David Strorm touches me as a compassionate, selfless, respectful human being who can identify/recognize the hateful dehumanization of human behavior. David is able to overcome the mesmerizing false information in the Waknuk society.
The definition of a man has been affected by the touch of human perseverance. David meets a young lady named Sophie Wender, who was born with six toes on each foot due to a mutation from “Tribulation”. The definition of man: “..
. and each leg shall be jointed twice and have one foot, and each foot five toes, and each toe shall end with a flat nail…’ And so on, until finally: ‘And any creature that shall seem to be human, but is not formed thus is not human. It is neither man nor woman. It is a blasphemy against the true Image of God, and hateful in the sight of God.’ (Wyndham 9) recited in his head influencing his comparison to Sophie. David recognized nothing was hateful in the sight of God about Sophie. Sophie was an ordinary young girl, but according to the definition she is far from human. The inhabitants of Waknuk have a strict belief to exclude anyone who was different in any way (person vs person).
Humans with any type of mutation were executed or banished to the Fringes, a lawless/untamed area full of mutated organisms. David is also considered a blasphemy because of his ability to communicate telepathically. David does not recognize he has these gifts until he finally realized and has to flee Waknuk with a group of others with the same abilities (man vs society). John Wyndham expresses his novel with several rhetorical devices such as similes.
Similes are found mostly in the novel because it is a comparison between two different things (Waknuk citizens and the old people). The phrase or quote “But, Uncle, if we don’t try to be like the Old People and rebuild the things that have been lost, what can we do.” (Wyndham 79) (simile), gives us an understanding that characters of the novel are obsessed with being the same and fear difference, they cannot have any change involved due to their perception affected by society. Another phrase/quote that gives an understanding of the novel is “The Old People brought down Tribulation, and were broken into fragments by it. Your father and his kind are a part of those fragments. They have become history without being aware of it. They are determined still that there is a final form to defend: soon they will attain the stability they strive for, in the only form it is granted—a place among the fossils.
” (Wyndham 169). This metaphor of a phrase/quote gives me an understanding of acceptance/racism. The people of Wakuck isolate themselves from difference and the people of Sealand show a fear of foreigners. The people of Waknuk classify the people of Sealand as different, while Zealanders consider people of Waknuk to be a foreign race deserving death because they lack the ability of telepathy, demonstrates racism.
Racism, are reasons based on opinions without experience, the unjust treatment of different people, and/or violence against a different race based on beliefs that their own race is remarkable. The main theme/message of The Chrysalids is acceptance and/or conformity, the people of Waknuk cannot accept the difference of others and supersede particular standards and rule. Blasphemy people who are different do not have the rights to live, and shall be executed or banished to the Fringes.
Also, the society cannot have changed because change is different. The society always follows the same rules to prevent another “Tribulation” from God. John Wyndham conveys this theme through the conflicts of the novel such as when David meets Sophie and compares her to what the Waknuk people believe. David is capable to understand Sophie is an ordinary young girl who was born with six toes who still behaves and thinks like humans. The theme acceptance/racism and conformity also relate to my own experience in life.
Many individuals considered some races dirty, violent, selfish and evil, but they have not encountered any of these experiences. These stereotypes are usually from the media, the media gives us stereotypes and we perceive them. Racism is still involved in the 21 century and will continue if we all let the media mesmerize us. Overmore, our society is full of people who follow one another to “fit in”. I believe as a human being that we should not fear difference/change, but embrace it.
We are all different “paintings”, but we are still created by one “artist”. We are all human beings created in the likeness of God, not exactly like God of what the definition of man is in The Chrysalids.