Variation in Communication from John Wyndham’s the Chrysalids

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By definition, communication is “the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs” (dictionary.com). Throughout John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids, the main character, David Strorm, expresses different types of communication depending on who he is communicating with. Through David’s communication we can explore a variety of human interactions. David has an inability to talk with his mother, Emily Strorm, and his father, Joseph Strorm. Despite David’s difficulties for him to communicate with his immediate family, David is able to talk to his Uncle Axel with ease. He also uses “thought-shapes” to communicate with his cousin, his younger sister, the Sealanders, and several others. David is able to communicate differently between different groups of people. Before David runs away to find the Fringes, he has to live with his father, who does not tolerate any blasphemies or deviations that are not pure to the image of God. This makes it very hard for David to talk to him, as David is considered a deviation himself from being able to send picture shapes to other people. One night in the kitchen, David had wished he had an extra hand so he could have tied his cloth around his finger as a bandage, and his father responded with, “You - my own son - were calling upon the Devil to give you another hand” (Wyndham, 26). David found it hard to talk to his father because he was very religious, and did not accept very miniscule deviations, or a desire to have a deviation. David cannot talk to his mother either, because his mother is very much like Joseph. In the beginning of the book, David is explaining his family’s past, when his father married, and whom he married. David says, “my mother’s views harmonized with [Joseph’s] own. She had a strong sense of duty, and never doubted where it lay” (Wyndham, 17). Later when Aunt Harriet was introduced with her baby, David’s mother said, “You have the effrontery to bring your monster into my...
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