In to the Fringes. In the Fringes we learn

In the
community of Waknuk, the image of God is an important part of the formation of
society. The novel The Chrysalids by John Wyndham is about a group defying the
rule of society-image of God as believed by the Waknukian leader. If a person
or an object does not fit the definition of God, they are faced with many
problems such as death. The novel also discusses and represents issues like the
loss of trust the people of Waknuk experience that a person that they know is a
Deviant- a creation of the devil. In the novel the Chrysalids, Sophie, Aunt
Harriet, as well as Anne all face different problems in relation to not fitting
the definition of man.

          Starting off, Sophie having six toes makes it very
difficult for her to live in a society where being different makes it dangerous
to even go outside. In the beginning of the novel when David meets Sophie she
is scared to take off her shoe when her foot is stuck in between two rocks as
she believes that David will report her to the officials. Soon after this
incident at Sophie’s house, David agrees to keep Sophie’s secret. The secret is
kept safe for many days until one day, Alan comes upon David and Sophie WHO are
playing in the water. After, Sophie’s father finds out that Alan knows Sophie
has six toes, he decides that they will move away from the community to keep
Sophie safe, “He’s afraid its’s come, my dear. This is it” (Wyndham 45). This
decision makes both Sophie as well as her mother grieve because they know they
can not stay otherwise they would be killed but they also know Deviants are not
accepted as a child of God. Sophie being the sweet girl that she is, she is not
considered a child of God, her fate has been altered because when the people
from the community of Waknuk sterilized her and sent her to the Fringes. In the
Fringes we learn that Sophie is unable to bear a child. Consequently, because
Sophie is different, she faces many problems which puts her in conflicts with
society as well as herself.

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          Continuing on, Aunt Harriet, was betrayed by David’s
mother- Emily did not help Aunt her nor her Deviant baby because of the strict
image of God’s view that the community believes in. The trust that is broken
between Aunt Harriet and the Strorm’s show the consequence of giving birth to a
deviant. In the novel Aunt Harriet comes to David’s house after the birth of
David’s sister-Petra. She asks her sister if she can borrow Petra for the
inspection as her child has a blemish on her body. However, Joseph and Emily
send Aunt Harriet away. Joseph continues to yell at Aunt Harriet and says,
“Shame on you woman! Now go! Go home in humility, not defiance. Notify your
child, according to law. Then do your penances that you may be cleansed. And
pray. You have much to pray for” (72). Emily being the only that Aunt Harriet
she really trusts turns her away because she has conceived a child not in the
image of God. This quote shows how quickly people in the community of Waknuk
lost trust because of anything that goes against the image of God. Further on
in the story, we learn that Aunt Harriet as well as her baby are found dead
near the river. Their deaths show disloyalty and dishonesty the community of
Waknuk has towards the Deviants that are living amongst the “norm”. In effect
of Aunt Harriet having so much trust for her family especially Emily, she was
quickly betrayed because she gave birth to a Deviant child.

Anne is affected by the norms of society which makes Anne then becomes in
pursuit of a happy life. Anne always wanted to have a normal life, this
led her to marry Alan her love. Anne even stopped communicating with the group
in the pursuit to be normal. Continuing with the novel Alan is murdered by
Uncle A because he is afraid to that Alan is going to report the group to the
officials. As a result of Alan’s death, Anne commits suicide writing a letter
stating, “It denounced the entire thought shape group, including Rachel
herself, and even Petra. It accused us collectively of planning Alan’s murder
and one unspecified, of carrying it over” (102). This shows that Anne is unable
to deal with the fact that she is considered a Deviant. The manner in which
Anne chooses to deal with this fact shows she is arrogant. After falling in
love with Alan she becomes obsessed with trying to fit into the normal society.
This also leads her to move away very quickly. When Alan is murdered and she
blames the group for the murder in the letter that she wrote showing that she
betrayed he own “kind” to hide the fact that she was not normal in the Waknuk

          In conclusion, money of the people living the society deal
differently because of the rule of society proclaimed by many as the image of
God. Each individual character faces internal conflict as well as conflict with
the society. The major characters that stood out that have their lived changed
after doing with fact they are not normal are Sophie, Aunt Harriet, and Anne.
Sophie having six toes, she is sterilized and sent to the Fringes as a
punishment for not being normal. Aunt Harriet was betrayed by her family for
giving birth to a Deviant. And Anne betrayed the group   she was part of just to fit into society they
live in. In the community of Waknuk, the image of God is taken very seriously
which then impacts many people living in this society.