Comparison between The Chrysalids and Brave New World
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Stage 1 English Studies
Extended Study – Connected Texts
In this essay I will compare two novels which deal with similar themes but in significantly different ways: “The Chrysalids”, a science fiction novel by John Wyndham published in 1955 and “Brave New World”, a novel by Aldous Huxley published in 1932.
The story in “The Chrysalids” takes place thousands of years in the future in a rural society similar to our world before the invention of modern technology such as telephones, cars, etc. The people in the novel have vague memories of the "Old People", a civilization which existed long ago and seems to be similar to our current technologically advanced world.
The people in “The Chrysalids” practice a strict Christian religion…show more content… However, in “Brave New World” the authorities have no need to enforce the rules (violently or otherwise) because in their society no-one questions the rules. The methods used in “the Chrysalids” to enforce compliance with the restrictive norms of society are familiar as there have been many repressive governments that have used these methods throughout human history. However, in “Brave New World” the society presented is more frightening in many ways because people are “designed” to be passive, content, and unquestioning.
In “the Chrysalids”, people retain “internal” freedom (to think independently, question the norms of society and dream of a different reality if they are so inclined), but their behaviour is controlled by external forces (i.e. the power of the authorities). In contrast to this, in “Brave New World”, the people had been deprived of the “internal” freedom to question whether their society is the best possible.
In The Chrysalids people are controlled by fear and violence which inflicts pain. In Brave New World people are controlled by an absence of pain or struggle, and an excess of pleasure and distractions.
The primary themes in the Chrysalids are conflict and struggle, while in Brave New World; the main themes are conformity and complacency (with the exception of a few characters whose life experiences, or