Use Of Authority In John Wyndham's 'The Chrysalids'

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ean-Jacques Rousseau, a philosopher, writer, and composer, once said “No man has any natural authority over his fellow men.” A simple statement which means quite a lot. No one has any “natural” authority over others, but they can easily work their way up and gain it. Anyone can use authority to convince others to believe in them. As we can see in John Wyndham’s The Chrysalids, many people use authority to take power over others. Joseph Strorm used his authority to create his vision for a perfect world. Petra used her power to convince others to rescue her. The Sealand woman used her authority to direct others into believing in her intentions. Joseph Storm, the father of David and the “Head Priest”, exerts his authoritative leadership over many people throughout the story, but most notably his son. He [Joseph] demanded: ‘What was that you said, boy?’ I knew the tone. I tried to think in a desperate hurry how I had offended him this time. I stumbled and stuttered. (Wyndham 26)…show more content…
Petra used her thought-shaper powers rally others to rescue her. “Petra’s call came as suddenly and unexpectedly as before. Though it did not have the violent, compulsive panic which it had carried last time, it was intense…” (Wyndham 105) It is evident within this quote that Petra, even as young as her, is still able to persuade others to come for her. Without others coming for her, the thought-shaper’s may have left a valuable asset to their society. It seems as though important, known people hold the power of authority, but that simply is not the case. As the reader can see in the story, anyone with the right mindset can assume the power of authority without full knowledge and understanding of others. The Sealand woman is an example of this. No one knew about her except Petra. She was a complete stranger, yet she convinced everyone that she was a leader worthy of
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