Themes in Chrysalids Summary: Three types of conflicts serve as themes in the novel Chrysalids: Person versus Self, Person versus Society, and Person versus Person.
The first conflict that we will talk about is a Person vs.
Those who are banished live in the Fringes—genetically deviant country beyond Waknuk’s agrest periphery; they subsist in squalor, obtaining food and materials through frequent raiding expeditions.
All the same, however, the government of Labrador is corrupt and has a less than perfectly rigorous policy—a situation resented by the most pious villagers.
As they flee, Petra, who is endowed with vastly superior telepathic ability, is able gradually to enter into communication with a female, located in a geographically remote location.
It gradually transpires that the Sealand woman, as she is referred to, lives in a modern, techno-industrial society where telepathy is sought after and trained systematically.
The novel follows David Strorm, son of Joseph, a religious zealot, and much of it is spent describing their farming society.
David has recurring dreams of the technologically advanced cities from the time before Tribulation (or so it seems initially), and is one of several telepaths residing in Waknuk.
What is perhaps most interesting from our perspective is Wyndham’s attitude towards the opposing factions.
He shows contempt for the villager’s belief system, which, albeit understandable, comes across as archaic, blinkered, and fearful; in character it resembles Mediaeval Catholicism, particularly in relation to heterodoxy and especially pagans.