The Chrysalids

Joseph Strorm Character Analysis

Joseph is David’s father and a strict believer in the Waknukian faith. He ruthlessly beats David when he lies about Sophie’s mutation, and he persecutes and targets anyone in town who he believes is not behaving morally. Joseph and the Inspector have a tense relationship, and Joseph uses his position as a preacher to speak out against the Inspector’s decisions. He banishes Aunt Harriet when she asks for help, and joins the hunt for David, Petra, and Rosalind when he learns of his children’s deviations. He is killed in battle by is outcast brother, Gordon.

Joseph Strorm Quotes in The Chrysalids

The The Chrysalids quotes below are all either spoken by Joseph Strorm or refer to Joseph Strorm. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the NYRB Classics edition of The Chrysalids published in 2008.
Chapter 7 Quotes

“You have sinned, woman, search your heart, and you will know that you have sinned. Your sin has weakened our defenses, and the enemy has struck through you. You wear the cross on your dress to protect you, but you have not worn it always in your heart. You have not kept constant vigilance for impurity. So there has been a Deviation; and deviation, any deviation from the true image is blasphemy—no less. You have produced a defilement!”

Related Characters: Joseph Strorm (speaker), Aunt Harriet
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other The Chrysalids quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!

“I shall pray God to send charity into this hideous world, and sympathy for the weak, and love for the unhappy and unfortunate. I shall ask Him if it is indeed His will that a child should suffer and its soul be damned for a little blemish of the body….And I shall pray Him, too, that the hearts of the self-righteous may be broken.”

Related Characters: Aunt Harriet (speaker), Joseph Strorm, Emily Strorm
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in volup

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt m

Chapter 16 Quotes

“Your work is to survive. Neither his kind, nor his kind of thinking will survive long. They are the crown of creation, they are ambition fulfilled—they have nowhere more to go. But life is change, that is how it differs from the rocks, change is its very nature. Who, then, were the recent lords of creation, that they should expect to remain unchanged?”

Related Characters: Woman from Zealand (speaker), David Strorm, Joseph Strorm
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecLorem ipsum doLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure d

“The Old People brought down Tribulation, and were broken into fragments by it. Your father and his kind are a part of those fragments. They have become history without being aware of it. They are determined still that there is a final form to defend: soon they will attain the stability they strive for, in the only form it is granted—a place among the fossils.”

Related Characters: Woman from Zealand (speaker), David Strorm, Joseph Strorm, Old People
Page Number: 182
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Get the entire The Chrysalids LitChart as a printable PDF.
The chrysalids.pdf.medium

Joseph Strorm Character Timeline in The Chrysalids

The timeline below shows where the character Joseph Strorm appears in The Chrysalids. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...not as firm a believer as her husband. David tells us that his own father, Joseph, inherited Elias’ beliefs, and has dedicated himself to punishing those who break religious rules. (full context)
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...importance of purity. The largest and most prominent saying reads “Watch thou for the mutant!” David’s father and the rest of the town exert a great deal of time destroying these “mutants,”... (full context)
Chapter 3
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...all right by myself if I’d had another hand.” This statement shocked his family and his father became enraged. David tells us that at the time, he was not able to explain... (full context)
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...the Devil for a third hand, and then admonishes him for lying when David protests. Joseph tells David that he has “blasphemed” by wishing his body were different and for finding... (full context)
Chapter 4
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
Soon after this, a group from the Fringes launches an invasion of Waknuk. David’s father organizes a counter-attack, during which the Waknuk militia captures a few Fringe leaders. A group... (full context)
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...father is and whether the town is called Waknuk. David replies that his father is Joseph Strorm and that this is, indeed, Waknuk. Then the man is taken way. David later... (full context)
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
Soon after, Joseph Strorm gets into an argument with Angus Morton, with whom he has a long-standing disagreement,... (full context)
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Time and Progress Theme Icon
Real World Allegory Theme Icon
David’s father is so unpleasant to be around during this time that David spends most of his... (full context)
Chapter 5
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...When he does return home the next morning, he is met by the Inspector and his father , who is livid. The Inspector tells David that he could go to jail for... (full context)
Chapter 6
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...she is not a creation of God. When he asks David why he didn’t tell his father about Sophie, David tells him about his dream in which his father kills her. The... (full context)
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Time and Progress Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
Real World Allegory Theme Icon
...while fidelity to friends is important, maintaining “the Purity of the Race” is more so. David’s father interrupts him to announce that the Wenders have been caught. David is so overwhelmed with... (full context)
Chapter 7
Words Theme Icon
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...by the Inspector. The Inspector delays his house call as long as possible to anger Mr. Strorm , and as a result, everyone in the Strorm house must pretend that Mrs. Strorm... (full context)
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
Real World Allegory Theme Icon
...that her husband will banish her. Emily shows no compassion toward her sister and asks Joseph to throw her out. Joseph rails against Harriet for her sin and tells her to... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
Harriet rides away on a horse. Joseph is dismayed that she was so arrogant as to not be ashamed of her sins.... (full context)
Chapter 10
Morality Theme Icon
...Rosalind, a relationship he has had to keep secret because Rosalind is the daughter of Joseph Strorm’s enemy, Angus Morton. The idea that they might be allowed to be together openly... (full context)
Chapter 14
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
...who was taken hostage many years ago. In the years between, David has learned that his father once had an older brother who was found to be Deviant when he was a... (full context)
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...is happy to hear that an army is pursuing the fugitives, and he wonders whether David’s father is with them. David does not want to know the answer and avoids asking Michael... (full context)
Chapter 16
Ways of Knowing Theme Icon
Time and Progress Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Racism and Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...Petra that the troops are about three hours away, and without warning, Petra asks if her father is with them. Michael, unable to lie through his thoughts, reports that he is. Petra... (full context)
Words Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
...able to do so, shots are fired and the battle begins. David watches Gordon shoot his brother (David’s father) in the chest. The spidery man then flees, taking Sophie with him, but... (full context)