The Chrysalids

Major characters

  • David Strorm is the narrator of the story. David is one of a small group of youngsters who can communicate with each other via telepathy. However, their community's theological prejudice against anyone who is abnormal means he and the others must keep their abilities carefully hidden. David and Rosalind's love for each other is kept secret from their parents because of a bitter feud between their families.
  • Sophie Wender is a young girl born with six toes on one of her feet. Sophie lives with her parents in an isolated cottage somewhere north west of Waknuk, her deviation from the "norm" keeping her from associating with other children.
  • Joseph Strorm is the father of David and Petra. He is deeply religious and unyielding on the subject of mutations and blasphemy, punishing David severely for an unintentionally blasphemous remark about "needing an extra hand" to apply a bandage.
  • Uncle Axel is a widely travelled former sailor, open minded and willing to question conventional religious precepts. Upon discovering David's telepathy, he counsels reticence and extracts a promise that David take great care not to allow others to learn of his mutation.
  • Petra Strorm is the youngest of the Strorm children. The group of telepaths discovers that her ability is extraordinarily strong and difficult to resist, placing the group at greater risk of discovery.
  • Rosalind Morton is David's closest friend among the group of telepaths. They become more of a couple later on in the book. She lives on a neighbouring farm and is David's half cousin.
  • The Sealand woman and her people are from a more technologically advanced society where telepathic ability, while not ubiquitous, is far more common and is accepted, promoted and studied.
  • Michael is the most objective, perceptive and decisive of the telepaths, the best educated, and in many ways plays a leading role in the group despite his physical absence from events in the story. His telepathic abilities remain secret, and during the pursuit into the Fringes he joins the leading posse to give updates and warnings to David, Rosalind and Petra as they flee. He is also in love with Rachel
  • Rachel is the last remaining telepath in Waknuk after David, Rosalind and Petra are brought to Sealand. She is afraid of loneliness, while being in love with Michael, as Rosalind loves David. As a result of this love, Michael remains behind with Rachel when they find out that the aircraft bringing the four of the telepaths to Sealand does not have enough fuel to collect Rachel from Waknuk and get home again. He hopes to arrive in Sealand with Rachel later, after making their own way there.

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