The Chrysalids

The Chrysalids Irony

Uncle Axel’s views on the True Image (situational irony)

Uncle Axel questions the idea that the the true image of today is the Old People, yet, when he describes other cultures and societies he still labels them as deviations and sins. This is ironic because he does not believe that the Old People, or that his community, is necessarily the true image, yet he still labels others as deviant. If the true image is not known, then how can one deviate from it?

David’s religious beliefs (situational irony)

David is afflicted with the Deviation of telepathy, and yet he also believes in the religion which labels him deviant. David is aware that his power to speak to others through thought-shapes is outside of the definition of the True Image. However, at the same time he admits, “I was reluctant to admit the flaw in the tidy, familiar orthodoxy I had been taught” (64). David has a self-destructive and ironic belief in a religion that he does not fit into.

Worship of the Old People (situational irony)

The Old people are worshipped but were also the ones who caused Tribulation. The Waknuk religion is striving to return to the “Golden Age” and punishing that which does not fit the True Image, i.e. the image of the Old People. However, their religion also recognizes the Old People as having brought on Tribulation, where Tribulation was a punishment for sin. As Uncle Axel puts it, “What’s the good of trying so hard to keep in their tracks? Where are they and their wonderful world now?” (78).

The Sealanders (situational irony)

Although the Sealanders are framed as a superior culture, they too perpetuate intolerance for difference based in their philosophy of their superiority. While the Sealanders may be superior in a technological respect, and in their telepathic ability, their alienation and intolerance of cultures and societies different than theirs, by labeling them as savage and primitive, is just as ethically bad as the beliefs held in Waknuk.