The Chrysalids

by John Wyndham

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Compare and contrast Brave New World and The Chrysalids.

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Both Huxley and Wyndham write about dystopian societies in order to provide commentary on our society. Both novels touch on similar themes:

1) Science and Technology's impact on our world

Huxley's society is a slave to technology; going so far to have Henry Ford as a deity. Their technological advancements, especially in terms of conditioning and cloning their citizens, dominate and control the society. Similarly, even though Wyndham's society is primitive, the suggestion is t is primitive because the technology of the Old People developed to a point that it destroyed the society (ie: nuclear bomb, nuclear reactor meltdown).

2) Knowledge and Ignorance

In the  World State, citizens are only taught what they "need to know" for their social class, as we see when Linda states how could she have known better, she was only a beta-minus. The only knowledge the receive is approved by the government in order to maintain stability. Similarly, in Waknuk, the society is based on the only available knowledge they have, the bible and Nicholson's Repentances. However, as we see through Uncle Axel's explanation of what he has seen as a sailor, other society's exist and believe they are the true image of man, even though their definition differs from the one in Waknuk. Each civilized area is ignorant in that they believe their way is the only "right" way, when no one really have any certain proof one way or another. Furthermore, measures are put in place so that each area knows little to nothing about the other.

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