Choose one character who has had to endure suffering in The Chrysalids.  With close reference to the novel, show how Wyndham makes the experience of your chosen character moving.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are of course many characters in this excellent novel that evoke sympathy and pity through what they suffer. One of the most tragic examples of this is Katherine, who, in Chapter 12, is broken by the powers of Waknuk through torture in order to reveal the secrets of the group of telepaths. How Wyndham makes this event so tragic is through the way that this is described in the way that the telepaths discern it:

There was a jumble of pain and shame, overriden with hopeless desolation, and, among it, characteristic glimpses of forms that we knew without doubt were Katherine's.

The use of such words as "pain," "shame" and "hopeless desolation" add greatly to the tragedy of this event, and this is underlined through Sally's description of how they broke her sister through torture. What makes this account even worse is the way that she only alludes to what precisely they did, referencing her feet: "Her feet, Michael--oh, her poor, poor feet...". By not stating directly what they had done to Katherine's feet, this leaves the reader to imagine in their own mind what kind of torture she endured, making our sympathy and feelings of pity for Katherine much greater.

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