“I shall pray,” she said. “Yes, I shall pray.” She paused, then she went on, her voice steady and harder: “I shall pray God to send charity into this hideous world, and sympathy for the weak, and love for the unhappy and unfortunate. I shall ask Him if it is indeed His will that a child should suffer and its soul be damned for a little blemish of the body…. And I shall pray Him, too, that the hearts of the self-righteous may be broken….”
John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids is a story of a community dedicated to eradicating any deviations to the human breed. They believe in the true image which is of any living creature in proper and acceptable proportions and appearance. Any signs of deviation is a reason to be banished for their community.
My husband recommended this to me as we were browsing a used bookstore. He said it was a good read. Being a guy who’s into manga, I was intrigued whenever he suggests non-picture books. He also suggested I read Ender’s Game before and I enjoyed that as well.
Wyndham’s world in The Chrysalids hit a nerve. I wanted to throw it across the room or even tear the pages apart in the hopes of making some it’s characters feel my frustration in the unfairness of it all. In the unfairness of something they have no control over. What I find interesting though is this: I think we are currently living in Wyndham’s The Chrysalids. I can’t help but notice all the parallels of his story to today’s society. We punish people for not being of the same race. We judge those of a different religion. We tend to disregard and make fun of those who doesn’t confirm to gender norms. What makes this worse is we don’t understand how hurtful this is. We don’t understand how hard it is for some of these people to accept who they are because they are incredibly dependent on how society would react.
Would I recommend this book? Of course I would. It’s eye-opening and as long as we have our own prejudices, Wyndham’s story will always be relevant.