joseph Strorm. He is narrow-minded and deals unjustly with the family. Joseph is one of the many influences who makes people believe that the Offences are wrong and is a strict watchman of the blasphemies. On the occasion where David says, ” I could have managed it all right by myself if I’d had another hand!”(Wyndham 26) Joseph flies off the handles, out of control. He makes David get down on his knees to pray and punishes him. He is also very harsh when he hears about Aunt Harriet’s news and he lectures her about the unforgivable sin. The older the generations, the stronger the beliefs get in Waknuk, but in the younger the generation their curiousity grows out of their beliefs as to what is right.
In the story, Uncle Axel has the strangest beliefs of all the characters. He warns David about the danger he is constantly in and advises him to run away. He also gets very involved and does whatever he can to help him get to safety with his type. However, Axel is a “norm” who is a factor in the Waknuk life. Axel is one of a kind, not in a deviate way, but his intellectuality enables him to understand the mutants and that different people should not be in control of the hands of Joseph Strorm’s people. They are better off with people who appreciate them. Another ironical factor is that he commits murder which is against the Waknuk Society, just to help David. He risks his life for another and this really proves how strongly he believes in the right to acknowledge the abnormal and not to abuse them. Axel probably experiences what David has gone through in his childhood. His view of god’s image has his own set of ways and has gone in a different direction. Many people don’t have this ability, because they are too weak and afraid and they don’t want to be any different from the majority.
In conclusion, we could say that the old beliefs which have stood the test of time and are not always the right beliefs. Youth, as represented by David, questions these beliefs and makes everyone realize that there is no perfect human form. Those who were once deviates or abnormal in the eyes of society do achieve happiness in their own newly, created paradise.