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The Chrysalids: Character Analysis of David

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 1071 words Published: 4th Sep 2017

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Waknuk is a religious community that doesn’t believe in individuality. Everything must, basically, be the same. Any differences or “deviations” are hateful in the sight of god. When faced with adversity, individuals are stretched to the limit and tend to show great achievements!  You must go through obstacles and adversity. That’s what provides endurance for the future. David had numerous challenges for him to overcome. The punishment of being a deviant is clearly stated throughout the chapter like sent to the fringes, a feeling of inhumanity and being discriminated which didn’t allow him to express feelings or emotions.

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Being a deviant and having telepathic abilities has many negative effects like being isolated from your family and sent to the fringes but made David a stronger, succeeding person. Having a difference, you are not considered as humans and are sent away banished to the Fringes. These people are then left there to fend for themselves with no sympathy. The consequences of showing deviations from the wider population result in individuals being moved to the Fringes, on the edge of Waknuk. Due to the contaminated soil, there is a limited amount of food available. With the people of Waknuk being symbolic of God with their strict norms, those not fitting the population are considered outsiders and removed from the group. David, over time, gains many opponents because of his difference. Living in such a controlled community made David feel neglected because he encountered diversity due to his differences from the people of Waknuk. Being confronted by town officials, David struggled to fit in with the people of Waknuk as he faced constant hardships regarding his differences.  Recurring differences left David with no choice but to face his fears on a daily basis. “To be any kind of deviant is to be hurt – always.” (Page 167). Waknuk functions under a set of laws and beliefs that discriminate against anyone or anything that does not look “normal”, ultimately being sent to the fringes. Those who look different in any way from the Image of God as set by the Definition of Man, are isolated from society, and sterilized so that they cannot produce more Deviations. This relates to the quote as they are afraid of the unknown and their differences. Being isolated from society had a positive effect on David’s identify. David was unfamiliar with the brave people of New Zealand, which made him feel inferior because he had to learn to adapt and overcome the feeling of never being accepted. With self-pride and bravery, there was a rise in strength that allowed David to overcome his obstacles, eventually succeeding.

There are numerous challenges along with having a telepathic ability, one of them is having a feeling inhumanity. Inhumanity is characterized by cruelty as well as an unjustified behavior. This inhuman behavior results in catastrophic consequences, perhaps why it is not favored.  But, this is evident in the book. For example, “The ways of the world were very puzzling…” – David, (Page 9). There was no love and justice when it came to recognizing an individual unusual from the one kind of majority. Deviating features on an uncommon individual lead to victims of hatred crime. At the end of the day, we could all say that “The Chrysalids” definition of inhumanity is far beyond the normal standards. Assassination of an innocent being, and presentations of ignorance among family and friends are common in such a community. Waknuk can be a harsh place. For example, “Anne had seen this just as well as the rest of us, but now she pretended to ignore it. She began to defy her difference by refusing to respond to us, though whether she shut her mind off altogether, or continued to listen without taking part we could not tell.” – David, (Page 42). Not only does it show how people in their society behave but is telling us that something needs to change about us as a whole. This also shows how people fear change, David has a feeling of inhumanity changed the way of thinking and made him more closed minded as he was afraid of the consequences. David goes through these obstacles and events represents the skills David had to overcome this event. David let these events affect his behavior.

In the Chrysalids, the people of Waknuk are bias contrary to anyone who does not live up to the “true image.” They will discriminate against anyone who looks or acts differently than the “norm “do. For example, there are signs all over David’s house saying things like “WATCH FOR THOU MUTANT,” (Page 2). 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 Harriot’s baby has the smallest little mark on her but she was still labeled as a deviation. In Waknuk society, anyone deviating from the “true image” of God lead to persistent judgement.  For example, a plant devastation is burned, an animal deviations often slaughtered, and human with deference’s or who are not the “norm” are sterilized so they cannot reproduce and sent out into the Fringes. If you are not the “true image” of God, you are considered unusual and not normal by society in Waknuk. For example, when Sophie is depicted as a deviant, she appears to elope along with her family to protect herself. David lives in constant fear that others will discover his secret of telepathy. Sophie, a character introduced in the first part of the book had to flee the village because she had an unusual number of toes. Having to hide about Sophie’s toe was a challenge for David as he couldn’t express his emotions or opinions about one another which made him a more closed person keeping everything on the inside and not expressing it.

In a time of trouble, the adversities David faced revealed his true character. David was isolated from his family, had a feeling of inhumanity, and being discriminated but all these adversities helped to improve David’s mental health and outlook on life, which contributes to strong character. Each adversity David overcomes, he gained invaluable knowledge while growing stronger.


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