Often novels have many wonderful and exclusive themes. These themes represent author’s views on many different aspects. Many authors use reflective themes to express their opinion on an ongoing event. A novel is usually based on several themes that represent author’s views on a certain thing. Similarly, many themes which represent authors idea are used in the novel the chrysalids. In the novel the chrysalids by John Wyndham it is evident that fear was demonstrated through the words and actions of groups of characters making fear a major theme of the novel.
Firstly, fear was demonstrated by the people of Waknuk. The people of Waknuk considered themselves as the true image of god and continuously strived to become purer and purer. They feared deviations because deviations were considered as impurities sent by the devil. This could be verified when the inspector said “The Devil sends deviations among us to weaken us and tempt us away from purity” (Wyndham 55). This quote suggests that the people of Waknuk considered deviations as the devils diminishing weapon and feared them. Furthermore, the people of Waknuk feared God. The people of Waknuk were afraid that God might send another tribulation, so they praised God in any way possible.
This can be revealed when Joseph Strorm states “Lord, we have sinned in omission. We beg thy forgiveness that we have not better instructed this child in thy laws……” (27).In addition, the people of Waknuk feared the people of fringes. The people of fringes raided Waknuk to steal some food and goods. Wyndham shows readers that the Waknuk people feared the fringes people by writing “Their existence had become a dangerous nuisance and their depredations the course of many representations to the Government in Rigo (21).
Secondly, Fear was demonstrated by the people of fringes. The one particular thing that the people of fringes feared was starvation. Wyndham shows readers that the people of fringes didn’t have enough food to survive by stating “they came out into the civilized parts to steal grain and livestock” (20). In order to control starvation by raiding on the Waknuk the fringes people did not even bother about the danger it involved. Moreover, the people of the fringes feared the Waknuk people. The main cause of their fear towards the Waknuk people was the quantity and the quality of the weapons the Waknuk people had.
The fringes people had realized the hatred that the Waknuk people had towards them and so they feared. Furthermore, the fringes people feared death. Death is the main fear which forced them to fear starvation and the Waknuk people. Wyndham shows readers that they feared death because they had very little to depend upon by stating “these people, had very little where they lived in their border country” (20). In addition, they also feared death because they didn’t really knew what would happen to them after death.
Lastly, Fear was demonstrated by the thought -shape group. They feared Waknuk people because according to their rules and beliefs the thought shapes group was a deviation. The thought-shape group knew what would be the consequences if they are discovered. This can be determined when David said “I’m frightened Uncle Axel. What’ll they do when they find out I’m different……”(77). In addition, the thought-shape group feared the inspector because of his duty. The inspector had full authority to catch a deviation and deal with it.
The inspector’s duty basically was to purify Waknuk from deviations and the thought-shape group was an impurity. Moreover, the thought-shape group feared the fringes people. The reason behind it was that if discovered in Waknuk they would have had to run to the fringes, but what would happen there. Fringes people were considered selfish which caused fear for the thought-shapes group.
It is certainly evident that fear is a major theme in the novel the chrysalids by John Wyndham. Themes like fear are interesting and thrilling enough to entertain. These themes provide very hideous information in a fun way than by any other means. A novel which is based on many themes should use the interesting and surprising themes like fear.