The Chrysalids Essay Ideas For Kids

  • 1

    The word chrysalid is derived from the biological process of insect metamorphosis: a series of stages starting with a larva/caterpillar, transforming into a chrysalis or pupa and then finally becoming a butterfly. How is The Chrysalids is an appropriate title for the novel? Examine the beliefs by the Old People, the Waknukians, and the Sealanders.

    The word “Chrysalid” was invented by John Wyndham for the title of his book The Chrysalids. The word comes from the process of insect metamorphosis, when a caterpillar goes into a cocoon or chrysalis, and then becomes a butterfly. Chrysalid can also mean a state of growing. The word Chrysalid makes a great title for the book, and there is evidence to prove it. We can view the Old People, the Waknukians, and the Sealanders as stages in the butterfly cycle.

    First, the Old people, or our modern day people, are the first stage of the butterfly cycle, the caterpillar, and are yet to change. The Old People did not respect God, and thought they were better than He was, so He brought down Tribulation upon them. One of the Fringes people explains it as follows: “The Old People thought they were the tops, too…. All they had to do was get it fixed up comfortable, and keep it that way; then everybody would be fine, on account of their ideas being a lot more civilised than God’s” (153). The Old People needed to change their ways. The caterpillars must now go into their cocoon to recover, and find a new way of life.

    The Waknukians are the second stage of the butterfly cycle, the cocoon or the chrysalis, and they are in the middle of transforming. The Waknukians are trying to change and be perfect in God’s eyes. Some of the Waknukians are changing, and developing powers that are unheard of and abnormal. They are able to communicate telepathically using thought-shapes, but are not being accepted into their community as the community is closed off in their cocoons. When Uncle Axel finds out David is able to communicate telepathically, he says, “It would be best if you could forget it altogether” (p.31). This is because all the other citizens would try to banish David, as they have not evolved out of the second stage and cannot accept him.

    Third, the Sealand people are the final stage of the butterfly cycle, the butterfly, as they have finished transforming. The reader knows that almost all the people in Sealand can speak telepathically, and those who cannot speak telepathically want to be able to do so. All who can speak in this way are welcome in Sealand. The Sealand lady explains the emergence of Sealand in this way: “Then, somehow, the strain of people who could think-together began. In time, those who were able to do it best found others who could do it a little, and taught them to develop it. It was natural for the people who could share thoughts to tend to marry one another, so that the strain was strengthened” (p.157). The Sealand people have emerged from their cocoons, will full butterfly wings ready to change the world.

  • 2

    How women’s roles are shaped in The Chrysalids relies heavily on their place in the home, as well as their ability to survive. How does the novel portray this conflict in the struggles of the female characters of Waknuk and the Fringes?

    John Wyndham wrote and published The Chrysalids in England in the 1950s during a time when women’s roles in the home and in the workplace were going through an evolution; during World War II, women went to work and took on some of the traditionally masculine roles of working in factories and providing an income for their families. However, after the war, they were returned to their former roles of housewife and mother.

    In The Chrysalids, the society places women in the role of child bearer and homemaker, yet not all of the female characters fit into this role completely. Rosalind Morton is a strong woman who can use a bow and arrow and plan an escape; yet, later in the novel David reveals that beneath this she is a soft, gentle woman. Sophie in the Fringes has had to take care of her own needs, and fights alongside the men; yet she also wishes she could have a family and reveals she is in love with David too. There are also more traditional homemaker characters, such as Emily Strorm, the devout mother of David, who is contrasted with her sister Aunt Harriet, who values her child’s life over the values of the society. In addition, there is Anne, who chooses to marry Alan Ervin rather than to stay true to her secret community of youths with telepathic power. Almost all of these women have to balance their duties against their own survival. However, Wyndham presents limited desires of women that go outside of the societal norms of his time: even the strongest women such as Rosalind and Sophie have their strength diluted by their more conventional desires to be feminine (e.g., love interests, wives, mothers, homemakers, caretakers).

  • 3

    How are the process of Othering and the theme of Intolerance portrayed in The Chrysalids?

    In Waknuk, people are devoted to the True Image of Man. In Sealand, they are devoted to the evolution of a superior human. These two philosophies are opposed to one another, yet they also have one thing in common: they both have a process of Othering, or qualifying another group of people as different and less than them. In Waknuk, the process of Othering consists in following the strict guidelines provided by the Repentances, with the added guidance of the Inspector and the Government of Rigo. The Sealanders, on the other hand, do not feel there is a true image of man, but rather that man is evolving to be a newer and better form of himself, which is why they refer to themselves as the New People. Yet, their way of thinking has its drawbacks as well: much like the Waknuk people believe that it is okay to sterilize and other the Fringe people, the Sealanders believe that any “inferior” race can and should be eliminated so that the superior version of man can grow and thrive.

  • 4

    How does Wyndham use Tribulation and the imagery and narrative of the book to create a cultural and societal critique?

    Tribulation is Wyndham’s imagining of a worldwide nuclear disaster that was brought on by the Old People. The Old People are the humans of Wyndham’s time. During the Cold War when The Chrysalids was written, there was anxiety of a nuclear bomb that could destroy or drastically change life on earth. The bombs dropped on Japan at the end of WWII had had an impact that went beyond the damage caused by the explosion: people who were not directly hit still experienced radiation poisoning. Yet at the same time, Wyndham’s view of the post-apocalyptic future is in some ways hopeful, and Wyndham has been called a Post-Disaster novelist for this reason (Slattery 40). The hopefulness of the work comes in small doses–for example, when Axel describes how one sailor and explorer, Marther, went beyond the Badlands and the Blacklands and found that, slowly but surely, the Wild Country was beginning to encroach on the empty lands. Also, David, Rosalind, and Petra’s escape from the “primitive” culture of Waknuk to the shiny beautiful “Sealand,” where the people think together, suggests greater human potential through cooperation.

  • 5

    The term “Cosy Catastrophe” was coined by Brian Aldiss to classify John Wyndham’s novels. Why would The Chrysalids be considered a Cosy Catastrophe, and how might the novel go beyond that classification?

    The term Cosy Catastrophe refers to the idea that a catastrophe and post-apocalyptic world that has a comforting ambiance in an environment in which the characters have to make a new start after a major disaster. There may be some safety in the idea of humanity surviving the kind of nuclear catastrophe presented in Tribulation, and living in a puritanical society that in some ways mirrors the lifestyles during the 18th and early 19th century in the US. In this way, The Chrysalids is a return to a time that many people consider to be simpler, although not without its dangers. These dangers come from outside, such as the Fringes and the Wild Country, but they also come from within, such as the deviant crops and stock, and especially the genetic mutation that is occurring in humans. The cosiness of The Chrysalids is overshadowed by the bleak reality of the way Waknuk society treats as inhuman those people who don’t fit their Norm. The Chrysalids is dark and at times not comfortable precisely because it reveals a dark side of humanity, that of prejudice and intolerance, that exists not only in Waknuk, the Fringes, and Sealand, but in Wyndham’s reality and in today’s society as well.

  • The Chrysalids Essay

    The Chrysalids Essay by Kelvin Wirmantio - How doe fear affect the social interactions in The Chrysalids?

    Throughout the Chrysalids, the society presented is greatly shaped by the oppressive nature of its people alongside their religious beliefs. The combination of the two creates a society where both fear and religion are the forces at play that govern the society. John Wyndham, author of The Chrysalids, depicts a society that tries to a perfect by all means necessary; even if the means are seen as unethical from an unbiased point of view. Such forces at play heavily influences the many relationships presented in the novel, relationships between a parent and child, husband and wife and among certain races presented in the society serving only as some of the many examples.

    The standards and regulations of the society presented in The Chrysalids clearly revolves around the religious foundation it was built on and this also creates the extremist point of views and means its people are willing to exercise to protect their society; an example would be its non-deviational standard. Deviations are organisms that do not pertain physically to their race, and unfortunately, the people of Waknuk aren't particularly fond of them. While offences, non-human deviations, are burnt to eradicate any possibility of reproduction, blasphemies, human deviations, are banished into the Fringes. Having this standard in place causes problems for the social interactions with the people in The Chrysalids, such as the relationship between a parent and child. As stated, Parents in the Chrysalids have very poor judgment and would very much prefer to prioritize in keeping to these standards much rather than caring for their child. Acting in such a manner eradicates any emotional attachment and trust between a parent and child, since deviational children in The Chrysalids feel secluded from their parents, hurt that they cannot even seek help from them, given their merciless nature, like the relationship between Joseph and David Strorm. Parents in the Chrysalids also have to send off their children to the Fringes or be prudent to send off their children if they grow to become deviants. This either eradicates any form of communication since birth, as with Gordon and...

    Loading: Checking Spelling

    0%

    Read more

    "The Chrysalids" by John Wyndham Essay

    2339 words - 9 pages A society is an organized group of individuals. In the novel, "The Chrysalids", by John Wyndham the Sealand society and Waknuk society are both similar and different in the way they live. The Sealand and Waknuk societies are both egocentric and ignorant, but the Sealand society accepts changes, where the Waknuk society does not accept change and would rather stay the...

    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham Essay

    894 words - 4 pages The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham is a great novel in my opinion. It occurs in the future but it focuses on prejudices, intolerance and torture, issues that exist now and will always exist as long as we do. I believe the novel has a very important message for readers today. In the novel, The Chrysalids, and in reality presently, many human rights are being violated. First off, child abuse and torture is a major factor in the novel. Secondly, ...

    Book Review of The Chrysalids

    4691 words - 19 pages Book Review of The Chrysalids The future society depicted in "The Chrysalids" is still suffering the after-effects of a disaster sent by God, which all but destroyed the ancient world of the Old People. The survivors called the disaster Tribulation. No one knows why it happened, but the narrator, David, attributes it to "a phase of irreligious...

    Book Cover on The Chrysalids

    555 words - 2 pages For my Independent novel study project, I chose to do a book cover on The Chrysalids. The cover of a book cannot target a specific audience; however, I constructed mine to target people in the age group 12-18. I chose that specific group because the main character, David, is in that group when the story is being told; thus, the audience can relate to the characters at personal level. My visual is very obvious to deconstruct. In the bottom half...

    The Chrysalids - Role of Women

    786 words - 3 pages 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'...

    The Role of Change in The Chrysalids

    854 words - 3 pages Change, the essential of life, it can be tranquility or turbulence, change has no set goal, it occurs all around us without us knowing. In the novel, The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham, change is the major problem in the society even though it is hidden in different aspects of life. To the society, change is their enemy, but it is themselves who are their enemies without knowing it. A society that fails to realize the inevitability of change will...

    Discrimination in "The Chrysalids" by John Wyndam

    814 words - 3 pages Throughout time, readers have learned many different lessons from their favourite books. In The Chrysalids, John Wyndam used his story to teach his readers valuable, lifelong lessons. He makes it evident to his readers that prejudging certain people is not right. Also, he relates how change is possible, but hard to achieve. More specifically, religion often influences one’s point of view. John Wyndam’s, The Chrysalids was written with a purpose...

    Intolerance in the Chrysalids by John Wyndham

    828 words - 3 pages Intolerance in the Chrysalids by John Wyndham The Chrysalids was by John Wyndham. It Involves Children that have ESP (Extra Sensory Perception) living in a community that does not tolerate differences. They are eventually found out and escape to Sealand (New Zealand). All societies in this novel practice intolerance in one way or another, even though Wyndham doesn't approve of it. We see it with the Norms, the Fringes,...

    The Chrysalids - Metamorphosis Theme: David, Environment, Community

    2912 words - 12 pages The Chrysalids The title "The Chrysalids" signifies that it is a novel about change. The word "chrysalid" is related to the word "chrysalis", which means "the form which butterflies, moths, and most other insects assume when they change from the state of larva or caterpillar and before they arrive at their winged or...

    David's Changing View in The Chrysalids

    1034 words - 4 pages In the novel The Chrysalids by John Wyndham it explains the life of a boy named David Strorm and how he is part of an anti mutant society named Waknuk. In this society they have very strong policies on small "deviations" and things that do not follow there norm. If not followed the "deviational" people would be sent to the fringes where they are put poverty and it is a fight just to survive for the next day . As a child David is taught a...

    THE CHRYSALIDS CORE ASSIGNMENT         John Wyndhams science fiction novel, ’The

    1197 words - 5 pages THE CHRYSALIDS CORE ASSIGNMENT John Wyndhams science fiction novel, 'The Chrysalids' is an enjoyable yet perturbing novel. In my opinion the main them o the novel is the dangers of believing political...

    0 Replies to “The Chrysalids Essay Ideas For Kids”

    Lascia un Commento

    L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *