At first David senses so little danger that he although doesn’t tell anyone about the group or his powers he does this out of instinct and not of danger, “we’d no active feeling of danger-I had so little… ” David tells Uncle Axel about his powers and Uncle Axel realizing the dangers of the situation, makes David promise to keep it a secret, ” Davie, I want you to make a promise… it’s this, speaking very seriously, I want you to make it a secret,” David through this conversation made him aware, the intensity in which Uncle Axel speaks also makes David aware.
He also made David to promise him not to do it out loud any more and that he should get the rest of the group to promise the same thing. This reaction from Axel is transferred to David, and this furthers his growing awareness. David takes this to the group and the group comes together because of this, and now the threat o being discovered though, distant and unreal it is the reality, “the feeling of a threat was strengthened.
It was still shapeless to us, but it was more real. ”
A further increase occurs in chapter 4 where with the threat of an invasion from the fringes, his dad had organised an army to defeat the fringe’s people, after the battle David manages to see one of the captured leaders and talk to him, to his horror it is Joseph Strom’s big brother, he looks like his dad apart from the fact that he has long spindly legs and arm, “I was so jolted I just went on staring at him, for, put in decent clothing, tidy up the beard, and he’d be the image of my father…”
This furthers David’s awareness as it graphically depicts how the mutations are treated once caught, “unusually dirty with ragged clothes… the rope which held the prisoner’s arms.
” Then there was the row over the great horses, with David’s dad and Rosalind’s dad. Though there was nothing to be done to the horses, David’s dad in the Sunday preaching preached about how we should not tolerate mutations, how fellow-feeling to mutations is wrong and so on.
This is directed to the inspector and Rosalind’s dad but still, this furthers the awareness of being different for David and it shows how David’s dad’s thoughts on mutants and offences. Although in David’s mind Sophie is not a mutant he doesn’t believe that she is a part of the true image as well, “I have not classified her in my mind as a Deviation, but it had to be admitted that she did not qualify as a true image. ” Another dangerous incident is the meeting between Alan Ervin and Sophie; this is where the secret of Sophie’s toes is leaked due to the fact that Alan saw the footprints.
Alan and David got in a scuffle, with Alan becoming unconscious at the end of it due to a blow delivered by Sophie to Alan’s head. When they told the Wenders, the Wenders got ready to leave. This to David is incomprehensible; the Wenders are going to take Sophie to a place far away from Waknuk and its jurisdiction, “… a long way though… ” to a more dangerous place, ” the dubious safety of the fringes,” just because of Sophie’s toe being found out.
This surely is an increasing awareness as he although doesn’t know what would happen to them if they were caught, but since they have fled because of being found out, then the predicament then surely is not good. The flight brings home to David that if one were to be captured, the punishment would be severe. What furthers his awareness is the seriousness of the situation, when he came home, the inspector was waiting for him, he calmly explained that,” the concealment of a Blasphemy… is a very, very serious thing… People go to prisons for it.”
This brings the truth closer to David that even if one is not a Blasphemy, but only tries to help or to conceal it, one is liable to be punished, and if the punishment were to go to prison in the case of the helper or in David’s case a whipping, what would happen to the Blasphemy? In chapter 6 we see the inspector explain the meaning of the word mutant. He explained it as an imitation of God’s perfection, it is not human therefore it doesn’t have a soul. Then David asked a question, he asked what happed to Blasphemies, and the inspector evaded the answer.
In this exchange of conversation, we see that although David does not know what will happen to Blasphemies, he does know from the language of the inspector that Blasphemies are from the Devil and should be punished. This tells David that he should be careful from now on. A further awareness stems from the abrupt silence from a boy who has ESP, David and his group are worried by the fact that he might have been found out and dealt with, “it’s made some of us afraid. ” They are also afraid of the fact that he could have been captured and made to tell who his ESP friends were.
David asks his uncle to help him find about this boy and why he went all silent. This incident shows that David is afraid for his group and also for his own safety as he thought that they had been found out, “you see, if they had found out about him… ” this brings out the increasing fear he feels for him and his group through the urgency to know what had happened to the boy. A further increase in David’s fear comes from Aunt Harriet’s visit to borrow her sister’s baby for a certificate. Her own sister refuses her and also Joseph preaches her on the matter of deviation, “You have produced a defilement…”
Aunt Harriet leaves disheartened that her own sister would turn her out. After she went out David’s mum started to cry, she is reduced to tears by the plight of her sister. David confronts the reality of the harsh place that he lives in. He knows now that to be a Blasphemy is dangerous, as even sisters would have no compassions for each other if one were to have a Blasphemy 3 times and speaks heresy. The effect of the visit by Aunt Harriet is minimal over the effects of Aunt Harriet’s suicide.
A large part of David’s fear is nurtured by the fact that he doesn’t know the whole story, “there was a great deal that I did not understand in what I had overheard.” He is surprised that no one is referring to her visit, his nightmares of Aunt Harriet lying in the water with her baby made him think why she committed suicide. He came to the conclusion that she did what she did because her baby was a little bit different from the norm, his dad called it a mutant, an enemy of God. The effect on him is that he prayed to God to get rid of his ESP power and make him normal.
This means that he already thinks that he himself is a Blasphemy and a mutant. This experience has made him afraid, “it alarmed me with a sense of insecurity far greater… than I had suffered over Sophie. ” After the incident of Aunt Harriet’s suicide David is so frightened of being found out that even Uncle Axel can tell,” and I went on being frightened. ” Uncle Axel has a quiet word with David and they talked about how Walter Brent was not found out rather he was by accident killed when a tree fell on his head.
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