The Chrysalids

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Anne Character Analysis

Anne is a member of the group of Wanukians that can communicate telepathically. She realizes that there are an unequal number of girls and boys in the group, and that some of the girls will have to marry outside of the group, or not marry at all. Despite the protests of the other group members, she falls in love with and decides to marry Alan. To make the marriage easier, she cuts off all communication with the group. But when it becomes clear that Anne told Alan about her and the other’s telepathy, Uncle Axel kills Alan. When Alan is found dead, Anne kills herself, leaving behind a note that exposes and blames the rest of the group.

Anne Quotes in The Chrysalids

The The Chrysalids quotes below are all either spoken by Anne or refer to Anne. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Words Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the NYRB Classics edition of The Chrysalids published in 2008.
Chapter 10 Quotes

“It wouldn’t be just murder, Uncle Axel. It’d be something worse, as well; like violating part of ourselves for ever…. We couldn’t do it….”

Related Characters: David Strorm (speaker), Uncle Axel, Anne
Page Number: 96
Explanation and Analysis:

In this passage, Axel and David debate the morality of murder. Axel and David know that Anne--a fellow psychic--is going to marry a non-psychic named Alan. They're afraid that Anne is going to give up important information about the other psychics, endangering the entire group. Axel suggests (although obliquely) that they should kill Anne for the good of the group. But David adamantly disagrees with his uncle--he explains that it would be a horrible crime to kill "one of our own." David believes that groups should stick together no matter what, even if the act of sticking together causes danger to the group as a whole.

David's version of right and wrong sets him apart from many of the other characters in the novel. Most of the characters we've met believe in a form of the "greater good." Thus, most of the characters believe that it's all right to banish their neighbors from the land, provided that the neighbors are deviants in some capacity. In other words, the Wanukians are willing to turn on each other at any moment. David, however, genuinely believes that he owes it to his fellow psychics to be loyal and protective. He puts his faith in individual human connection, rather than lofty ideas of the "greater good"--ideas which can easily be twisted to justify atrocities.

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Anne Character Timeline in The Chrysalids

The timeline below shows where the character Anne appears in The Chrysalids. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...finding out the group’s ability. They decide to learn each other’s names—Michael, Sally, Katherine, Mark, Anne, Rachel, and Rosalind—to avoid any future stress or confusion. (full context)
Chapter 9
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...or someone to blame for the bad season. The group feels relatively safe, however, until Anne announces that she will get married. (full context)
Chapter 10
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
Anne forms the group that she will marry Alan—the same person who reported Sophie for her... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
David tells Uncle Axel, who knows about the wedding, that Anne is capable of think-together. David, having had access to Anne’s feelings, explains to Uncle Axel... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...his implication, is adamant that the members of the group will not use force against Anne, even in order to save themselves. When Uncle Axel questions his will to survive, David... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Anne’s relationship with Alan prompts David to reflect on his relationship with Rosalind, a relationship he... (full context)
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Rachel, Anne’s telepathic sister, tells the group that Alan has been found dead with an arrow in... (full context)
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Anne leaves behind a suicide note outing everyone in the group, even Petra, and suggesting that... (full context)
Chapter 11
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
...he hasn’t told Uncle Axel about Petra, but Uncle Axel explains that before she died, Anne told Alan about everyone in the group. When Uncle Axel figured this out, he shot... (full context)
Chapter 17
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Time and Progress Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
...think-together, he feels immensely relieved that Petra will not meet Aunt Harriet’s or Katherine’s or Anne’s fate. Michael asks Petra to tell Rachel that if she will wait for him, he... (full context)