The Chrysalids

Chapter 7

In Chapter 7, the horror of this society reveals itself most vividly as we read about the events surrounding the birth of Petra and the pathetic situation Aunt Harriet is in. Explain how each of these events adds to the feeling of horror and oppression.

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The horrors of this chapter are almost too much to bear. Aunt Harriet's determination to save her child, to risk Petra, and ultimately to choose death are so hopeless that our hearts go out to her. Harriet is desperate and willing to do anything to save her child, and in the end, she decides it's better not to live than to exist on the fringes. She takes her life.... and her child's life as well. Her family turns their backs when she asked for help.... her desperation became a reason to take not only her own life, but her child's as well.