Analysis of The Chrysalids: Dangers of Extremism and the Importance of Civil and Personal Freedoms

Topics: John Wyndham, The Chrysalids, The Kraken Wakes Pages: 3 (953 words) Published: June 22, 2013
Heaven Jennings
Mrs. Robertson
ENG 2D1
April 7th 2013
The Lack of Moderation
“Extremism reaches its utmost limit when a single group deprives all people of the right to safety and protection and instead sanctions their killing and confiscation of their lives and property” (www.factbites.com). Few people other than those in control would wish to live in a society dominated by extremists. It is under these conditions that individuals live with fear, violence, and intolerance. In John Wyndham’s novel “The Chrysalids”, he creates the society of Waknuk where extremist views and policies control the population. Wyndham clearly illustrates the dangers that extremism brings to Waknuk. Living under these extreme social conditions has an obvious negative effect on the happiness of individuals living there. Violence and intolerance creates fear, and fear is a powerful tool when controlling individuals. People who live in fear are unable to create and prosper within the society as a whole. Waknuk is a society where difference is not tolerated. Those who do not fit the physical norm or who have some form of deviation, are systematically discriminated against. Joseph Strorm, the father of David, the novel’s hero and protagonist, is the face of extremism in Waknuk. He is an authoritarian figure who firmly upholds the belief in Nicholson’s Repentance, above all else. It is Nicholson’s Repentance which describes the “true image” and outlines the way Waknuk residents should live. In the Strorm house there are signs that illustrate the families beliefs, “blessed is the norm” and “in purity our salvation” (Wyndham 18). Joseph, who is considered a leader in the community, shows no mercy for any creature which shows mutation “seldom called in the inspector, he preferred to…liquidate anything doubtful.” (Wyndham 19). In addition, it is the duty of the Waknuk people to report anyone who is suspected of deviance “It is everybody’s duty to report any kind of offence” (Wyndham 5)...
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