Masterpiece of Fatal Error?Overall, The Chrysalids has been a very good read; the way Wyndham has set up the setting and development of the characters were superb. He had also created a suspenseful...

Masterpiece of Fatal Error?

Overall, The Chrysalids has been a very good read; the way Wyndham has set up the setting and development of the characters were superb. He had also created a suspenseful tale at times, and other times created interesting details. One thing that irks me though, is the ending. When the "Sealand" woman came and rescued them to a new society, where people are similar to them, they have only become the majority group now and has not resolved the problem of oppression. This is said because he is now in a society where they have the exact same philosophy as their last one, that people different from them deserve their hate and contempt. I do not see what Wyndham was trying to achieve with this ending, and if anybody could point that out I would be grateful. Also, does anybody else consider the ending to be quite off?

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Actually, I kind of agree with you.  I feel it is kind of a cop out, philosophically or not. People have to learn to accept difference.  Difference does exist, but it is not necessarily something to be afraid of and people who are different certainly should not be destroyed just for being different.  However, if they had found a way to get along it would have been better to me.

kplhardison's profile pic

Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted on

One part of Wyndham's philosophy (roughly stated) was that humanity's every effort to rise above a problem and create a solution leads to another problem needing a solution. He believes this is because humanity relies too much upon reason (logic, reasonableness) and that creative solutions to serious problems require new modes of thought outside of existing paradigms of thought--in other words, the abandonment of logic. The ending of The Chrysalids reflects this belief: The Zealanders have a solution to accommodating mutations, but it is a solution still within the old paradigm of logic and will therefore embody new problems in the making--problems leading to further destruction of other humans.

angel-girl's profile pic

angel-girl | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted on

The ending is quite weird especially when the readers know that David, Rosalind and Petra are safe in Sealand but people are left thinking what happens to Rachel and Michael.

Overall, it just goes to say that no matter what place people are in, the majority will most probably prejudice against the minority.

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