In John Wyndham’s book The Chrysalids, why are mutations so important, and how are they related to religion?

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Waknuk society was established in the wake of a nuclear holocaust, which has significantly affected the world's landscape and genetic pool. The citizens of Waknuk are religious fanatics, who consider any deviation or genetic mutation a blasphemy against the true Image of God. All forms of genetic mutations are considered...

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Waknuk society was established in the wake of a nuclear holocaust, which has significantly affected the world's landscape and genetic pool. The citizens of Waknuk are religious fanatics, who consider any deviation or genetic mutation a blasphemy against the true Image of God. All forms of genetic mutations are considered Offences in Waknukian society and must be severely punished. Mutations in plants or animals are referred to as Deviations, which are immediately destroyed once they are discovered. A human with a genetic mutation is labeled a Blasphemy and sent to the Fringes of society, where they struggle to survive among other individuals with mutations or deformities. Religion plays a significant role in Waknukian society, and the citizens strictly adhere to the Bible and Nicholson's Repentances. Their ideology and intolerance towards individuals and other living things with mutations are based on their narrow interpretation of the true image of God. David's father, Joseph Strorm, is the foremost adherent of Waknuk's religion and is depicted as an intolerant zealot, who ruthlessly persecutes deviants and any person he feels is not behaving morally. Genetic mutations are significant to the Waknukian religion because it provides the fanatics like Joseph Strorm a target and allows them to increase their authority and status as a religious leaders.

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Mutations are important in this book because they are something that the society abhors and actively seeks to root out and destroy. Any changes in the gene pool that are deemed outside the normal range are eliminated. These people are called "Deviants," and they are killed, kicked out of society to the Fringes, or sterilized. Regardless of the method, that person's genetic code has been effectively removed from society. To Waknuk society, mutations are important because they are dangerous and subversive societal elements. If you wanted to, I suppose you could substitute "mutations" and "mutants" for "religion" and "religious followers." In that case, religion and anybody associated with it would be deemed a subversive element of a given society, and the society would actively seek to eliminate any kind of religion in order to protect the rest of society. If by "religion" the question is asking about Waknuk religion, then the answer does not change much. The Waknuk society's religion reveres genetic purity, so any mutations are seen as a threat to that particular aspect of their religion. The persecution of Deviants is therefore a holy war.

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