The Chrysalids: Uncle Axle Character Sketch

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In the novel The Chrysalids, Axel Strorm—David Strorm's Uncle—is described as "a cripple." (24). They live in Waknuk, Labrador; a

community with very unique and bizarre laws and religions. As you read through chapters 1-8 you see his traits prevail. You also learn that

David sees his Uncle as a friend and a role model rather then just a relative. "…because he was Uncle Axel and my best friend among the

grown-ups." (30) You also get the sense that David almost feels as if his Uncle is the only supportive, understanding, logical, and open-

minded member in his family.

Axel shows that he is very trustworthy when David first realizes that he might be a deviation and goes to speak to him. "I want you to

promise me that you will never, never tell any one else what you have just told me - never" (30) David chose to tell his Uncle about his

telepathy over anyone else because he knows that anyone else but his Uncle would charge him for blasphemy and turn him in, even his own

father—who is the towns priest. In this community, you can be charged just for knowing about a deviation and reporting it, which gives Axel

another reason to keep it a secret.

The reader could see Axel as logical and adventurous when he spoke to David about the Blacklands and his adventures travelling the

sea. He voyages to places people would describe as "a weird, evil land" (59) He knew everything from "how to reach the rest of the

world" (58) to what people from different places looked like. Axel also saw "corn growing higher than small trees…fungus colonies that you'd

take at first sight for big white boulders" (59) and communities where "they all have white hair and pink eyes." (62) He explains to David that

there are places that "you'll find Deviations who think they're normal." (62) and "where they do have a sense of sin, they've got it mixed

up." (62) Axel has seen the world and decides to share his knowledge with David...
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