->"And any creature that shall seem to be human, but is not formed thus is not human. It is neither man nor woman. It is blasphemy against the true Image of God, and hateful in the sight of God."

'''Warning: Spoilers Ahead!'''

''The Chrysalids'' is a ScienceFiction novel written by Creator/JohnWyndham, first published in 1955 and considered by many to be his masterpiece.

Many centuries after a global nuclear apocalypse, northern Labrador and 'Newf' are among the few places hospitable to human habitation, albeit very pre-industrial. Our story centers around the small farming community of Waknuk, ruled with an iron fist by fanatical SinisterMinister Joseph Strorm.

The only document that has survived from the time of the 'Old People' is the Bible, from which the current generation infer that 'Tribulation' must have been a final, devastating judgement on human arrogance, ''a la'' the fall of Jerusalem. Taking this together with a later book called ''Repentances'', this new society develops what they believe to be the immutable Definition of Man, and aims to rebuild the world accordingly in the True Image of God.

In this theology born of ignorance and fear, any radiation-bred mutant -- no matter how slightly abnormal -- is interpreted as either a Deviation (plants, lower animals) or, more horribly still, a Blasphemy: a human-shaped but soulless mockery of God's perfection sent by Satan to lure Man off the faint and narrow path to righteousness. They all must be ruthlessly rooted out and destroyed lest they contaminate the purity of Godly society. In the case of Blasphemies, there is just enough mercy that they are merely sterilized and banished (usually at birth) to the wild country known as the Fringes, to survive or not as they can.

Against this backdrop, Joseph's son and our narrator David Strorm, along with several other children, discovers that they have a mutation that is not visible to the naked eye: they are able to communicate with each other by means of telepathy, or "thought-shapes". The story centers first on their efforts to conceal this ability, then their struggle to define it against what they and others understand as the Norm...

...and then, finally, on their efforts merely to defend themselves at all costs. Because as much as their society loathes the deviants they can see and thus control, the notion of ones they can't terrifies them into all-out racial war -- a war which may only ultimately be winnable by a civilization still more ruthlessly determined to survive.

The story was adapted for radio by the BBC in 1982, and for the stage in 1999.

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!!''The Chrysalids'' provides examples of:

* ActionGirl: Rosalind and Sophie.
* AffablyEvil: The inspector. He's shown as an amiable, basically humane bureaucrat who strongly objects to Joseph Strorm's harsh inflexibility, and his treatment of David particularly. However he's also an unimaginative man who ''never'' questions his mission; it's indicated that he thus takes part in the relentless interrogation of the captured telepaths, leading to their deaths.
** Gordon Strorm also comes across as this, right up until he deliberately announces his intent to rape his nephew's fiance (and, it's strongly hinted, is at least interested in his nine-year-old niece).
* AfterTheEnd: Several centuries at least; long enough for the extremities of the inhabited earth to be reclaimed from nuclear catastrophe.
* AndManGrewProud: Thought to be the reason behind Tribulation. Ironically -- as David's uncle and SecretKeeper Axel points out -- even if this is basically correct, the new society has drawn exactly the wrong lessons from it.
* AnyoneCanDie: Well, anyone in the supporting cast at least. There are ten telepaths at the story's outset and only the five with major roles -- David, Rosalind, Petra, Rachel and Michael -- survive to the end. Likewise several others close to David are killed or otherwise disappear.
* AssholeVictim: Alan Erwin is specifically called out as this. Nobody's much upset when Joseph Strorm dies either, not even his children.
* AsTheGoodBookSays: Not only the Bible, but also the ''Repentances'', which together have given rise to "The Definition of Man", the immutable truth on which the new society rests.
* AuthorTract: Several pages are given over to philosophic discourses on the nature of man and God as they relate to evolutionary change and growth.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: David, although since he's usually up against much tougher opponents, not very effectually.
* BerserkButton: The mere mention of deviation is enough to inspire real fear and horror, as per the scene in which David innocently suggests he could've used a third hand to accomplish a task and is beaten for it. The inspector enjoys pressing Joseph's buttons specifically.
* BlackSheep: Aunt Harriet, after her ill-fated attempt to enlist the Strorms' help to save her mutant baby by switching her temporarily with perfect-seeming Petra.
--> '''David:''' ''(narrating)'' It was as though she had been erased from everyone's memories save mine.
* BlessedWithSuck: What all the telepaths struggle with for years after they become aware of their deviance. Articulated outright at one point thusly:
--> '''David:''' We had a gift, a sense which, Michael complained bitterly, should have been a blessing, but was little better than a curse. The stupidest norm was happier; he could feel that he belonged.
* BookEnds: The novel begins with David dreaming about a futuristic city and ends with he, Rosalind and Petra actually arriving there.
* BrokenBird: Sophie. Forced sterilization, followed by 'degradation to a savage', will do that.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Joseph gets this from the inspector on a number of occasions. Notably, the use of 'great-horses', which have been approved by the Government as the result of controlled breeding, but which Joseph insists are Deviations due to their unusual height:
--> '''Joseph:''' It is your moral duty to issue an order against these so-called horses.
--> '''Inspector:''' It's part of my ''official'' duty to protect them from harm by fools and bigots.
* CharacterDevelopment: David and the other telepaths are forced to this over the course of the novel. Rosalind goes so far as to deliberately construct a tough, cynical exterior to hide her fears.
* CheerfulChild: Petra, whom even Joseph cannot resist spoiling, 'with an endearing lack of success'. Also Sophie, the six-toed little girl David befriends, before she and her family are captured and exiled -- making the hard, bitter woman we meet in the Fringes later that much more heartbreaking.
* ChekhovsGunman: Both David and Petra serve as this. David, because his strange childhood dreams allow him to confirm Petra's second-hand description of 'Sealand' (actually, as per its description, New Zealand); Petra, because her strong "thought-shapes" allow the Sealand woman to home in on her and thus know where to find the protagonists later.
** The minor character Jerome Skinner, certainly. He's only seen in person for one brief scene, but he's the one who outs the protagonists to the authorities.
* ChurchMilitant: Many of the preachers described in the story, but Joseph Strorm and his father (in flashback) are the prime examples.
* ColdBloodedTorture: Of Sally and Katherine, in order to learn more about the telepaths. Just in case the reader has missed the wider implications to that point, we now learn that this is a society with no qualms about applying red-hot irons to an adolescent girl's feet.
* CoversAlwaysLie: The older Penguin editions feature a bizarre-looking mutant on the cover with green skin, no mouth and lobster claws for hands. None of the mutants in the book look anything close to this.
* CrapsackWorld: If you're a 'deviant', this is the kindest possible description of the new Labrador.
* CursedWithAwesome: Petra's telepathic ability is much stronger than that of the other main characters, especially for her age, and she's able to communicate with other telepaths over a distance of several thousand miles. Unfortunately, it first manifests when she's panicked and urgently compels the others to rush to her aid, leading to the group's discovery. Even once she's trained and aware enough to control herself better, when she gets excited any nearby telepaths are stunned and "blinded" (the last scene is of her thus stunning ''the entire Sealand city'').
* DaysOfFuturePast: Future Labrador is essentially a post-apocalyptic twist on the rural villages Wyndham and his initial readers would've grown up remembering, complete with EternalEnglish, distinctively British given names and Caucasian MonochromeCasting (handily demonstrating why his books are sometimes dubbed {{Cosy Catastrophe}}s).
* DeadpanSnarker: The inspector, and Michael.
* DeathByIrony: Joseph Strorm is killed by his own mutated brother Gordon.
* DefrostingIceQueen: Rosalind
* DeusExMachina: The arrival of the Sealand rescue party could be interpreted as literally this, given the descent of their shiny helicopter-esque transport at the height of the pre-industrial peoples' climactic battle. It's been foreshadowed throughout the latter part of the book, but they still actually show up at an awfully convenient moment.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: Given that her six toes are a major plot driver, Sophie is seen barefoot, or taking off her shoes, in most of her appearances.
* DoubleStandard: As per the generally primitive attitude to biology, any woman who gives birth to three deformed or mutated children in a row may be 'sent away' by her husband... but apparently the husbands don't suffer any repercussions at all, instead being allowed to seek new wives.
* DrivenToSuicide: Aunt Harriet. Anne also to an extent.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: And how...
* TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt: The futility of the current society trying so fiercely to regain what was ultimately destroyed is discussed at several points.
* EternalEnglish: Despite having only the vaguest idea of the Old Ones' civilization, and no documents from it save the Bible (and that probably, from the internal evidence, the ''King James Version''), human society of many centuries hence still sounds remarkably like 1950's Britain, with perhaps a bit of similarly-vintage American dime novel thrown in. The Sealanders have a noticeably odd pronunciation -- presumably the descendant of the original New Zealand accent -- but can otherwise make themselves understood to David and co. with no trouble.
* FantasticRacism: Taken UpToEleven and going both ways for the Norms and the Blasphemies.
* FateWorseThanDeath: In-story, being banished to the Fringes is considered this, as not only are Blasphemies officially not human (being considered instead the soulless spawn of Satan), they're forcibly sterilized and tossed into wild, savage country to survive or die as chance wills.
* FeudingFamilies: On top of everything else they have to deal with, David and Rosalind's. Their fathers make a point of spying on each others' farms in order to publicly point out deviations in the crops or livestock.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: David has a mysterious dream in the very first chapter, about -- as he describes them -- 'carts driving without horses to pull them', fish-shaped machines flying, and shining cities with lots of lights; and he wonders if any such place really exists. When he asks his older sister, she suggests that it may be a description of what the world used to look like before Tribulation, then warns him not to tell anyone else about it. Of course, it later turns out it's not a dream...
* FriendlyEnemy: The inspector sees himself as this to David.
* FreudianExcuse: We learn early in the novel that Joseph Strorm is very much like his father Elias, who was even more harsh and unyielding. Joseph may also have been influenced by the banishment of his older brother Gordon, who was originally thought to be normal but developed unusually long limbs as he grew up.
* TheFundamentalist: Strorm family retainer Old Jacob, deliberately introduced to represent this POV within the story. He considers one year's high rate of Deviations a judgement on the more progressive elements of his society for, among other things, no longer simply burning human mutants to death.
* HarmfulToMinors: In-universe. Most Blasphemies are discovered and hence banished as newborn babies.
* HeroicBSOD: Rosalind has one after being forced to shoot a man who was tracking her, David and Petra following the trio's flight from Waknuk.
* HotBlooded: Rosalind, Michael and Sophie.
* HumansArePsychicInTheFuture: One of the classic examples; Sealand, strongly suggested to be mankind's only viable remaining civilisation by story's end, is entirely composed of telepaths.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Both Uncle Axel and Rosalind kill to protect the group's secret, and both defend themselves this way.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Anne, after falling in love with a Norm. David also specifically prays this at one point, out of fear for himself arising from what he's witnessed happening to mutated crops and animals.
* ILoveNuclearPower: Nuclear fallout can apparently give you PsychicPowers. To be fair, most of the other mutations that show up in the book are pretty realistic and many, like Sophie's extra toes are things that can occur naturally. In fact, it's entirely possible that so much time has passed since modern times that many "deviations" are a result of evolution simply taking its natural course.
* InfantImmortality: Averted; if you're found to have a deformity upon being born, well, sucks to be you.
* {{Irony}}: A recurring theme in the book. That Joseph Strorm, the most extreme of the mutant-hating population of Waknuk, has ''two'' children that are mutants is just the tip of the iceberg.
* {{Jerkass}}: Alan. So much so, in fact, that following his death, it's discovered that [[AssholeVictim he's made a number of enemies.]] Joseph Strorm is this trope taken to horrifying levels.
* KickTheDog: When David's little friend Sophie and her parents are captured, Joseph announces it triumphantly to the inspector with David still in the room -- and then openly ''sneers'' when his ten-year-old son begins to cry.
* [[KillAllHumans Kill All Mutants]]: A recurring theme. The tables are turned near the end of the novel.
* KissingCousins: David and Rosalind. Well, they're [[NotBloodSiblings half-cousins,]] anyway.
* KnightTemplar: Joseph. As noted, he harshly punishes David when the latter makes an innocent remark about needing a third arm to tie a difficult knot, because he interprets it as David wishing to be a mutant.
* LaserGuidedKarma: Joseph Strorm has been instrumental in getting numerous mutants banished to the Fringes. During the climactic final battle his mutant brother Gordon, likewise banished as a child, singles out Joseph in the crowd and shoots him dead.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: Uncle Axel cites this as the reason why Anne's relationship with a 'normal' man poses an overwhelming threat to the safety of the group as a whole; out of guilt or self-abasement or some other passion, eventually she ''will'' feel the need to confess all.
* MarketBasedTitle: The US version of the novel was titled ''Re-Birth'', presumably because of fears that Americans wouldn't [[ViewersAreMorons know what chrysalids are.]] To be perfectly fair, they're much more usually known as 'cocoons' in the States... but still.
* {{Masquerade}}: David and the other telepaths, being physically unremarkable, are able to hide these powers from the 'normal' populace for a very long time.
* MercyKill: Given that they've just "overheard" the brutal torture of their fellow female telepaths, this is what Michael and David agree will happen to Petra and Rosalind if the trio are caught by the same authorities.
* TheMole: Michael, the best-educated of the telepaths and one of the few whose ability remains undiscovered, joins one of the groups hunting David and company in order to give them play-by-play information.
* MonochromeCasting: Rather oddly given the location, there's no indication of Inuit or other ethnic diversity in Waknuk. Black skin is called out as a particularly strange deviation found only among more southerly (probably remnants of the Caribbean) peoples.
* MoralLuck: At the end of the book, the main character is trapped in a cave when TheCavalry show up, killing everyone in the area. The bad news is, one of them is the protagonist's childhood friend Sophie, who is currently protecting him and his fellow fugitives. The good news is, the Sealanders' weapon ''doesn't'' kill her -- David explicitly sees her shot in battle just moments before they arrive. One wonders how the Sealand woman's speech about how 'necessary' their actions were would've gone over with David and co. had it involved Sophie's death in particular.
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: David gets this on two occasions, when he tries to defend Sophie from Alan and Rosalind from his uncle Gordon.
* NotSoDifferent: The Sealanders may be more advanced and enlightened than Labrador society in many ways, but -- as more than one critic has pointed out -- the two peoples share a very similar willingness to ruthlessly destroy any threat to their established 'norm'. Lampshaded to some extent by the Sealand woman, who views the Waknuk posse riding after the telepaths as fighting against their own inevitable extinction in the face of a superior human variant, and muses that they, the 'think-together people', will have to do the same one day.
* OffingTheOffspring: Joseph Strorm joins one of the hunter bands seeking out David and Petra basically in order to do this.
* OnlySaneMan: Initially at least, the Inspector, who clearly isn't as fanatical as the community he's posted to.
* OurAncestorsAreSuperheroes: Played with, given that current Labrador society has only the vaguest idea of technology (they do keep a basic steam engine around just as a sort of museum curiosity, apparently either unaware of or uninterested in how it could be used). It's suggested the 'Old People' had superhuman intelligence, the power to move mountains at a whim, and could even fly. A companion rumor, first mentioned by Uncle Axel, holds that they could also communicate with each other over long distances -- just like David & company.
* ProperlyParanoid: Sophie and her parents at the start of the novel. As they grow more aware of their difference from the norm, the telepathic group as well.
* PsychicChildren: David & company in the early part of the book, and Petra later on.
* RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil: Rosalind's reaction when she's threatened with it is handled like this, with the normally entirely self-contained girl breaking down in hysterics at the thought of being violated by what she sees as a literal monster.
* TheResenter: All the telepaths toward their powers, at some point. Anne goes so far as to try to 'stop' herself in order to marry a norm.
** Sophie becomes this toward Rosalind when the two meet later in the novel; not so much because she sees her as a rival for David and/or Gordon, as that Rosalind's untouched beauty -- and presumed fertility -- throw Sophie's sense of her own futile existence into sharp relief.
** Gordon is this toward his younger brother Joseph Strorm as well. He was banished to the Fringes as a child for having spider-like limbs, losing his rightful inheritance as the oldest son to Joseph.
* RunForTheBorder: David, Rosalind and Petra are forced to do this after being officially branded as outlaws from 'normal' human society.
* SecretKeeper: Sophie's parents and David's Uncle Axel. To an extent, Aunt Harriet and Rosalind's mother, leading David to wonder just how many other mothers might be out there willing to take chances for their slightly-abnormal offspring...
* SinisterMinister: Joseph.
* SitcomArchNemesis: The inspector's early exchanges with Joseph have something of the flavour of this.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: David starts the novel on the idealistic side, but eventually winds up toward the cynical. Rosalind is deliberately on the cynical side for the majority of the novel, but the very end of the story, she's allowing her idealistic side to show. Michael is unabashedly on the cynical side from the outset, as is the woman from Sealand. Near the end, pretty much everyone is flat-out cynical about their situation, little Petra being the only exception.
* SpellMyNameWithAnS: The main characters debate about whether Sealand's name should in fact start with an "S" or a "Z." The get confirmation that it's 'Z', but refer to 'Sealand' anyway as it makes more sense to them.
* TheStoic: David's mother Emily, based on her interactions with him. Rosalind is largely this way as well, even toward David her LoveInterest at times.
** NotSoStoic: Emily eventually shows herself to be this after Aunt Harriet's visit. And Rosalind's cool exterior is revealed to be a deliberate 'armour' for her real sensitive, vulnerable self.
* {{Telepathy}}: What sets David & company apart from the surrounding Norms of Waknuk, and by contrast is the driving force behind the Sealand society; it's called "thought-shapes" or 'thinking-together' by those who have it. They can communicate only with each other, and only receive what's sent (although Petra is beginning to evince an uncomfortable ability to detect 'behind-thinks'). They share this with the Sealand woman and the majority of the members of her society, with "normal" humans being the exception for them. It's hinted that Sophie's mother may have limited telepathic ability as well, but it's not something she's aware of. David actually tests her but cannot make contact.
* TheChosenOne: Petra is basically this to the Sealand community.
* TrainingFromHell: Inverted when the TrueCompanions seek to teach Petra how to control her abilities, after said abilities first emerge. Petra's willing and eager to learn under David's tutelage, but it turns out to be torturous for the ''trainers'' because Petra is CursedWithAwesome.
* TrueCompanions: The eponymous group, out of necessity. Made explicit when David tries to explain to Uncle Axel why killing one member would be unthinkable for the others, even if it meant the their own lives.
* {{Tsundere}}: Rosalind is a definite Type A. She could also be argued to be a {{Kuudere}}.
* WorldHalfFull: Despite living a world nearly irrevocably destroyed, David and his friends still end their journey on a note of hope for their future, and that of civilized humanity.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: We never do find out just what happened to Sophie's parents after they left Waknuk and were captured (although we can guess, concealing a mutant being a serious crime). We also don't find out what happened to Uncle Axel, or for that matter the rest of David and Rosalind's family. The fate of Sally and Mark, the telepaths who abruptly stop transmitting, is also left vague; the others assume they're dead, and we know Sally is at least deeply traumatized, but the concrete details are never given the reader.
* WhatMeasureIsANonHuman: One of the most famous extended meditations on the theme.
* XMeetsY: Franchise/{{X-Men}} meets ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'', though the book predates both.
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: Nor would you want to.

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