The Chrysalids Study Guide

The Chrysalids

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

The following spring proves to be relatively“Deviance-free”. The village of Waknuk breaks the local “Purity record”. David often sneaks away to be with Sophie (David’s parents know nothing about her). They much enjoy fishing for shrimps in a secluded stream. David pursues a catch barefoot and eventually coaxes Sophie to do the same,despite her deformity. On one particular occasion, the pair are surprised by the son of the local blacksmith, Allan. David is made uneasy by his presence. Allan inquires as to who the young girl is (for Sophie has had minimal contact with other children) - and then notices something peculiar. On arock, there is a wet footprint with the imprint of an extra toe. He then deduces that this footprint is Sophie’s and prepares to make the Blasphemy public. In an attempt to stop the boy, David attacks him. After a brief scuffle, Allan suddenly falls limp; Sophie knocked the boy out with a blow tothe head. David immediately takes Sophie home; they explain what has happened, and Sophie’s parents see fit to leave town because their daughter is at risk. David asks to go with them but they reluctantly refuse, because his disappearance would raise the profile of their own departure enormously,and have them closely followed. After they are gone, David decides to sleep at the empty Wender residence. The next morning he hurries home, hoping to return to his room early enough to pretend that he was there the entire night. This, however, is not the case. David’s father is livid about his son’ absence, and is in the company of the local inspector. They question David about Sophie and David pleads ignorance. This furthers Joseph’s temper and David is once again detained in his room for a severe beating. Afterwards, David lies in his bed and sobs because of the secret he had told.

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