What are the similarities and differences between The Chrysalids and Romeo and Juliet?

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scarletpimpernel's profile pic

scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Similarities: Both works center upon forbidden love.  In Romeo and Juliet, the title characters cannot freely and openly express their love for one another because of their feuding families.  In The Chrysalids, David and Sophie cannot openly love one another because David's father would not approve of his love for a girl who is different and unlike their strict "Old Testament" culture.

Likewise, the play and novel use teens as their main characters--teens who often appear to be wiser than the works' adults.  Yes, Romeo and Juliet are impulsive, but they are also wise enough to realize that the long-standing feud is pointless.  David, too, realizes that he and the other "telepathic" teens seem to have a better grasp of how life should really be lived.

Differences: Romeo and Juliet's lead characters commit suicide, and their tragic ending teaches the adults in the play a moral. While there is suicide in The Chrysalids, the main characters do not take their own lives, and in the end they remain with a message of hope for the readers, while the perpetrators of most of the novel's conflict are eliminated.

Another obvious difference is the setting of each work.  While Shakespeare's play follows typical Renaissance customs and plotlines, The Chrysalids is a very modern post-Apocalyptic tale.

luoey's profile pic

luoey | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

David and Sophie were actually not in love with each other. They were just really good friends. David has always loved Rosalind.

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