[Reading] ➼ The Chrysalids By John Wyndham – Kairafanan.co

It seems wrong for the first adjective I d use to describe a rather miserable future dystopia to be nostalgic but that was the mood this book swept me into Not a nostalgia for the world described within the book, but rather for the style of writing I read a great deal of fiction very similar to this in my early teenage years, but somehow, I believe I missed this one Even if I had read it before, it would ve held up to re reading this is quite an excellent book In a post nuclear war society, life is restricted by radioactive no go zones Physical mutations are common, but, at least in the strict, religious, patriarchal village that is all young David has ever known, mutants animal, vegetable or human are ruthlessly weeded out He s never questioned the morality he s been raised with until the heavy hand of the law falls upon a childhood friend and he realizes that he himself may be a new and unprecedentedly dangerous kind of mutant Not only that, but his young sister, Petra, may share his mutation He is not alone but will a small group of young people be able to survive in the face of the firmly held convictions of even their dearest friends and family There are a few weaknesses to the book the wise uncle character is a bit too good and knowledgeable to be true, and once our characters are on the run, the plot feels a bit rushed butThe book does a superlative job of exploring the psychology of hatred, including the motivations behind it, while making a cogent, compelling argument for diversity in all its forms what makes us human is not the physical form of our bodies, our gender, or even how we think, but something deeper than that However, any message is delicately understated, and the ending brings a beautifully structured ambiguity to it MAJOR SPOILER view spoiler David s father, and the village, regard mutants as less than human, to be destroyed But when the psychic mutants from across the radioactive wastes sweep in, deus ex machina like, to rescue Petra, the children may be delighted but the reader can see that these advanced people, in turn, regard Humanity 1.0 as mere animals David and Petra are disturbingly ready to accept their justifications for actions that may seem to us completely ethically unjustifiable We are left wondering what David s and even Petra s place in this promised brave new world will really be hide spoiler It is certainly easy to classify John Wyndham s The Chrysalids as old school YA fiction, from before YA fiction needed a label, but it offers than your average after school special between covers in that it treats the reader as an intelligent and reasonable person, and that while there is a touch of the 50s to the book, it was certainly way ahead of it s time.David Strorm is the only living son of a patriarch of an ultra religious post apocalyptic community Faced a level of mutation in the their farming stock, both plants and animals, the community has twisted the christian faith into a fundamentalist view that any variation is a sin against god and must be burnt This is handled by the community and by appointed inspectors A few plants that don t quite grow to perfection and a whole crop is burnt to the ground While this may have helped a little curb the proliferation of any mutagens that may be harmful to humans, it has certainly held back any natural selection processes Unfortunately the rules do not end at the farm Any human born not in god s image is not certified by the inspectors and is taken, hushed up and forgotten There is also an unspoken rule that a female who produces offspring three times that do not get certified is taken away and quite possibly treated like the livestock that also do not produce It is a frightening and terror filled community, one that brings back memories of Atwood s A Handmaid s Tale So everyone in this community has a stamp of approval that they fit the image of god in all their looks But what happens if there is a variation that an inspector cannot see David learns from an early age that he can communicate with a small group of others telepathically This small group of children band together in their fear and strategise to hide their differences in fear for their lives But all is changed when people notice their strange behaviour when one of their kind is hurt and they come to their rescue with no seemingly way of knowing that the person was injured.At a guess I have probably read The Chrysalids about a dozen times Mostly in my teens as I worked my way through whatever John Wyndhams I could find in my local and school libraries after discovering The Day of the Triffids So any John Wyndham is a comfort read for me A mix of good sturdy SF with nostalgia Truthfully this book probably deserves a 4 star rating, but it means a lot to me It was the Wyndham that made me that much confident as a teen who did not fit in It introduced me to religious fundamentalism And it also made it OK to be a daydreamer I think all the John Wyndhams that I read as a teen have made me a better person in the long run I certainly wouldn t be the same person had I not read and loved them. Popular Ebook, The Chrysalids By John Wyndham This Is Very Good And Becomes The Main Topic To Read, The Readers Are Very Takjup And Always Take Inspiration From The Contents Of The Book The Chrysalids, Essay By John Wyndham Is Now On Our Website And You Can Download It By Register What Are You Waiting For Please Read And Make A Refission For You This has been on my shelf, unread, since uni, when I picked it up second hand after reading and loving The Day of the Triffids, recommended to me by my mum I can t believe I waited so long to read this amazing book, and if there is one book you should read in your life it is this one It has been a long time how long no one can say, though surely centuries since God sent the Tribulation to the Old People us , near destroying everything we had built and learned The Tribulation continues the wilderness vast tracts of land covered in what looks like black glass and the Badlands beyond the Fringes, absorbs most of the world Pockets of civilisation, such as it is, survive with their own form of understanding the past Genetic mutations of plants, animals and people continue, and everyone has their own idea of what the true form should be and focus their energies on zealously destroying the Deviations Davie lives in Labrador at least, that s what they think the Old People called it and at birth passed inspection The Bible and a book written after the Tribulation, the Repentances, clearly outline what the True Form should be, and that Mutants are an abomination to God and Man Even at a young age when none of this is really understood, though, he instinctively keeps his ability to think speak with several other children in the area, including his half cousin Rosalind, a secret It is only as he grows older, especially after he loses his friend and playmate Sophie, whose parents have done all they can to hide the six toes on each of her feet, that he really begins to understand the dangers of being a Deviant This book is beautifully, subtly, skilfully written For that alone it is worth reading Characters are rarely described yet vividly portrayed through their words, their speech patterns, their reactions The feeling of suspense and danger overshadows a Little House on the Prairie kind of lifestyle, and the small minded bigotry comes across clearly in the small details as much as in the story itself What is even fascinating, though, is the world Wyndham has created here and the philosophies grounded in it That everyone has their own ideas of what is right, that Davie s people are studiously trying to recapture the Old People s way of life without understanding the significance of that way of life being visited by climatic and genetic destruction, speaks loud and clear Davie is taught that mankind that was us, in civilised parts was in the process of climbing back into grace we were following a faint and difficult trail which led up to the peaks from which we had fallen From the true trail branched many false trails that sometimes looked easier and attractive all these really led to the edges of precipices, beneath which lay the abyss of eternity There was only one true trail, and by following it we should, with God s help and in His own good time, regain all that had been lost But so faint was the trail, so set with traps and deceits, that every step must be taken with caution, and it was too dangerous for a man to rely on his own judgement Only the authorities, ecclesiastical and lay, were in a position to judge whether the next step was a rediscovery, and so, safe to take or whether it deviated from the true re ascent, and so was sinful p.40 Davie himself begins to question this wisdom, after hearing from his Uncle, an ex sailor, that other societies in other parts of the world have a different understanding of the True Form he also feels scared and troubled by his Aunt s baby, who because of a tiny blemish will be taken away and never spoken of again, while his Aunt will be expected to do penance and pray not to have a mutant baby again, or will even be replaced, de certified and cast off it s always the woman s fault, isn t it Another interesting and damning perspective comes from one of these other societies, called Zealand, one that has advanced and re built and where think speaking is treasured and encouraged a utopia, in fact, for Davie and his friends we can make a better world than the Old People They were only ingenious half humans, little better than savages all living shut off from one another, with only clumsy words to link them Often they were shut off still by different languages, and different beliefs Some of them could think individually, but they had to remain individuals Emotions they could sometimes share, but they could not think collectively When their conditions were primitive they could get along all right, as the animals can but the complex they made their world, the less capable they were of dealing with it They had no means of consensus They learnt to co operate constructively in small units but only destructively in large units They aspired greedily, and then refused to face the responsibilities they had created They created vast problems, then buried their heads in the sands of idle faith There was, you see, no real communication, no understanding between them They could, at their best, be near sublime animals, but not p.156 Aside from the disparaging remark about animals, whom I tend to respect than I do humans as a species, this is such a damning view of us Old People, yet so spot on Even written in the 50s, it s clear that we as people and societies and other groups, are not learning Most post apocalyptic fiction, that I ve read anyway, is entirely plausible though Day of the Triffids is a bit odd in that respect it s easy enough to follow the path we are on, all the paths, to their worst conclusion What the people of Zealand are really saying is that communication leads to understanding leads to co operation and can avert catastrophe Despite the religious overtones and the philosophising, this is not a lecturing book, it does not try to tell you what to think or judge you As the blurb says, it is A terrifying story of conformity and deformity in a world paralysed by genetic mutation and, in true fantasy sci fi form, every reader will take something different from it, or nothing at all I personally was thoroughly engrossed in this classic, and find it broadens and strengthens my understanding of the dangers of taking things too literally, in strict interpretations Freedom of thought and debate is one of our greatest strengths as a species, and without it we wallow, stuck, on the same path, repeating the same mistakes again and again, blinded by our own arrogance and lack of imagination. An oldie but a goodie Dystopian fiction at it s best from John Wyndham The main character David appears at first to be normal Anyone with a birth defect is a deviant and either killed outright or sent off to The fringes to live with the other mutant.As he grows up David becomes aware of others like him who can communicate in thought patterns Telepathy This if discovered would be classed as deviant and they and he would be in grave danger David has to protect his friends and especially his younger sister so when danger threatens he takes them away to find a home on the Fringes Lots of interesting scenarios and overall a really good story I did feel the end was a little too wrapped up for my liking but still well worth a read.3 1 2 rounded up to 4 The Chrysalids is my new favorite John Wyndham book It s about conformity in a post nuclear holocaust world David and his friends live in an isolated community called Waknuk on the island of Labrador After seeing one of his friends cast out into the Fringes for having a sixth toe, David begins mistrusting his upbringing Once he discovers that he and a small group of his friends are telepathic, things only get worse.Wyndham draws on the paranoia and distrust of the deviations from the norm that he uses in his other books, making David s plight seem all too plausible I d recommend this to all fans of John Wyndham and 50 s sf in general, dystopian future fans, as well as people who dug The Giver and it s two companion books. John Wyndham has firmly managed to cement himself as a new favourite author for me after reading this as my second book by him the first was Day of the Triffids I think the way Wyndham writes, with inspiration drawn from a cosy British living in the 50s, and the fears brought about from the wartime before, mixed with a great blend of SF elements, just really works for me as a reader, and I find I can really enjoy his stories This is the story of David, a young boy who has a troubled upbringing in a rural farming community He s brought into a culture where Deviation is seen as Devil work and anything that Deviates in any way must be exterminated This extends through all the crops that the farmers grow, right through to the children they birth Any abnormality will mean death or desertion of children burning of crops Nothing is allowed to go against the True Image, and David s father is one of the most staunch in the community about enforcing this rule However, despite this rigid upbringing, David doesn t fully cooperate, and sometimes when he meets others who have a deviation he ends up helping them rather than turning them in This may be due to the fact that David has his own sort of Deviation, something the adults of his community can t see, and it s something he has to keep hidden His friends and sister, Rosalind, Petra, Rachel, Michael etc are also going to be in trouble if he can t keep his secrets hidden I really enjoyed the twists of this story It s not got anything too outlandish by today s standards, but there are certainly moments in the plot where it does surprise the reader and you find yourself drawn into the story This is actually a fairly short book my copy just 200 pages but once you re over halfway it will whizz by and I ended up reading the majority of the book in one sitting.I would thoroughly recommend trying Wyndham s work if you like twee British stories, but want a bit of sci fi in there too A very strong book 4.5 s from me and I cannot wait to pick up and read of Wyndham s work very soon. At first it seems as if John Wyndham is making the point that those with physical deformities are humans just like everyone else, and should be treated as such However if we divide this book into heroes and villains, and weigh up the pros and cons for each group we find that the heroes are the greater monsters If the villains are defined by their intolerance of anyone or anything that deviates from the norm then our band of heroes, and their ultimate savior, are the worst offenders I was left wondering if Wyndham s views on abnormality aren t the opposite of what they appear to be at first glance After all, the head of the bad guys David s father is guilty of nothing than misguided piousness If he and his likeminded fellows find a person with abnormal features, they sterilize and banish them, which is pretty unpleasant But compare that to David and co s beautiful, physically perfect, highly intelligent, super human savior, who indiscriminately murders hundreds of people to save one girl with qualities which she finds useful And then defends her actions with what amounts to not much than a shrug people like us indeed After reading both this book and The Day Of The Triffids, I couldn t help questioning Wyndham s attitude towards disability Is he a closet eugenicist What if you live in a post apocalyptic world, where radiation is causing genetic mutations in plants and animalsand humans What if such mutations are looked upon as being impure and destroyed, or in the case of humans, sterilised and cast out of society What if your mutation cannot be seen with the naked eye In The Chrysalids John Wyndham has woven a tale about what could happen in such a dystopian world The intolerances rising from fear, the sad plight of the outcasts, and the desperate flight of those who would be found out And yet, from an unbelievable source, there is hopeA wonderful book I was forced to read in school, yet I have just re read it again as an adult, and taken so much from it now than I ever did as a kid And yet, it stayed with me all those yearsHighly Recommended John Wyndham is often described in rather disparaging term as the main proponent of cosy catastrophe This based on the allegation that his protagonists tend to be English middle class white males who are not much inconvenienced by the apocalypse, somehow continuing to live it up while the rest of the populace suffer Having read three of his books I find that while the allegation is not entirely unwarranted it is also not quite fair I hope to write about this issue when I get around to reviewing The Day of the Triffids.However, there can be no justification in calling The Chrysalids a cosy catastrophe or cosy anything There is even a quote in the novel that addresses this issueThis isn t a nice cosy world for anyone especially not for anyone that s different, he said Maybe you re not the kind to survive it, after all David Strorm, the telepathic protagonist and his telepathic friends certainly do not have a good time lording it up to anybody They live in a rural region called Labrador ruled by fascistic religious zealots In this post apocalypse world the Tribulation nuclear holocaust has caused wide spread mutations among all life forms, and mutations of any kind are regarded as blasphemiesAnd any creature that shall seem to be human, but is not formed thus is not human It is neither man nor woman It is blasphemy against the true Image of God, and hateful in the sight of God Even minor ones like a small extra toe will lead to exile or death The discovery of mental deviation telepathy practically causes panic among the ruling zealots and the telepaths are immediately regard as a threat to humanity and pursued.While The Day of the Triffids is Wyndham s best known work, The Chrysalids is often cited as his best It is not hard to see why Beside being a fast paced thrilling story the underlying message of the story is also heartfelt The book is clearly a metaphor for the plight of ethnic minorities and the disenfranchised Compared to the other Wyndhams that I have read The Chrysalids is the most compassionate The plea for tolerance is already evident early on in the book where the narrative focuses on a charming innocuous friendship between the outwardly normal David Strorm and a nice little girl called Sophie Sophie is almost normal except for a small extra toe on each foot Once her deviancy is discovered the friendship has to come to an abrupt end and she has to go on the run with her family The Chrysalids is a wonderful and highly readable little novel around 200 pages It reads a little like a YA book due to the age of the central characters, however, in spite of the fairly straightforward plot it is quite profound and moving The prose is very nicely written, the narrative compelling and highly readable This book can be an ideal gateway for new readers to the genre, and a must read for fans of old school science fiction.Note This mutant chickens book cover is pretty cool, but this Mark Salwowski represents the book better Really puts the Wow in Salwowski