Stage 1 English Studies
Extended Study – Connected Texts
In this essay I will compare two novels which deal with similar themes but in significantly different ways: “The Chrysalids”, a science fiction novel by John Wyndham published in 1955 and “Brave New World”, a novel by Aldous Huxley published in 1932. The story in “The Chrysalids” takes place thousands of years in the future in a rural society similar to our world before the invention of modern technology such as telephones, cars, etc. The people in the novel have vague memories of the "Old People", a civilization which existed long ago and seems to be similar to our current technologically advanced world. The people in “The Chrysalids” practice a strict Christian religion with many constraints on what is considered acceptable behaviour. They believe that their ancestors’ civilization was destroyed by God as a punishment, and they must strictly apply God’s laws in order to avoid a similar punishment. The exact nature of God’s “punishment” is not explained, but there are indications that it was some kind of nuclear war. There are stories told by sailors of blackened, glassy wastes and the remains of faintly glowing cities. The people in the Chrysalids believe that deviations from what is considered “normal” (i.e. in plants, animals or humans) are the work of the Devil and must be destroyed. This means that human beings who are in any way different to the “norm” are either killed or sterilised and exiled to the “Fringes” – a wild area full of animal and plant mutations. The people in this society have little freedom, but there are cases where parents hide abnormalities in their children to protect them, thus reflecting what we would consider “normal” human feelings. The main character in the storey is David Strorm, a 10 year old boy whose father is a fanatical religious patriarch. David has frequent and vivid dreams of cities and “horseless carts” which are completely different to his experiences in...
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