The Concept of Being Improper in The Chrysalids
“I [David] was not sure that I did. Moreover I was reluctant to admit the flaw in the tidy, familiar orthodox I had been taught. I recalled a phrase which I had heard a number of times. ‘You lost your faith?’ [David] Inquired. Uncle Axel snorted, and pulled a face. ‘Preacher Words!’”
In brief discussion, this passage from The Chrysalids shows a vast concept that David, himself, explores throughout the book. Shown reluctant to admit the defects in his familiar beliefs, David is shown as a character who is opinionated, neglectful, detached and closed-minded. Yet, as the book continues, he starts to become an insightful, understanding person. His journey of discovering the discrimination against his own kind, all while suppressing his, as refered to in the book, mutant abilities. The author, John Wyndham, explores self-hate inclined by others beliefs, turned into self-acceptance and acknowledgement of his contrast compared to others in a realistically disturbing way.
For the most part, David is in place with a on-going concept that “mutants”, in every form of the word, are improper. He’s been with this notion all his life. His father, Joseph, is a person of strong beliefs, as is his mother and family. David, as far as his knowledge goes, is the only one with a differentiation in his home. Therefore, growing up in a household that limits multiple things as a sign of principle, has made for a difficult road to self-discovery. How can he accept himself when everyone he cares for are disgusted with the concept of him? He wishes to supress and conceal, if not rid himself of his telepathic powers. He is neglectful that this capability is a part of him, as he detached from everyone else. More knowledge, compentency and an overall sense of something more, David is a character who is struggling with himself.
Nevertheless, with the abundant comfort of the fact that he isn’t the only one with these mutant powers, he slowly starts on a road to self-acceptance. As an ongoing analogy used by Wyndham, the quote from the bible of “Watch thou for mutant!” hung on the kitchen walls seemed to resonated with David. But, as a symbol of hte start of his journey of admission, he disregarded it as just another thing on the wall. This analogy is crucial to the book and his character development.
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“I [David] was not sure that I did. Moreover I was reluctant to admit the flaw in the tidy, familiar orthodox I had been taught. I recalled a phrase which […]