Chrysalids Prejudice Essay Introduction

There is an excessive amount of prejudice, intolerance and ignorance all around society in the today’s world, nevertheless there are some individuals who are aware of this and are trying to change the amount of it around them in their own society. As one can see, in the novel the author deals with these subjects very well and it makes it enjoyable for the reader. In John Wyndham’s novel The Chrysalids the author deals with themes of prejudice, intolerance and ignorance; in many ways, the nature of Waknuk society parallels our own present society

In the Chrysalids the people of Waknuk are prejudice against anyone who does not live up to their beliefs of a “true image.” They discriminate against anyone who looks or acts differently than they do. For example there are signs all over David’s house saying things like “WATCH FOR THOU MUTANT,” and on the other hand Sophie has only one extra toe on each foot and she had to be sent away to the Fringes for being different. Also, Aunt Harriott’s baby has the smallest little mark on her but she is still labeled as a deviation. Similarly, there is a lot of prejudice in present day society. People still discriminate against other races and religions. It is unbelievable that this is still happening in society. Just because someone has a different skin tone than oneself, or speaks a different language or has different religious beliefs does not give one the right to put that other person down or treat them with any less respect. Everyone is equal.

The people of Waknuk do not let people be who they are, which shows intolerance. They believe everyone has to be the same and look very similar.

If people are slightly different in any way they get sent away to this place called the “Fringes,” also known as the Badlands.

Intolerance does not really occur to such an extreme in present day society. In the 1940’s, this intolerance was present in Germany. If one were Jewish, or a Gypsy or not of “pure German decent,” one would be arrested and sent to concentration camps to ones death by starvation, forced labor, torture or poisoning. Jews were forced to wear stars of David or “J’s” to indicate their religious backgrounds.

In The Chrysalids, Waknuks society does not know anything about any of the other “groups,” who live in other parts of their lands, which shows ignorance. Waknuk’s society think that those groups are different from them and so they frown upon those differences. Ironically, the other groups speak of the people of Waknuk in exactly the same way. Those other “groups” from different places think that Waknuk’s society is strange and weird.

Waknuk’s society does not even make an attempt to gather more knowledge about those other groups. One could argue that we have a lot of ignorance in present day society. Some people critically judge homeless people by their dress and behavior, without talking to them to find out why they live on the street. People judge them by their appearance and they just see them as lazy and worthless.

As in The Chrysalids, prejudice, ignorance and intolerance are present in our own society. It is impossible to get away from it. One can avoid being prejudice, intolerant and ignorant but it is still going to occur all around oneself. The question himself must ask is can they personally make a difference to the amount of prejudice, intolerance and ignorance there is today by ones behavior. People should just accept other people for who they are and not something someone wants them to be.

Blasphemies and Discrimination in The Chrysalids

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John Wyrndham the author of The Chrysalids is an extraordinary writer who has created this book in the state of two totally different worlds. Wyrndham has based this book on the different views toward blasphemies and how the characters all have a different approach on the subject. The three greatest ranges in different reactions to Blasphemes would come from the characters: Joseph Strorm, Aunt Harriet, and Sophie Wender.

Joseph Strorm is the character in the novel that has the greatest disliking toward Blasphemies. Joseph is the father of David Strorm. He is a strong believer in God and his life is based around his religion: "The Norm is the Image of God." (p.27) In the book the reader gets the idea that Joseph is not a very good father and is very strict: "I'll deal with this. The boy's is lying. Go to your room." (p.51) He is a cruel and inhumane person to anyone who has or is involved with a deviation. The reader would see this attitude when Aunt Harriet visits the Strorms and brings her deviant child with her: "Send her away. Tell her to leave the house - and take that with her." (p.71) Joseph did not show any sympathy at all toward his own sister in law.

Aunt Harriet is the sister of David's mother Mrs. Strorm. She enters the story half way through the book, where she goes to Mrs. Strorm seeking help. Yet the help she is looking for is not something Mrs. Strorm agrees with: "Nothing much! You have the effrontery to bring your monster into my house, and tell me it's nothing much!" (p.70) Aunt Harriet is very loving, strong, and she fights for what she thinks is the right thing: "I shall pray God to send into this hideous world, and sympathy for the weak, and love for the unhappy and unfortunate." (p.73) Aunt Harriet is also the proof of what happens to people who have a deviation or are trying to protect someone with a deviation: "Aunt Harriet's body has been found in a river, no one mentioned a baby…." (p.74) She is a very will hearted woman who is one of the very few people in this time that has the will to speak her mind.

Sophie Wender is also another female fighter in this book. David and Sophie are close childhood friends when she is separated from the community because she has a sixth toe.

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Yet David and Sophie meet again in the Fringes about ten years later. David is one of the few protectors of Sophie's secret of her deviation: "Will you keep a secret - an important secret - for her sake?" (p.12) Sophie reminds me of Aunt Harriet a lot with he ways they look at their problems. They both face their problems for what they are: "I was still staring at it when she flung her arms around my neck and kissed me, with more determination than judgment." (p.49) When Sophie and David meet up again it is under the circumstances that David was the one being hunted as a blasphemy. Now Sophie is hiding David's secrets and has become David's protector: "They'll never think of looking for you here, why should they?" (p.176) Sophie ends up dying in a battle against the search party that was after David.

The Chrysalids is a book that has such a range in different emotions toward different people. Wyndham is showing the issues of discrimination and makes you feel what it is like. Joseph, Aunt Harriet, and Sophie all have a different part in the issue of discrimination. Yet all three ended up dead in the end and that just proves why discrimination is so pointless.



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