THE CHRYSALIDS BOOK REPORT
The Chrysalids was first published by John Wyndham in 1955. Prior to 1955 there were several advancements and scientific discoveries that were significant and these provided indications of how the world was progressing at the time. Penicillin for example was first tested in 1941 and an there was mass production and great usage of the drug during World War II (WWII). Plastics such as neoprene, polythene, Perspex and nylon were developed in 1932, 1933, 1934 and 1938 respectively. These would forever change the world and without a doubt would have aided in the abilities of troops in the war as new products would have been developed. Against this background of innovation and development, the advancement of weaponry was not to be excluded. The Atom bomb was successfully tested in the New Mexico desert in May 1945 and subsequently dropped in Hiroshima on sixth August 1945 killing 75,000 people instantly and injuring around 100,000. A second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki three days later. The awesome destruction of these bombs forced the petition for peace by Tokyo and effectively ended WWII on the second of September 1945. The images and stories of horror and destruction caused by nuclear warfare would have been seen around the world but none more so than Japan who experienced the full force of it. This World War II era would have undoubtedly influenced the imagination of Wyndham and many others. Hence the book has the setting of a post-apocalyptic world but is instead, at the time, placed in what once was the future.
Of importance to understanding the period at the time also is the Cold War. The Cold War officially started in February 1945 and effectively gave rise to psychological warfare as the two super powers, the Soviet Union and the USA, threatened each other with assured destruction by use of nuclear weapons rather than