For Joseph Strorm, his way is the only way. His father established the rules of Waknuk, declaring anyone unfit who does not fit their narrow view of the world.
Joseph Strorm is the heir to Waknuk because it was founded by his father. Both men are of one mind when it comes to the religious views.
David reflects on his father’s role in the community when he thinks about his first encounter with Sophie the girl with six toes.
David Strorm, the son of Joseph Strorm, of all people, who had seen her foot. (ch 3)
David realizes that Sophie’s father was tempted to kill him because “a dead boy could break no promise” and he knows that David’s father is tyrannically religious.
Angus describes him as “a flinty-souled pedant, and bigoted well beyond reason” (ch 4). He does not have a problem turning his own wife’s sister away because her baby has some minor defect. He beats David severely when he accidentally comments that he could tie a bandage if he had another hand.
Joseph seems to have no problem turning out a member of his own family. When David arrives in the Fringes, he meets his uncle. The uncle was thrown out because someone decided his arm was not the right length. He is completely cold-hearted.