The Chrysalids

Topics: John Wyndham, Civilization, The Chrysalids Pages: 2 (537 words) Published: February 5, 2014
The Chrysalids – Essay

Explain the significance and meaning of the following words: “We have a new world to conquer; they have a lost cause to lose.”

In the novel The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham, there exist two sorts of societies, both very different from one another. The Waknuk community is a hostile environment intolerant of differences among it’s people, crops, and animals. The Sealand community, however, embraces differences. As contradictory as these civilizations may seem, they also possess certain similarities. The quote, “We have a new world to conquer; they have a lost cause to lose,” (page 183) said by the Sealand lady, describes the opposition between these two cultures and how the tolerance for deviants can either help your society to grow, or cause it to collapse.

The Waknuk community lacks tolerance for any offspring that does not project the true image of god and therefor cannot thrive as a society. That belief is so resonant that they will do anything to insure purity among their civilization, including hurting their families. David Strorm, the protagonist of the novel said: “Still our whole consideration if we were to survive must be to keep our true selves hidden: to walk, talk, and live indistinguishably from other people” (page 86). This quote from David, expresses the importance of normality. This notion is what prevents the people of Waknuk from prospering because a society that only focuses on maintaining genetic purity cannot move forward. As long as deviations continue to be created, the Waknuk society will continue to vanish them, as a result, eventually there will be no more off springs resembling the true image of god.

The Sealanders, unlike the people of Waknuk, accept differences. An example of this is when the Sealand lady came to rescue Petra, David, and Rosalind because although they were considered blasphemies in Waknuk, in Sealand, they would be of normality. Because of this adoption of variation, the Sealand...
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