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The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham


Plot Summary
Mood and Themes

There are three main settings in The Chrysalids; Waknuk, The Fringes, and Sealand. These settings influence the plot because their geographical layout contributes to the lifestyle that people can live.

Waknuk: Waknuk is a community in Labrador which has faced the effects of a long ago Tribulation which was a nuclear attack that destroyed the world. The community is obsessed with obeying Gods laws and destroying everyone who is affected by the effects of this Tribulation-genetic mutations. They are determined to return to the lifestyle of the Old People who lived before Tribulation. This is Davids, the protagonist, home as well as the home of the majority claim characters in The Chrysalids. Numerous things occur in Waknuk. This is the setting for such scenes as the meeting of Sophie who becomes a pivotal character, the announcement of Aunt Harriet that she gave birth to a Mutant, the birth of Petra, and the death of Anne and Alan. Waknuk is very influential to the plot because it gives a background to what has happened that has resulted in such events. Character development also is affected by Waknuk because the charaters have been brainwashed in this community. These people here have no individual thoughts. As characters progress through the story and away from Waknuk, their ideals begin to change.



The Fringes: The Fringes is an area that is entirely covered in genetically mutated plants and animals. People who have a genetic disfiguration are exiled to live here. This is the setting of the battle between the Fringe people and the inhabitants of Waknuk. The Fringes is very important to the plot because David, Rosalind and Petra escape here; the Sealanders land here to save the shape-thinkers; and you meet people who have been denied the claim of being a human by the prejudices of people from Waknuk. Characters personalities change here because they must learn to fend for themselves in this unforgiving landscape and they learn about what is really important in your lives.

To the left we have a picture of the Fringes.
The picture below is one of Sealand and the metropolitan world.


Sealand: Not a lot of the book takes place in Sealand but it is very important because there is the future. It is the destination for David, Rosalind, Petra and eventually Michael and Rachel. Here almost everyone can shape-think and instead of a basic, primitive civilization such as Waknuk, Sealand is a bustling metropolis that rivals our current developed world. This setting is important to The Chrysalids because this place encourages the people who are trying to get there. The future of the world lies in this place.

"That's why the Fringes is the Fringes; pretty near nothing grows true to stock here, yet"