The own image. And God decreed that
The 1955 science fiction book The Chrysalids written by John Wyndham will leave anyone in awe while discovering what Wyndham thought would come of the world hundreds of years after a nuclear war. While living between the late 1940’s and early 1990’s this was a scare to many people as the world had come close to many nuclear wars and now after the threat is over we have the opportunity to look back and read about Wyndham’s predictions of the future. The Chrysalids supports a recurring theme of segregation between people through social, geographical and psychological isolation. First off social segregation is expressed throughout the entire book with the separation of what Nicholson’s ‘Repentances’ says is the true image of a human and what they consider to be mutants. ‘Repentances’ states ” And God created man in His own image. And God decreed that man should have one body, one head, two arms and two legs: that each arm should be jointed in two places and end in one hand: that each hand should have four fingers and one thumb: that each finger should bear a flat fingernail.” This leaves the so called pure humans living in Waknuk to believe that the people who posses mutant like features of abilities must not be part of their community, inevitably mutilating and expelling them from the community. When this happens it leaves the social circles in Waknuk very tight and unaccepting to any differences such as any deformity or difference in not just people, but beliefs as well as animals and crops. The community of Waknuk seems to contain a fair amount of extremists who are dead against change and anything different then what they believe to be true. For example david’s father Joseph is the biggest extremist in the whole community of Waknuk having a very harsh and strict view towards these deviations. Being one of the men most of the community either looks up to or feel obligated that they have to listen to him, he really tries to let his thought sink into everyone’s heads and almost forces them to believe in only the true image of the Christian God. After being left with near to nothing at the end of the war, the Bible, and Repentances are the only things they are left with to form the community and religion which makes it much easier for Joseph to convince them what the true image looks like and control what everyone believes in. This creates psychological segregation between the pure people and other such living things and the people or things that have grown to look different and be considered mutant. The thoughts and way of life that has been integrated into all Waknuk citizens over the years has established deep hatred towards all things not considered to be the true image of god. The fact that the Waknukians have land that is set aside that is meant to be a place to send impure, or mutant people shows a major form of geographical isolation. This is because they are physically kicking them out of land that in reality they should be welcome in and sending them to what they call the “Fringes” which is basically land with nothing on it that these mutant people are sent to. The are forced to fend for themselves with no starting point giving the people of waknuk much power over the people they exile from their community. This geographical barrier that is put in place by the “pure” people of waknuk works against the impure giving them virtually no power and making it near impossible for them to thrive as their own community ensuring the power of the wacknuckians.Many of the characters have a very strong fear or dislike towards strangers from other places due to what they have been told which is called Xenophobia. This is shown first when David first runs into the fringes people, and is scared because he believes they all are scary or disgusting looking people. On the other hand the fringes people feel the same way about the Waknukians as they have kicked them out because they are not pure or considered human in their society. This leaves many people in fear as they could be the next one to suffer from these types of isolation from either being named a mutant, having a mutant kid or associating yourself with the mutant. This leads to the many different forms of segregation through social, geographical and psychological aspects holding back everyone from their complete potential as an individual and a whole.