John Wyndam's The Chrysalids Essay

John Wyndam's The Chrysalids Essay

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There comes a moment in every person’s life, when toys are no longer playthings but are merely nuisances, when you worry more about finding a job than you do about that new phone, and when your dreams of Santa and the Tooth Fairy begin to fade. In the stage in which every young adult experiences this metamorphosis, somewhere between the ages of ten and eighteen, the choices you make shape your future. In the case of David Strorm, protagonist in John Wyndham’s novel The Chrysalids, the choices he is forced to make are a bit more extreme than normal, but the same principles still apply. David must realize his true identity and how it varies from the society he grew up in, must find differences between his father’s views and his own, and, in the end, must accept that the world he knows isn’t as safe as he thought. Throughout the novel, as David Strorm matures and has to face many difficult choices, he becomes a more harsh and bitter character.
At the beginning of the Chrysalids, we meet David as a ten-year old boy who has conformed to meet his parent’s strict standards. David then meets a girl named Sophie, who turns out to be a mutant, something he should be frightened of. It is then David first begins to question his father’s beliefs, as shown in the quotation, “A blasphemy was, as had been impressed upon me often enough, a frightful thing. Yet there was nothing frightening about Sophie. She was simply an ordinary little girl,” (Wyndham 14). This phrase is the spark that will ignite the fire of rebellion inside David, as he realizes that his father’s beliefs may not be morally correct and are often flawed. Naturally, David begins to feel a bit betrayed by his father for leading him astray and forcing wrong beliefs upon him, and th...


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...s life into what it is at the end of the novel. Some of these help him change for the better, but many of them change him for the worst. So yes, David became more of his own person, escaped the society of Waknuk, and started a new life in Zealand. However, he also was betrayed by his own father, kicked out of his home, and was persecuted by people he knew and cared about simply due to telepathy. All of these factors, in the end, result in David being a more mature and resilient character, but also make him rather resentful towards the society of Waknuk or the world in general. Growing up is always an uphill struggle, but for someone such as David Strorm, the path is even harder. Yet, in the end, he finally made it to the top, despite all of the adversity he faced. This truly is the mark of a person who is willing to give up everything in order to succeed in the end.

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