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The Chrysalids

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THE CHRYSALIDS Trace carefully the stages of David's increasing awareness of the dangers of contravening the image of the norm, bringing out clearly the increasing fear he feels for his own safety and that of the rest of the "group" David increasing awareness of the dangers of contravening the image of the norm, stems from 2 parallel processes; as he grows up he understands more of what is happening around him and the nature of his dangerous society, and also through experiences and incidents in which he is involved; which leads him to a greater awareness of the dangers of being different. The first incident occurs when David has these strange dreams of a city that is non-existent in Labrador and tells Mary about it; Mary then warns David not to talk about his dream, "she went on to warn me very seriously not to mention it to anyone else," David although at this point is not aware of the dangers of being different, but nevertheless he takes the advice of his sister. The effect of this on David is quite powerful; he takes the advice of not telling this to anyone else and more than that; this piece of advice from Mary, kept him from telling anyone else about his special "understanding" that he has with Rosalind, "Without it I might have mentioned the curious understanding I had with my cousin Rosalind," this is due to his powers of ESP (although he doesn't know it yet), that he has with Rosalind. Although his left-handedness does cause some comments and slight disapproval, it does not however make David think that he is not a "norm". The incident with Sophie's feet and her urgency over it; because of her six toes does not bring home to David that she is not a "norm", he puts it to Sophie being a girl and all their mysterious ways, but what does make him a little bit aware is the fact of Mrs. ...read more.


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. ...read more.


This cannot get any real to the group of the dangers of being different and all the punishment that it includes and finally the other one is where Joseph Strom leads the posse in the hunt of his son, daughter and Rosalind, they will take them in for further questioning and torture, and this also depicts the severity of the situation where it is father versus son and daughter. This is all due to the fact that the group has been living amongst them for a long time, without any physical deformities therefore they are afraid of the Blasphemies of the ESP, "they're taking this very seriously indeed...what's got them so agitated over us is that nothing shows...they need us alive so that they can take us in for questioning...we could be a real threat to them." this really is the last increase, you can't get any worse or the punishment that they will have to face and you can't get any more aware of the dangers of being different. The novel is written in the 1st person narrative so, we as the reader see things through the way a growing child would, from having experiences such as the Harriet incident and the Sophie incident. This makes us then share the fear with David of his own safety and that of his group. In conclusion, David's increasing awareness of the dangers of contravening the image of the norm and his increasing fear that he feels for his own safety and that of the group comes directly from him having experiences which he is directly or indirectly involved, including not only just the incidents where he slowly learns the dangers of contravening the image of the norm, such as the Aunt Harriet and the Sophie incidents. But also through Uncle Axel's stark and blunt warnings, and also growing up to understand the harsh laws of his society, when his teaching becomes a reality and practical versus theory, such as Old Jacob's ideas and the great horses. GCSE ENGLISH LITERATURE COURSEWORK 2001 PHILIP XIU 4 ...read more.

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