During the course of the novel The Chrysalids we learned and traveled into the minds of some of the characters. All of the characters had their strengths (as well as weaknesses) but one character in particular seemed to keep her cool and lead her group of friends with a power known as ESP (extra sensory perception) away from a place known as Waknuk where they would be hunted and killed weren’t it for the fact that they all looked like regular human beings. The name of the girl I speak of is Rosalind.
She plays a very big part in the story even though most people don’t pay much attention to the things she does, she in essence keeps the group together and keeps them alive because she is a determined, resourceful and self-reliant young woman. To start let’s look at some of the characteristics that make Rosalind who she is. A large part of her personality revolves around her determination in everything she does in life. (this includes her love life, her motherly attitude, the safety of the group etc. ) Let’s start with her love life.
In the early stages after David and Sophie are separated because her deviation is discovered we find out that Rosalind and David start to like each other, we find this out more through David then Rosalind as David is mainly the one “speaking” in the novel and we know that they like each other because things like “She was handsome, with a face you could not help watching; she was attractive, too, in the way she moved and carried herself,” (93) and “I loved the bronze-gold hair that felt like heavy silk in one’s hand”(p. 149) It is also stated in the book that they would ometimes go into the fields to meet with each other and keep a romantic relationship but they could not do so as often as they would have wanted to because their father’s did not quite like each other “The feud between our families which had first come into the open over the matter of the great-horses had now been established for years. “(98). In terms of her determination towards her motherly duties at the time (taking care of Petra) she was always making sure she was safe even if it meant taking her away from David emotionally.
It also served as a relief to her having another female other than David that she could vent to. She was also determined to keep Petra calm when she was scared of what would happen to the group and try to get information out of her calmly when she contacted the people of Sealand. for example when she says “‘Did you ask her the name of the place, darling? ‘ Rosalind inquired. ” and ” ‘But it is, darling. You get them from her, then you show them to us — only gently, so that we can read them. ” (136) She would say words like darling and keep calm and say things in an upbeat tone so that she would cooperate and tell them what they wanted to know.
To finish off this topic of discussion I look toward the fact that Rosalind was always determined and ready to help the group when they needed it. She did various things throughout the book to show her determination to the group. These actions were very beneficial and helpful but may have gone unnoticed because she was always the one pulling the group together so we forget about the smaller things she did and usually just recall the big things.
For example, some very important things she did that could have gone unnoticed during the course of the book include the fact that before David and Petra had to leave home because the group had been discovered, they had not packed very much for the journey as opposed to Rosalind who had everything set up and ready to go at a moment’s notice. This small detail in the plot could have made the difference between life and death for the 3 of them.
I say this because if Rosalind did not have everything set up the way she did it might have taken too long to get the horses or they might have run out of food on the way and starved making them incapable of finishing their journey. In essence we can already see that Rosalind is a true leader and we can also see by the last example that she is a very resourceful young lady. She demonstrates this in many parts of the novel and every time she shows this trait it not only helps the group proceed in their journey but also advances the plot.
To start if we look back to the novel we can see that in every case where a plan needed to be made or a task executed she would be at the front lines getting everything ready to ensure that everything went smoothly. This included events such as the escape from Waknuk which I have already mentioned AND also the route for the journey they would take to get into the Fringes. She would also make contact to Michael whenever she could to get a status report on the soldiers position “‘What’s happening? ‘ I asked Michael. ‘Was that your lot shooting? ‘No. That was the other party. They’re trying to draw the Fringes men across their way so that we can come in from the opposite side and take them in the rear. ‘”(173)
During their travels the group would also meet up with some people they didn’t particularly want to see. Rosalind being the resourceful quick thinker she is would quickly take care of them with whatever and however she could. “Perhaps I was sleeping lightly, or it may have been just coincidence that I woke up to catch an anguished thought from Rosalind. ‘I’ve killed him, Michael. He’s quite dead . . . ‘ Then she slid off into a panicky, chaotic thought-shape. “(103) This just goes to show that her resourcefulness and committed attitude strengthens her overall personality and she will go to great lengths and use as well as do whatever she has to do to keep the group safe, which truly displays her personality and the type determined resourceful kind of person she is. To conclude there is one more point that must be addressed that brings her personality all together.
Rosalind never had anyone at home or in her family she could talk to. For the most part she had to grow and learn for herself. This is what gives her, her protective shield and bring her together as one of the strongest (if not the strongest) member of the group. In every aspect of her life that we know of in the novel she relied on herself and got things done for her well being as well as the well being of those she cared about, because she was incredibly self-reliant.
She always took things into her own hands and would even scold or get away from people if things were being done wrong “‘Do you mean to say that’s all you’ve brought? ‘ she said disapprovingly. ‘”(… ) She also took an active role in being a parental figure for Petra even though she had no parenting experience. She would simply rely on what she knew from what she had learned from what she had done through her mistakes and accomplishments and apply it to her real world scenarios.
And in doing so would also give her the capacity to apply a “game plan” to other scenarios in her life such as how to keep everyone quiet about the groups powers and how to avoid and escape dangerous situations. It could even be said that being alone helped her develop her mind faster and that her armour would keep her in her thoughts long enough to be able to make non-rash decisions which could have ultimately led to the group’s overall victory in the end.
In conclusion the aspects of Rosalind’s personality let her strive in a community where she would not have been accepted. Knowing this Rosalind trained herself in the 3 key personality traits I have discussed which allowed her to be able to carry herself and the group to a triumphant victory over the people of Waknuk and allowed her to finally be able to take off her armour “She turned her head. The under-Rosalind was in her face, smiling, shiny-eyed. The armour was gone. She let me look beneath it. It was like a flower opening. “(208)which was probably Rosalind’s biggest accomplishment.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 3 October 2016
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