The Chrysalids What the Sealand woman meant about ..
themes in the chrysalids the danger of a limited perspective
This novel looks beyond the pessimistic future shrouded in the "mushroom cloud" into the time of reconstruction after such an event. Following "tribulation" we are shown a world of the frontier. As North America has moved recently from the world of the frontier we look at our past as a quaint heritage, a stage in the development of our civilization which has gone forever, except in Hollywood and made for TV movies. In The Chrysalids the frontier has returned and the people are beginning again. They have emerged from the chaos of an after-the-holocaust world and have reached a stage of organized community life, farmlands, and a strict and stern inflexible morality based on a dark, incomprehensible fear of an unknown past. The people of this frontier do not look towards a new future, but instead have an all consuming passion for stability. Things must not change. The past of the "Old People" must be resurrected and preserved. The scattered communities of Labrador and the Waknuks are unconsciously creating a "fossil world" as the Sealand woman maintains. Paradoxically, then, Waknuk is a society of the future with a setting from the past.