June 3rd, 2013
John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids
A well-written novel must contain valuable lessons that a reader can take out so that they may apply them to his or her life. The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham, has proved itself to be successful by teaching the reader many meaningful lessons. Wyndham took on a plot line that was unique, but he had succeeded to apply several lessons to make The Chrysalids more effective for readers. Some of the lessons taught in The Chrysalids are violence only creates more violence, the importance of loyalty and accepting change.
The first lesson shown in this novel is violence only creates more violence. Throughout the novel there are several examples where it shows that once something breaks out, it can definitely become worse. In The Chrysalids, there are 2 types of people; the Fringes people and the Waknuk people. The Fringes people are human beings that have abnormalities and are banned, forced to live amongst other Fringes. The Waknuk people are very religious people. To them, having an abnormality is sinning in itself because they believe everything has to be the same, everyone has to be made in the image of God. “The norm is the Image of God.” (Wyndham 27) The Waknuk people trying to hunt down David and his telepathic friends, Petra and Rosalind, is one example of violence breaking out and spreading. When David decides to stand up for Petra, Rosalind and everybody of his kind, the Waknuk people are only trying to stop him and get rid of him. Just like all other cliques and groups out there in the real world, the Waknuk was created by one person and their idea of getting rid of all deviations is crucial to the Waknuk and their plan because it is considered a sin to them. This proves that violence can spread anywhere and everywhere, even when it is least expected.
The second lesson that can be learned in this novel is accepting change. With David being a blasphemy himself, he never really knew and understood how important they can be until he came across one that is. After coming across Sophie and realizing that she herself is a mutant, he comes across a realization that he is in fact a mutant himself. Sophie’s mother did not want anybody to know about her extra toe which puts David in a situation where he must live a very insecure life and in a position where he must live under the same circumstances with his telepathic abilities. Petra, Rosalind and David are being hunted down by the Waknuk people, due to their telepathic abilities which is considered a blasphemy to the Waknuk, even David’s own father is completely against mutation. The Waknuk people and David’s father both believe that mutants are a disgrace to the image of God and should be killed off immediately. “The essential quality of life is living; the essential quality of living is change; change is evolution: and we are a part of it. The static, enemy of change, is the enemy of life, and therefore our implacable enemy.” (Wyndham 196) This quote goes to all the so called mutants and blasphemies and how their lives have changed.
The third and final lesson that can be learned throughout this novel is the importance of loyalty. As the story progresses on, there are some examples of