Humanity’s inherent reluctance to change will become a burden in the future. Whyndham’s explores this initial frustration that results from change through the interaction of the protagonist, Bill with the drunken man who was “blind’s a bat.” The simile alludes to the sudden blindness that plagued Earth that was “ordered and cultivated” led to death, loss and anger – nothing Bill said to the blind man can “serve no purpose save to spoil his anger”. The unexpected “sudden occurrence of the Triffids” highlights the external changes that are beyond humanity’s control. Bill “was not yet ready to admit…things had changed in any fundamental way.” This illustrates Bill’s sceptical and adamant personality that was resistant to change.
It is the constraint of social regiment that results in an over reliance which restricts the individual. In order to survive, Bill must break his metaphorical ‘safety net’ and learn how to change– operating independently of social constructs. Whyndham explores this perspective of human change, through the “small sparrow like old man” and his speech to the group. The traditional ideals and routines which “framed and taught” humans their standards “have gone with” the sudden appearance of a new threat, the Triffids. The humans must learn how to think for themselves again, “we have to start thinking again –which is much more difficult”. This highlights the constant reliance on society that prevented humanity from thinking for themselves, but “with the old pattern broken”, they have to find a new and improved suitable lifestyle.
Working in communities allows humanity to become more efficient and adaptable to survive. Through Bill’s search for his lost lover, Whyndham explores humanity as a “creature of companionship”- that is our inherent desire for relationship and intimacy. Without it, they essentially become less than “the twitch in a limb of a corpse”, the metaphor accentuates the lifelessness when alone. While on his journey alone, Bill compares, the “gregarious creature” to the human and acknowledges that without companionship he would not be “ able to sustain” himself “for long alone”, showing that even ordinary men like Bill, need a basic form of lave and companionship to survive. It is in social congregations, that we come ‘alive’ and with social groups comes a form of safety and security for the future; instead of loneliness, which is against our nature.
It’s completely natural for us humans to work in communities. It would be the polar opposite of our biological nature to work alone. Whyndham’s use of emotive language in “Complete loneliness was the worst state…company meant purpose, and purpose helped to keep…fears at bay” implying that as tough as humans must become in these desperate and different times, we are still capable of showing fear and in doing so, need a form of love and companionship to guide us through these fearful times. Whyndham is able to convey the need of companion ship through the use of the “pistol shots” used in conjunction with “Josella”, with the pistol shots symbolising the imminent fear and devastation about to arrive and Josella representing the ‘Companion’ to face what “they would see tomorrow”. This scene shows Whyndham’s own idea of the importance of social collaboration because “alone, one would be nothing” but with the ‘companion’ they would be “quite a good team”.
Morals and standards from the past may become a detriment to the individual in a changed future. The morals and ethics the protagonist represent must adapt to suit the