The Chrysalids

The Chrysalids is a popular Science Fiction novel by John Wyndham. It was first published in 1955, and tells of a post-apocalyptic future.

330 Questions

Is the novel the chrysalids anti-religious?

In a way the book is against 'religious fanaticism'. Only to a fanatic could the book be condemned in this way.

What is a normalcy certificate in the chrysalids?

A normalcy certificate is a certificate that is granted to new born babies only if they are normal without any problem.

List of characters in the chrysalids?

Joseph Strorm

Emily Strorm

David Strorm

Petra Strorm

Rosalind Morton

Sophie Wender

Uncle Axel

What is the theme in The Chrysalids by John Wyndham?

Maturity, Racism, Evolution, That about sums it up. Alternate answer: Personally I'd say that it has a number of universal themes the main one being Darwins ascertion that evolution is the triumph of the fittest. Religious intolerance, bigotry (I don't remember any discrimination based on race), the rights of the indiviual as opposed to society and a warning about the possible consequence of nuclear war are all themes in the novel. And there may well be other themes that I haven't even touched upon.

What are the literary devices used in The Chrysalids?








Short plot summary of the chrysalids?

The Chyrsalids is set in the future after a devastating global nuclear war. David, the young hero of the novel, lives in a tight-knit community of religious and genetic fundamentalists, always on the alert for any deviation from the norm of God's creation. Abnormal plants are publicly burned, with much singing of hymns. Abnormal humans (who are not really human) are also condemned to destruction-unless they succeed in fleeing to the Fringes, that Wild Country where, as the authorities say, nothing is reliable and the devil does his work. David grows up ringed by admonitions: KEEP PURE THE STOCK OF THE LORD; WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT.

At first he does not question. Then, however, he realizes that the he too is out of the ordinary, in possession of a power that could doom him to death or introduce h im to a new, hitherto unimagined world of freedom.

The Chrysalids is a perfectly conceived and constructed work form the classic era o science fiction, a Voltairean philosophical tale that has as much resonance in our own day, when religious and scientific dogmatism are both on the march, as when it was written during the cold war.

What are major issues in 'The Chrysalids'?

Deviations, blasphemies and offences. offences are plants that do not look like their parent plants. Blasphemies are offences among humans. both are deviations.

What is the badlands in the chrysalids?

The badlands is a place where the fringes people, when sterilised are sent to, to live apart from the people of Waknuk. In the time of the Old People, a nuclear bomb was dropped on what is now known as the Badlands, causing the land to become infertile. Nothing that is the norm of Waknuk can grow in the Badlands because this bomb was dropped.

What are some motifs in The Chrysalids?

'Actually there are no motifs with in the chrysalids but I will advise you to read the book than to take someone's wrongful judgement.'

..are you kidding? motifs are ideas or themes that are constantly present in a book. EVERY book will have motifs.

some of The Chrysalids' motifs include fear, blaspheme, intolerance and telepathy.

What are some themes in The Chrysalids by John Wyndham?

The Chrysalids is a post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi novel. Some themes are Christianity, Telepathy, and Mutation.

If you are looking for literary theme, (the message the author wishes to convey to the reader), there are 4 main ones. They are: Loyalty to the group comes before personal loyalty. Survival of the fittest-you cannot resist change, you must adapt. Having power over someone does not make you right. Violence only creates more violence. Religion is also a huge aspect of this novel.

The major themes in chrysalids are Power and authority, survival, Heroism, journey of childhood to manhood, woman in society, challenges and structure/point of view,childhood experiences,prejudice/discrimination in the society.If you're asking for the main theme, it'd probably be Deviation vs conformity.
  • Intolerance of Deviation

The important issue of the intolerance towards Deviationsis shown through the extreme reaction of Joseph to David's comment.In the Chrysalids, the theme of Deviation is a constant theme that runs throughout the novel. In fact, it is the main focus of the book.Attitudes towards them, hence, is an important factor in deciding how the reader will view them and will also impact their choices on their future courses of action- if they had been accepted by society, the telepaths would not have had to run away from society and run such a risk to their lives. This attitude consists of prejudice, open hatred, ostracism and even killing intent.This can be seen from Joseph's furious outburst when he heard what David heard. Such is the extent of his set attitude against Deviation that he employed selective hearing and chose not to hear David apologising and saying it was not meant to be said that way.Joseph represents the entirety of Waknuk Society's view on Deviation; being the son of the one who pioneered them in the first place. Hence just the utterance of such Blasphemy - "If only I had another hand"- was enough to turn on his paranoia and make him display his utter intolerance of Deviation.He yelled at David, made everyone pray for 'forgiveness', and even implied he would punish David later, physically. It shows how Deviations are not tolerated at all in Waknuk society.

  • Prejudice towards Deviation

The people of Waknuk believe that Deviants are an abomination and the work of the Devil. From a young age, the Definition of Man and the importance of Purity are drilled into them. This causes them to have a fixed mindset to persecute Deviants when they grow up. It can also be seen from how they regularly undergo inspections to destroy all Deviations from their property, like in the case of the Strorm household, especially Joseph, who take it as a personal insult to have a deviated crop or livestock in their farm. Deviants [Blasphemies] are cruelly sterilized and abandoned in the Fringes, never allowed to return. This harsh treatment of Deviations shows us that the theme of prejudice towards them is prevalent in Waknuk society.

  • Importance of Conformity

Through Joseph Strorm's harsh treatment of David, we can see how important the issue of conformity is to the inhabitants of Waknuk.Conformity in Waknuk is manifested in several ways, be it burning of Deviant crops, slaughtering of Deviant livestock and spreading awareness on the dangers of the Mutant to their peaceful society.Joseph shows this need for conformity in this passage by blasting David for even suggesting deviation from the Norm. The evidence for this is "you Blasphemed, boy. You found fault with the Norm," "This is a terrible thing, an outrageous thing. You are…committing blasphemy!" Joseph immediately accused poor David of having blasphemed and started yelling at him, without mercy or bothering to understand the truth.His treatment of David therefore shows how important conformity to the Norm really is to him.

Of course, every other theme in the book is significant as well. These include the theme of fear of authority, oppression, punishment, Purity and the Definition of Man, Friendhip, Love, Sin, Telecommunication, Sacrifice, Death, Religion, Extremism, Superstition and so on. They all play an important part in carrying the plot forward.

Why are the Wenders important in the Chrysalids novel?

The Wender parents are important because their daughter Sophie is a mutant (with an extra toe on each foot). Sophie is important because she is the first mutant David (the main character) sees as a person. He even becomes friends with her. When a local boy sees Sophie's foot, she and her family must run, and this causes David to consider what would happen to Sophie if she was caught. He worries that she would be executed like the animal mutants are. Later on, when David, Rosalind and Petra have fled to the Fringes, they meet Sophie and through her learn of the horrors of Fringe life.

What is Nicholson's repentances?

assuming you are talking about The Chrysalids, it is a book that the people of Waknuk treat like the bible. It basically states a bunch of different guidelines for them to follow.

Who are the characters and what are their characteristics in the Chrysalids?

The Telepaths:

David Strorm--Main character of the book, and a telepath. He finds himself at odds with his family and community, perhaps because he can percieve thoughts and feelings of those around him. He hides his compassion and difference at first just to avoid his father's abuse, but later because he understands and sees the consequences to anyone who is different.

Walter Brent--He was the telepath who "stopped" because of a logging accident before the group shared their names with each other. David's uncle found out who it was. He was nine, and he was related to David on his mother's side... her maiden name was Brent.

Michael--He is the telepath that is the oldest in the group. He goes off to school and teaches them all what he is learning. He volunteers for the posse that is riding out to capture David, Petra, and Rosalind in order to spy on them and keep his fellow telepaths informed. At the end of the book he stays behind for Rachel... they appear to be a couple.

Anne--Very much a realist who tries to have a life with a "normal" person. It is a tragedy because it doesn't work out, and the book makes it seem like it couldn't have from the start. She also marries the man that turned Sophie in, so David thinks it is a bad idea because of that as well.

Rachel--Anne's sister, and the person who saves the telepaths when Anne commits suicide, by taking the note that revealed all of them and burning it. She is afraid of being left behind/being alone, and is the person that Michael goes back for. She and Michael appear to be a couple at the end.

Rosalind Morton--David's half-cousin and girlfriend later in the book. She is exposed when Katherine and Sally are captured, and escapes with David and Petra.

Katherine--She and Sally are the last to ride to the defense of Petra's second large meltdown, and this causes them both to later be captured. Katherine is tortured for the names of others, and she reveals David, Petra, and Rosalind. She is later killed.

Sally--She and Katherine are the last to arrive at Petra's second mental meltdown, and this gets her and Katherine later captured by the community. She stays in touch long enough to warn the group about what Katherine has told them and who needs to flee. Later, presumably during torture, the anti-mutationites harm her in some way that destroys her ability to think and communicate anything but garble mentally. She never reveals Michael or Rachel, but we can't be sure about Mark, because (like Walter), his mental voice just stops, and we aren't sure why.

Mark--Mark remained hidden during all of the novel that we know about, but in the end he stops mentally communicating with the others, and we are not sure what happens to him.

Petra Strorm--David's sister. Her telepathy is much stronger and perhaps a little bit different from the main group's... she also has a much larger range at which she can hear people's thoughts. Her mental meltdowns are what destroys the group and gets some of them killed and hunted.

Woman from Zealand--She recognizes Petra's strength and comes to rescue her so that she can breed and produce stronger telepathy in the Zealand community. She saves the other telepaths and welcomes them, and murders everyone else.


Joseph Strorm--leader of the community, abusive father of David. He tries to live as close to the rules as possible, and believes that mutation will harm the community, with some reason, but his love for his son and the rest of his family is conditional upon them fitting into the mold he wants them to fit into.

Emily Strorm--David's mother. She refuses to help her own sister hide a defect in her child, and although she expresses some sympathy or regret at the extremity of the consequences, she seems to also believe in purity and fighting mutation and deviance.

Aunt Harriet--David's aunt and Emily's sister. She gives birth to a slightly deviant infant and, because it is her third (and last) chance, travels to visit her sister in the hope that she will help her preserve her life. She is disappointed in this desire, and is later found dead. David and Uncle Axel discuss the fact that though it is termed a suicide, it was assuredly not one.

Uncle Axel--David's uncle. He is the only one that David trusts about his ability. He protects David as much as he can, including killing Alan Ervin and warning him about the inspector asking about him. He is the first to bring up the idea that perhaps David's deviance is actually superior to normal.

Spider Man--David's uncle, who looks a lot like his brother Joseph. He was sent to the Fringes as a boy because of a mutation, making his arms and legs much longer than normal.

Mary Strorm--David's older sister. She want to protect and comfort him when possible, but is also scared of their father, and outside the telepathic group, so never invited into David's confidence.

Sophie Wender--Childhood friend of David. Alan comes upon her footprint and turns her in. David tells her parents (Martie and Johnny) and they prepare to flee. David tries to protect them after begging to go with them, but they are captured.

Angus Morton--Rosalind's father. Feuds with Joseph Strorm over how radical they can be in preserving purity.

Old Jacob--Keeper at the Strorm farm. Very radical believer in purity.

Alan Ervin--Anne's husband. The one that reported Sophie, and who was apparently planning to blackmail all of the telepaths. Is killed by Uncle Axel.

Jerome Skinner--The person who rides after Katharine and Sally and turns them into the Inspector.

The Inspector--A government official who is responsible for enforcing purity. He is a nicer man than David's father, and doesn't approve of the abuse. He let's David off the hook for protecting Sophie, but later is the reason that David prepares to flee, because Uncle Axel hears that the inspector has been asking about him.

What are the names of the chrysalids the characters?

The characters in the book The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham are;

David Strorm - main character, narrator, telepath

Mary Strorm- David's older sister

Petra Strorm- David's little sister, strong telepath

Emily Strorm- David's mother

Joseph Strorm- David's father, preacher, purifier

Rosalind Morten- David's cousin, telepath, David's girlfriend

Angus Morten- David's uncle, Rosalind's dad

Uncle Axel- David's best friend and uncle, sailor

Micheal- Telepath

Katherine- Telepath

Sally- Telepath

Anne- Telepath, married to Alan Ervin, sister of Rachel

Rachel- Telepath, sister of Anne

Walter Brent- Telepath, killed in a tree accident

Mark- Telepath

Sophie Wender- David's friend, deviation; has six toes

Mary Wender- Sophie's mother

John Wender- Sophie's father

Gordon/ Spider man- Leader of the Fringes, deviation

The Sealand Woman- Telepath for New Zealand, saves David, Rosalind and Petra

*there are more, didn't think they were quite important.

Where are the badlands in the chrysalids book?

The badlands are parts of southern Canada. Further South are a mixture of badlands and blacklands/black coasts, presumed to the area of New York and former industrialised NE America.

What are the main characters in the chrysalids?

You asked What not Who so --- they are those that have the ability to communicate telepathically.

What are the main conflicts in the chrysalids by John Wyndham?

Man vs. Man Man vs. Society Man vs. Nature Man vs you

Its mostly about David and his telepathic friends trying to hide the fact that they are mutants from the surrounding society. When some of the members are discovered David, Rosalind and Petra run away into the Fringes.

What is the fringes in the chrysalids?

In the Chrysalids, the fringes are people with deviations or mutiny. Therefore, they live apart from the people of Waknuk who are a norm. (the image of God)

What are the thought shapes in the book the Chrysalids?

Thought shapes are actually David and Rosalind's telepathic abilities.

What is David's dream in the Chrysalids?

He dreams that his father is going to slaughter Sophie like some mutant animal. Sophie begs for mercy and help, but receives none from the devout people who sing a hymn to God. The irony is that in the Christian faith, God is merciful and loves all creatures, yet these people are the opposite. David's father then kills Sophie by cutting her throat. The symbolism is that Sophie is the innocent lamb, like Jesus, who is sacrificed by a troop of people who have missed the point about the Bible. David's father, who believes he is doing perfect good, is actually evil, under the guise of strict religion. The dream is foreboding because it warns the reader that Sophie is in real danger.