The Chrysalids Study Guide

The Chrysalids

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

On one occasion, when David is not visiting Sophie, he sits in the yard talking with his half-cousin Rosalind; this conversation however is not an ordinary one. David is speaking to her with his mind (telepathically) while she is at home on her own family farm. Uncle Axel, the farm handyman, comes across young David speaking to what seems as nobody. This strikes him as odd and he decides to question the boy. David explains that he is able to speak to certain people through his mind, people far away, well out of shouting distance. Uncle Axel, being one of David’s closest and most understanding relatives, advises him to keep this gift to himself - and not to speak aloud whilst sharing thoughts remotely. David realizes now that this ability is abnormal, comparable to Sophie's extra toes; knowing full well the repercussions of a Blasphemy, he willingly abides to secrecy. Having made this connection, David hurriedly contacts all the people he is able to exchange thoughts with and explains the risk of them being discovered. They all agree to secrecy also. Incidentally, this is the first decision they make unanimously and a sort of group dynamic is established. We learn that the telepaths are all children, scattered around Waknuk and the neighbouring communities: David and Rosalind, Michael, Rachel and Anne, Sally and Katherine, and Mark. There was another who was cut off recently; Axel identifies him as a boy killed in a logging accident. Some others have a trace of telepathic ability, but too weak to be meaningful. Soon after, David hears of an impending invasion from the Fringes, expected to be much more severe that the minor raids normally inflicted by Fringe dwellers. The people of Waknuk devise a plan to counter the attackers. During the siege, the villagers succeed in capturing two of the enemy leaders, who are held captive on Joseph’s farm. David is disappointed at the normalcy of the prisoners. However, he is shocked to notice that one of the men captured looks almost identical to his father with a slightly more unkempt appearance - and the long, gangling, spider-like limbs which are his particular deviation. This spider-man soon escapes and disappears. After the attack, we meet the infamous Uncle Angus Morton, Rosalind's father, who is a considerably controversial character in the community of Waknuk. It appears thatthe man has very elastic principles and loves to antagonize Joseph Strorm. On this particular occasion, he brags of acquiring two great horses measuring 26 hands high. This statement ignites Joseph's suspicions that the creature are Offences. He confront the town inspector to verify the correctnessof these horses. The inspector insists that the horses purchased by Uncle Angus are legitimate and government approved, the result of selective breeding and not mutation. In reaction to Joseph’s protests he refers to an embarressing incident involving the Dakers' family cat, which had never possessed a tail. Joseph Strorm was convinced that the creature was a Deviation and therefore killed the cat, before being notified that it belonged to a legitimate breed. David continues his friendship with Sophie and since she cannot attend school, David takes it upon himself to educate her in matters of Geography, Math and Ethics, which are the principal topics covered in his own schooling.

You'll need to sign up to view the entire study guide.

Sign Up Now, It's FREE
Source: WikiSummaries, released under the GNU Free Documentation License 1.2