The Chrysalids Study Guide

The Chrysalids

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

David’s mother having been pregnant for the past 9 months finally gives birth to a child. The child must obtain its certificate of normalcy before it can be addressed as alive and existing. Until the inspector does so the fact that there is new life in the household remains unacknowledged. Unfortunately, the Inspector is late and his tardiness angers Joseph Strorm. Upon his arrival, he is leisurely and unrushed which is almost as frustrating to Joseph. The new child is found to be perfectly normal and is certified. Her existence is confirmed and Petra Strorm is greeted into the world. A few daysfollowing Petra’s birth, David’s aunt whom he is very fond of, comes for a visit with her own newborn child. The sisters are thrilled at their new children until Harriet Somberly states that she has yet to certify her daughter because she knows her daughter will not meet the normalcy standards.Desperately she attempts to convince sister to allow her to borrow the infant Petra to have her certified instead of her own daughter. While pleading she says that her husband would leave her if she were to produce another Deviation and that her sister is the only chance she has to save the child she loves. Harriet’s sister is disgusted and adamant upon her refusal. She is outraged that her sister brought such filth into her home and orders her sister to leave immediately. Joseph arrives and is equally appalled by what Harriet has done. He chastises her for having sinned and for even havingthought of such a devilish way to save a Blasphemy. Harriet leaves and the next day she is found dead in a river with no baby to speak of.

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