The Chrysalids

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The Chrysalids Chapter 13 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
That night, a “horseman” finds the fugitives and shoots arrows at them. He misses, but Rosalind shoots his horse and he is thrown to the ground. The injured horse runs away, while Rosalind, David, and Petra venture into the Wild Country. As they ride, the woman from Zealand contacts Petra, who translates her thoughts to the rest of the group. The woman says that Petra is extremely important and must be kept safe at all costs. The woman expresses surprise that Petra lives in a “primitive” community—a sentiment that angers and confuses the rest of the group. The woman also promises to send help.
As open-minded as the members of the group are compared to other Wanukians, it is still a shock to them that they might be considered primitive by other societies, and they are offended by the idea. Notably, the horseman is only dangerous when he and his horse are united under his control. When they are separated and the horse is freed, he no longer poses a threat to Rosalind and David.
Themes
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Time and Progress Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
The next day, Michael warns the fugitives that the search teams have found their trail. Everyone in the group is also worried about the safety of Katherine and Sally, because no one can get in touch with them. They fear that Katherine and Sally might have been tortured to the point of death or insanity. Michael interprets this to mean that the authorities are terrified by the ability to think-talk, and are willing to do anything to understand and control it. He tells David that it would be better for him to kill Petra and Rosalind than let them fall into the hands of their enemies.
Life outside of Wanuk tests the morals of the group. While earlier they never would have considered killing Anne, Michael and David now realize that they might have to kill Rosalind and Petra jut to save them from torture and suffering.
Themes
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
Petra overhears Michael’s message to David and does not understand why anyone would want to hurt her when she is not hurting anyone else. David explains to her that fear makes people angry and violent, and that their enemies are motivated by a “feel-thing not a think-thing.”
Petra, still a young child, does not yet understand the fear of the unknown that permeates Wanukian culture. David explains to her that this fear is not rational, but rather emotional.
Themes
Words Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
While Rosalind and David sleep, Petra talks to the woman from Zealand and learns that almost everyone there can think-together. The woman tells Petra that she believes Petra can make more powerful think-pictures than anyone else in the world. She also tells Petra that people in Zealand feel sorry for those who cannot think-together because they will forever be “one-at-a-times.” David remembers his conversation with Uncle Axel about the impossibility of knowing what the true Image of God really is. That night, David, Petra, and Rosalind are discovered and shot at. Their horses bolt, taking them into the forest. Something falls from a tree and crushes David in his basket.
As Petra talks more to the woman from Zealand, the woman reveals herself to have a very low opinion of those who cannot communicate with thought images. In many ways, her feelings toward those without this ability mimic the Wanukian’s feelings about those able to do it. Racism and fear of the unknown often appear even in more “advanced” societies.
Themes
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Time and Progress Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
Real World Allegory Theme Icon
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