In the novel The Chrysalids written by John Wyndham, the character of Joseph Strorm has a major impact on the plot of the book. Joseph is religious, abusive, and uncompassionate. These characteristics most definitely help the reader understand the community of Waknuk and give them an idea of how serious deviants are taken. Joseph appears in the novel numerous times, and demonstrates these three traits. Joseph Strom is portrayed to be extremely religious.
Early in the book, this character trait is clearly shown when David is talking about his father and states “When, at the age of sixteen, [Joseph] had made his first public appearance, by giving a Sunday address in the church his father built” (Wyndham: 17). Then, “…[Joseph] continued to preach frequently on Sundays and to explain with practical clarity …”(Wyndham: 17). This shows, that Joseph started at a young age believing in religion, and “[sets] a high example to the district. (Wyndham: 17). He obviously continued with this religious path because years later, his religious views are shown when Aunt Harriet has a blasphemed child. Aunt Harriet doesn’t feel the same way whatsoever about her child as Joseph does. ” [She] is not ashamed” (Wyndham: 72). Joseph tells Aunt Harriet how wrong it is to have a deviated child, and Aunt Harriet says many hateful things towards God about the world. Joseph believes “[She] [has] much to pray for. (Wyndham: 72) so he tells her to ‘”…pray that [her] sin of intention, as well as [her] other sins may be forgiven” (Wyndham: 73). Since Joseph thinks ‘“[Aunt Harriet] [has] produced a defilement. ”’ (Wyndham: 72) and ‘” [She] [has] not kept constant vigilance for impurity. ”’ (Wyndham: 72) he shows his religious trait by giving religious opinions. The readers also see that Joseph is religious by the reaction he gives when David says ‘” [He] could have managed it all right by [himself’] if [he’d] had another hand. ”’ (Wyndham: 26).
Joseph is in shock, and must confirm that his son knows that “The Norm is the image of God” (Wyndham: 27). Then, David is told to ‘“Kneel and pray! ”’ (Wyndham: 27). Joseph then re-sites a prayer of forgiveness for David. These proofs are unquestionably indications that Joseph has strong beliefs and is a religious man. Joseph is also expressed to be an abusive man several times throughout the novel. Joseph first demonstrates this when “…he [goes] to inspect [the great horses]” (Wyndham: 36) and “…knew they were wrong. ” (Wyndham: 36).
Since he has a very strong opinion about what is right and wrong in the Waknuk community, “He turns his back on [the great horses] with disgust and [goes] straight to the inspector’s house with a demand that [the great horses] should be destroyed as Offences. ” (Wyndham: 36). His wish is not granted by the inspector since the inspector says that ‘”They’re Government-approved”’ (Wyndham: 36). Joseph believes ‘“… that [the great horse] is not one of God’s creatures…and should be destroyed”’ (Wyndham: 36). He wants to kill them, just because they’re different and do not fit the image of God.
This trait is next shown when the readers find out what happens when David doesn’t tell his father about Sophie’s blasphemy. David is sent to his room for “…not reporting [Sophie’s] human deviation” (Wyndham: 51) while Joseph is “…picking up a whip from the table” (Wyndham: 51). David is then whipped by his father. In this situation, there was no need for violence, but Joseph took it upon himself to whip David. Then, he also wishes to be abusive when “[The Strorm’s] yard had become one of the rallying points. ” (Wyndham: 33) for the battle they would hopefully have against the Fringes. [Joseph], who had an arrow through his arm early in the campaign” (Wyndham: 33) was ready, since “…there had been a battle and the Fringes people…were running away as fast as they could…” (Wyndham: 33). By this evidence of these three events that occurred in the story, it is clear that Joseph wishes to be, and is an abusive man. Joseph’s third dominant trait is that he is uncompassionate. There are specifically three people who Joseph is uncompassionate to: Sophie Wender, Aunt Harriet’s newborn baby and his brother Gordon Strorm (Spiderman. First, he is uncompassionate to Sophie when he finds out David had known about her deviation and was good friends with her. He doesn’t care about his son whatsoever when he decides to “…take action” (Wyndham: 55) and sends people after Sophie and her family, so they will be sent to the Fringes. Joseph says: ‘” They got them – all three of them. ’” to David “…and [gives] a look of disgust at [David]” (Wyndham: 56). That shows he was uncompassionate and disrespectful towards his son, and couldn’t be accepting to Sophie even though she meant a lot to David.
Then, he is uncompassionate towards Aunt Harriet’s baby. She brings her baby over to ask for a favour from her sister Emily, but is then rejected by Emily and Joseph. Even though Aunt Harriet was a part of the family, Joseph was not accepting to her child since she was deviated and “[Didn’t] understand how [Aunt Harriet] dared to come…to a God fearing house, with such a suggestion. ” (Wyndham: 72). He then told her to “Go home in humility, not defiance. ” (Wyndham: 72) He is very hateful towards her baby as well as uncompassionate and didn’t want to help her at all.
He is once again uncompassionate towards another family member, his older brother Gordon. Gordon would’ve been the heir of Waknuk, if it wasn’t for the length of his arms. “He was thought to be normal until he was about three or four years old. Then his certificate was revoked, and he was sent away. ” (Wyndham: 160). Joseph was never accepting or compassionate towards his brother. Even years later when he sees his brother at the invasion of the Fringes,” [Joseph] pauses on the step…then he, too, [notices] the man in the middle of them” (Wyndham: 34).
That man was his brother, and even “[David] had never seen hatred naked before, the lines cut deep” (Wyndham: 34). With all three of these examples, it is apparent that Joseph Strorm is uncompassionate. In summary, these three traits are particularly important to understanding the character of Joseph Strorm. By these proofs, it is evident that Joseph Strorm is most certainly a religious, abusive, and uncompassionate man. These three traits help the readers understand his reasoning for his hatred towards deviants. His intense character makes the story The Chrysalids mesmerizing and intriguing.