These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community.
We are thankful of their contributions and encourage you to make your own.
Written by Ryan Chan, Gillian Troian, Max Bradshaw
Being a small boy at the beginning of the novel, David has grown to be a teenager who is part of an exclusive group who is able to communicate with others with similar telepathic abilities. Being in the society of Waknuk which believes in having no Deviants and all members of their society to follow The Definition of Man, and failure to meet the standards would mean death. Hence, David and his telepathic friends have to conceal their identities. David eventually leads them to flee Waknuk towards the end of the novel. He is a trustworthy and understanding person, as can be seen by how much he cares for his younger sister and how he is willing to conceal Sophie’s secret of having six toes. He is the narrator of the novel as well.
Joseph is an overly religious person who is narrow-minded, believing only the Waknuk religion is the true religion. He abides strongly by his faith so much so that he is the most devout person in his society. He has such a pious personality that he is willing to be cruel to his son, David, to be religious. An instance of this would be when Joseph, as a father, accused his son blatantly of calling upon the Devil’s name to give him another hand when all David wanted was for his father to help in him doing a task. This shows that Joseph Strorm is one who is quick to draw conclusions and is not a loving nor understanding person. Being judicial and a religious leader who is quick to condemn others, he is a feared individual who believes in enforcing the “True Image”.
As Joseph’s husband, she is not much different from that of Joseph in the novel. Nonetheless, she is not as fierce in enforcing the “True Image” although she believes strongly in it. In fact, Emily is a submissive person to her husband. And whatever attitude her husband takes, she’ll follow blindly, leading to her not having a specific stance throughout the novel. In fact, when her son David made small mistakes occasionally throughout the novel and gets scolded badly by Joseph, Emily just retreats and does nothing about it to defend her son. This shows that she doesn’t really care much for her children but submissive to her husband. Another example is that she quotes from Waknuk’s religious text a lot, for instance, WATCH THOU FOR THE MUTANT where we can see she follows her husband’s stance.
Petra is David’s younger sister and the youngest in the Strorm family. She is also part of the exclusive group that has telepathic abilities which means that there is an increased risk of them being discovered should Petra reveal them since she is young and cannot comprehend the implications behind her actions. To make matters worse and the plot more exciting, Petra has the strongest telepathic abilities of all the members in the group.
Aunt Harriet is a loving and loyal individual. She loves her baby and loves her husband Henry. In Chapter 7, Aunt Harriet wanted to swap babies with her sister Emily to get a certificate since her actual baby is a Deviant and Emily’s baby (Petra) was perfect. Even though she was rejected blatantly and not accepted by her sister and Joseph. They accused her of being used by the Devil to trick them to commit a conspiracy and of heresy. However, she still loved her baby and did her best to protect her as well as her husband, despite the fact that she commits suicide later on in the same chapter.
Uncle Axel is a kind and understanding individual, very much in contrast to Joseph and Emily Strorm. He is a supportive person who is willing to give help and advice to others. In Chapter 4, David confides in him with regards to his telepathic abilities. Instead of quickly condemning David as a Deviant, Uncle Axel listened to David and embraced him. He told David to keep what he shared with him a secret as well, showing that Uncle Axel cares for the well-being and safety of David. By doing so, he is also committing a crime in the Waknuk society of concealing Deviants, showing that he is willing to commit that crime and risking himself to protect David. This also shows that Uncle Axel is an understanding, approachable, affable as well as a self-sacrificial individual.
Gordon Strorm/ Spider-Man
Being Joseph Strorm’s brother, Gordon Strorm was banished to live in the Fringes outside of the Waknuk society. This was because people called him the spider-man, simply because he has body parts such as his limbs so long and skinny that they resemble those that of spiders, and hence was chased out of Waknuk because he was deemed a Deviant. At a certain point in the play, Gordon, together with people from the Fringes who launched an attack on Waknuk, was eventually brought to Joseph. Gordon managed to have a casual chat with David, showing that he is considerably open to new friendships, although he eventually escapes Joseph with the other people from the Fringes. Eventually, as the play develops, Joseph dies in war at the Fringes by an arrow shot in his left chest which was shot by Gordon himself.
Michael is a critical thinker, whose intelligence does pay off in the novel. Although he was absent at a few points throughout the novel, his decisiveness and objective-nature is still something inherent about him in the novel. He also demonstrates good leadership skills as the leader of the telepathic group. He plays a leading role and sticks well to his philosophy. He is calm and quick-witted as well. Towards the end of Chapter 11, the Waknuk society becomes increasingly suspicious of one another especially the telepathic group after numerous unusual encounters that they had. This led to a character called Rosalind to become anxious and to ask Michael for advice on what to do. Michael’s reply was simply to do nothing. This illustrates the wisdom and patience that Michael has despite being under pressure from society. He is also in love with another character called Rachel.
As a member of the telepathic group, Rosalind is David’s close friend and they become couple-like towards the end of the novel. She offers her insight to both David and Petra and she is quite protective of them. At the beginning of the novel, she tells David to keep his dreams secret lest he suffered worst consequences. As a cautious individual, she is also very loving and optimistic with a good thought process to make reasonable decisions for her best interests as well as for David and Petra. Angus Morten is her father.
Being a telepath blinded by love, she recklessly wants to leave the group to marry a norm by the name of Alan Ervin. She marries Alan in Chapter 10 of the novel. Anne is also the sister of Rachel. Anne eventually commits suicide. Her husband, Alan, is a law-abiding individual and reports the telepathic group, causing the group trouble.
Being Anne’s sister, Rachel is also a telepath. She is the last telepath left in Waknuk after all of the other telepaths have left for New Sealand (Zealand) with a character called the Sealand woman. She is one who is afraid of being lonely and is in love with Michael. As a result, when Michael heard that the Sealand woman’s flying machine would not be able to accommodate Rachel to New Sealand, he eventually stays to go back to Waknuk while letting the rest of the group go.
Walter Brent, Mark, Sally, Katherine
They are all members of the telepathic group. Walter was killed early in the novel due to an accident. Mark was no longer mentioned after David fled Waknuk with some of the other telepaths, hence it is implied that Mark has been killed. Both Sally and Katherine were caught for being Deviants, with Katherine being caught first. Both of them were tortured. Katherine reveals a few names under her torture. Eventually, they died as well.
Early in the novel, David as a boy discovered that she was a mutant with six toes. Nonetheless, Sophie and David do become friends. As the novel progresses, it seems that Sophie has fallen in love with David although David is in love with Rosalind and vice versa. Despite her jealously that Rosalind having children, she still helped David and Petra to escape when both of them were captured by the people of the Fringes. She ends up dying in battle. Martie and John Wender were her parents. Both of them were loving parents who concealed Sophie’s deviation and cared genuinely for David too, especially since he is also concealing the fact that Sophie has six toes.
The Sealand Lady/ Woman
Being the head of the Sealand people (New Zealanders), she saves David along with a few of his telepathic friends. Her nation is more technologically advanced one compared to Waknuk, where telepathy is the norm and resources are devoted to study it and advance telepathy further. Although briefly touched upon, the Sealand woman is a relatively haughty and arrogant individual who believes that her race and other telepaths are far superior compared to others due to their telepathic ability.
The Inspector, is literally another copy of Joseph Strorm in the Waknuk society, just with a much kinder and understanding attitude. Nonetheless, he still believes strongly in the Waknuk religion and does whatever he can to enforce it as the Inspector of Waknuk. His understanding personality can be seen in instances such as when he seemed to know that David was concealing Sophie’s deviance but still kindly told him that it was a serious offence to do so without cruelly punishing David. He is also a law-abiding individual. At times, the Inspector does get agitated as well. An instance is when he got so sick and tired of David in Chapter 4, he snapped angrily at him, “It’s part of my official duty…”
Says that the way mutants are being treated now is different from when he was younger. He said that they should be burned and he is saying this to David who is a mutant and so is his sister. His job is to shovel muck all day.
Update this section!
You can help us out by revising, improving and updating
He stood some eighteen inches taller than anyone else, but not because he was a big man. If his legs had been right, he would have stood no taller than my father's five-feet-ten; but they were not: they were monstrously long and...
The Zealander people share the same telepathic abilities as our protagonists. They are the antithesis of the people from David's community. David and his friends were fleeing from oppression and looking for sanctuary. The Zealand people represent...