Which character do you most admire?A simple question here - which character do you most admire in The Chrysalids? Why? Is it David? Sophie? The Wenders? The Strorms? Any person from the telepaths?

Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I most admire David, after all, he is the hero and thus constructed so as to gain our admiration. He has the ability to rise above his social circumstances and see falsehoods that others believe to be truths (with the help of his uncle). He is also able, despite his powerful social indoctrination, to see truths in things that are labeled dangerous falsehoods (again with the help of his uncle). When these insights are combined with his compassion, understanding, and strength of inner character, he is an exemplary character and a natural leader.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I admire all of the people who try to live hiding differences, and all of the people who try to protect them.  I admire David for having no prejudice, Sophie's parents for trying to keep her happy, Sophie for being happy, and Uncle Axel for giving David good advice about hiding his gift.

fieryangel | Student

I most admire Sophie. When she is banished into the Fringes, she loses many things. She has to live in a cold, uncomfortable cave with a brushwood mattress to sleep on. She has lost her parents and was living alone in the Fringes, without any friends with her. She had a one-way relationship with Gordon Strorm because he did not love her back as much as she did since she was unable to produce children for him. I admire Sophie because her life changed drastically from the time when she was a young, cheerful, fun-loving girl to her feeling isolated and lonely. She managed to adapt to her situation despite the fact that she had lost many things in life.

titannica | Student

I admire Uncle Axel for his non-conformist attitude towards his life and community. I can recognise his courage to think differently when the other residents of Waknuk do not, and cannot.

One example of this is:

“What can it have been-this terrible thing that must have happened? And why? I can almost understand that God, made angry, might destroy all living things, or the world itself; but I don’t understand this instability, this mess of Deviations-it makes no sense.”

Uncle Axel can be seen as questioning Tribulation, and even God Himself, and questioning much further than the preachers. The preachers used Tribulation as “a word, a rusted mirror, reflecting nothing”, according to Uncle Axel. Whereas the rest of Waknuk society accepted the preachers’ notions on Tribulation and God’s actions as absolute, utter truth- to the point of being so blind that they cannot think for themselves about it, and feel it wrong to question it- Uncle Axel thought for himself and realised the holes in the preachers’ version, and started questioning it. This is his way of saying that what they preachers say is not necessarily the utter truth, and that they should see that too.

Uncle Axel thinks and questions Waknuk’s long-held beliefs and does not merely conform to whatever society thinks is right, despite running huge risks to his personal safety. For bravely defying the trend to the right thing as he sees it, he's won my admiration.

satzy95 | Student

I admire Anne for her courage to do what she believes is right and best for her. Giving up thinking in thought-shapes isn't an easy task as David has described as "forgetting how to talk". "She could sacrifice everything - even herself - for one loyalty." even though "it was like tying yourself to a crippled".But she managed to do it, to the extend that no one could contact her at all. This shows that she was very courageous to try something no one would ever think of.

Believing that she was "waiting for someone who may never come - or whom (she) may hate if he does", she was also sensible according to circumstances. This is because she finds alternatives to the thought-shape thinkers' problems of not being able to find a partner each. This is most practical in a society like Waknuk, where people are conserved to their beliefs of a religion. Thus, she is able to make best out of the worst situation.