What main conflict was resolved at the climax of The Chrysalids by John Wyndham?

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booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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At the story's climax of The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, there is the battle between the Waknuk force and the people of the Fringes. It is at this point of the story, that the main conflict is resolved, and that is David, Petra and Rosalind being rescued and taken to Sealand (New Zealand). Those on the ground are killed by the webbing that secured everyone when the ship landed.

The conflict here was "external," specifically "man vs. society." Taking David and the others out of this battle has removed them from Norms and the eradication of "all crop and animal mutations:" from danger. They will no longer need to hide who they are; they will no longer live in fear of discovery and death. The Sealand woman explains the situation to the group, which at this time also includes Michael.

"With one another's help you have managed to get quite a long way...but you'll find that there is a lot more we can teach you...we might has well start now...

"The essential quality of life is living; the essential quality of living is change; change is evolution: and we are part of it."

The Sealand woman explains that the people of the Fringes and those of Waknuk are all dead for the Waknuk could not tolerate change. The people of the Fringes were victims; those that attacked from Waknuk were punished for their inability to change their ways—to accept a changing world.

The static, the enemy of change, is the enemy of life, and therefore our implacable enemy. If you still feel shocked, or doubtful, just consider some of the things that these people...have done.

David and his friends are shaken, but are now safe and will start a new life in Sealand, the place of David's dreams. Michael, however, goes back to find and save Rachel.

When the fighting between the Fringe people and the Waknuk begins (the climax), David, Rosalind, Petra, and Michael are saved; at this point, the conflict is ended.

literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The main conflict depicted in the novel The Chrysalids is an external one. The external conflict, man verses man (in this case society), is seen as David strives to find asylum in a place which accepts those who are different from the society. David is telepathic. If his powers of telepathy are found out, David will be considered to be a Blasphemy. If he is found out, he will be sought out and killed. The only way to survive would be to run.

David comes to befriend a girl in similar circumstances (Sophie has six toes and would be considered different). Eventually, her secret is found out and she must flee for her life.

IN the end, David's secret, too, is revealed. He decides that he must run in order to survive. In his search for Sealand (a place which welcomes people with telepathy), David is found by Strorm and his troops. Therefore, the main conflict is resolved when David is beaten and left for dead. David is found by the Sealanders and rescued.


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