David Strorm, character from “The Chrysalids” by John Wyndham
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A beautiful city, clustered with things from inside his head, things he had never seen before, was what the young boy dreamt of. At ten years old, David met Sophie, a special young girl, taking in every detail very clearly about her. David seemed to have an attitude much more mature than his years should have brought. This may have been because he didn’t feel he really had any one to truly confide in because his community was so narrow-minded whereas he wasn’t. David didn’t take others opinion as his own, but decided upon his own opinion, developing an eye to see things unbiased, as most young children can’t do after being so strongly pressured by their parents to see things their way. David seemed kind, friendly and very helpful even though he stated he felt useless when he wasn’t able to help. (p.9) As a child, David was not praised often and when Mrs. Wender complimented David, he seemed incapable of properly thanking her. (p.12)
David shows that he is very knowledgeable when he describes to us the family history, as well as the history of the community’s beliefs as he knows them throughout the novel. David goes in to great detail about everything, I think David’s great curiosity and wonder helps him take in all information, in hopes that he will better understand aspects of life.
When David first met Sophie’s mother, he unsuccessfully tries to telepathically communicate with her, to calm her down. We later find David is telepathic, as well as Rosalind is. David lets Uncle Axel in on his little secret. Uncle Axel, from there on, is David’s protector.
David wasn’t one to question his loyalty to Sophie. When Alan Ervin, on older boy, saw an imprint of Sophie’s foot, David took a life risking chance when fighting Alan to allow for Sophie to escape.
At such a young age, David was able to remain very strong when Sophie had to leave. His dreams showed how deeply torn he was over the subject and how he felt as if he were helpless and responsible.
After Sophie left, David tried to play out the inspector and his father as well as he could, but it wasn’t much good. During this period we see how isolated David is from his family. He finds his father, Joseph, not to be understanding; there is no evident closeness to his mother; and, there is a 5-year age gap between him and Sarah, his older sister. David is lacking the real love of a family, but has great friends, Uncle Axel and Rosalind, to help him through it.
David is very intelligent and through the narration of the story it is hard to tell if it was things he actually observed at the time or things he saw later but wished he had of observed at the time.
Through David’s mid-teen years he had to go through the confusion puberty brings, as well as to carry the weight of this secret of telepathic abilities on his shoulders.
David did a good job; never showing desire to just let it all go. I believe this strong will was helped by thinking if he gave in that he would be letting Sophie down – which he had already done in his mind. Sophie’s parents stressed the importance of hiding blasphemies because of the consequences. I think that helped to keep David quiet about not only Sophie’s secret, but also his own.
Then Petra came, and when her telepathic abilities were first noticed, David became even more responsible to keep the group’s secret, because now his own little sister’s life was at risk. To keep this secret it involved a great deal of stress on such a young man.
David and Rosalind’s relationship shows that David is very loyal and that he cares a lot about Rosalind. There is no idea of David ever questioning his faithfulness to her.
David took on the role of being a leader when he had to help free part of the group from the norms. He was very strong and helped Petra and Rosalind cross what was left of the norm’s land, the fringes and with the help of Sealanders, to freedom.
David doesn’t lead an easy life, but was blessed with the intelligence to deal with the situations accordingly. He is a responsible, loyal young man who deserved a better life, but may have never become what he did if he had the easy life.
David now lives with Rosalind, Petra and the Sealanders in Sealand, and they are awaiting the return of Michael and Rachel.