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The Chrysalids - Role of Women

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The novel 'The Chrysalids' explains the journey of a young boy, David Strorm, who has telepathic abilities despite living in an anti-mutant society Waknuk. He begins to question and arises doubts as to whether the laws set in Waknuk could be wrong. There are several female characters involved in David's life and through these women we could see that the women in the novel act as bystanders, protectors and are used just for the purpose of 'pure' reproducton.

Most women in the novel play the role of bystanders and supporters of their husbands. In Waknuk, the women don't dare to oppose the laws of anti-mutation as they fear the punishment they might receive from God or the society itself. They have to follow the customs of Waknuk, whether they agree with it or not. An example would be Sophie's mother, Mary Wender. Even though her daughter is a deviation and she is supposed to unhappy with the religious laws in Waknuk, she still wears a cross as she is expected to do so within the society. This can be seen from David's first encounter with her, when he noticed the “conventional cross” she had on her clothes. Another example would be during all the times David was hit by his father, his mother, Mary Strorm never once had comforted him. This could probably be because she knew that if she'd helped David, it would've been like going against her husband, which she could not do no matter what as a woman in Waknuk. The women have almost no right to voice ther opinion or raise doubts about Waknuk's religion, even if they find it vey unfair.

The women in Waknuk are also protective of their loved ones. While there are people like Mary Strorm who will follow everything her husband says and not question him or his religion at all, there are...


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...irth, they are least appreciated for the pain if their child turns out ot be 'wrong'. This can be displayed from the incident which happened to Aunt Harriet. She gave birth to a deviational child and when she asked her sister, Mary Strorm, for help, she was rejected and humiliated instead when all she wanted to do was save her innocent child. Therefore, the women are to bear all the consequences and blame for a deviational child and the males are never blamed for this.

The women in Waknuk have to suffer a lot as they have to suppress their feelings and silence their opinions if it is against their husband's or society's wishes. They have to follow the norms ofthe society but even so, some of them have enough courage and strength to protect the innocent deviations and most of them act as the producer of the 'pure stock' and gets blamed if it doesn't happen right.

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