The Chrysalids

Topics: David / Pages: 58 (14465 words) / Published: May 10th, 2011
The Chrysalids-John Wyndham

INTRODUCTION

John Wyndham was born in England, on July 10, 1903. When he was growing up, he went to a series of boarding schools because his parents were separated. He then attended an advanced co- educational school until he reached the age of eighteen. After he left school, Wyndham studied farming for awhile, then "crammed" to write the examinations for Oxford University.

Finally, in 1929, Wyndham picked up a copy of an American magazine called Amazing Stories, and became very interested in science fiction. Not long after that a series of stories under the name of John Beynon began to appear in Amazing Stories, and in another publication called Wonder Stories. He wrote English science fiction stories under the names "John Beynon Harris," "John Beynon," and "Lucas Parkes," as well as John Wyndham. By 1937, he was being called the best, living British science fiction writer.

Wyndham's work in science fiction is interesting in its emphasis. He does not generally concentrate on amusing the reader with strange inventions of technology from a bewildering future. The settings he employs for the future are logical, identifiable extensions of the world of today. His consuming interest lies in speculation about human nature and human behaviour. This would account for his attention to customs and moral codes displayed in the different societies in his books. Thus, time and again he points out the hypocrisy, bigotry and ignorance which are so often a part of our social life, and he stresses that changing conditions demand new ways, new customs and new codes of conduct.

Wyndham died in 1969.

Novels include: The Day of the Triffids (1959); The Kraken Wakes (1953); The Chrysalids (1955); and The Midwich Cuckoos (1957). Several of these were turned into successful movies.

The Chrysalids

Science fiction demands a certain suspension of disbelief on the part of the reader. For example, light-year speed is explained away by the

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