A society is an organized group of individuals. In the novel The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, the Sealand society and Waknuk society are both similar and different in their way of life. The Sealand and Waknuk societies are both egocentric and ignorant, but the Sealand society accepts changes while the Waknuk society prefers to remain the same. Both societies experience egocentrism. The Sealand society believes that Waknuk and other societies are uncivilized.
An example of this is when the Sealand woman suggests that Waknuk is primitive. David and the thought-shape group are also close to being primitive. The Sealand society shows egocentrism when they come for Petra, David, and Rosalind because they kill everybody who is unable to send thought-shapes. The Waknuk society is egocentric because they banish people who are different to the Fringes or destroy and kill crops and animals because they are offenses.
Another example that shows Waknuk is egocentric is their belief that they are the true image and all other societies are primitive and the work of the devil. These two societies exhibit not only egocentricism but also ignorance, as they lack knowledge about the world. When Sealand came for David, Rosalind, and Petra, they were surprised by the vastness of the world. Additionally, they believe that the true image should be able to send thought-shapes. Similarly, Waknuk society was unaware of the true appearance of the world.
They were afraid of what was beyond the Badlands, so they did not know much about the rest of the world. The people of Waknuk did not know that the people of the Fringes believed in God. An example of this is when David is talking to a Fringes man, God’s little game of patience I reckon it is, but He certainly takes His time over it.” “God,” I said doubtfully. “They’ve always taught us that it’s the Devil that rules in the Fringes.” (pg. 153) Although the Sealand society and Waknuk society seem similar, they are also different.
The Sealand society wants change, whereas the Waknuk society wants to remain the same. Unlike Waknuk, Sealand does not aspire to be like the Old People. This is demonstrated when the Sealand woman tells David, We are the New People, your kind of people. The people who can think together. We’re the people who are going to build a new kind of world, different from the Old People’s world and the savages” (pg. 156). The Sealand society has also developed advanced technology, such as flying machines and horseless carriages, proving that they are ready to create a new world.
The Waknuk society is a replica of the Old People, and they do not want change. This is shown when they try to follow the Old People’s way and do not think for themselves. The people of Waknuk have not developed their technology because they are afraid they might offend God and cause another Tribulation. Therefore, these two societies are different. In this novel, the Sealand society and Waknuk society are different but also very similar. Both societies are egocentric and ignorant, but the Sealand society wants change, and the Waknuk society would rather stay the same.