Essays- Absolute Power Corrupts

The Chrysalids: Absolute Power Corrupts

Summary: Analyzes the novel The Chrysalids by David Harrower and John Wyndham. Discusses the theme that absolute power corrupts. Explores the character of Joseph Strorm. Examines the relationship between him and his brother.

Absolute power corrupts. Power, the ability or capacity to exercisecontrol and authority, can be a very dangerous thing and when something or someone controls all of it, problems can only be expected. It can break up families, tear apart cities, or even kill.

Power doesn’t bring anything but hate. For example, in the town of Waknuk Joseph Strorm was a very well respected man. When it came to power amongst town’s people, he was the one with it and definitely had no problem using it. He was from a well-known family and would always be the first one to report deviations and anything out of the norm. From this came his reputation, and his reputation gave him strength so much strength that not only was he hated by some but feared by many town’s people. He would even turn on his family in a flash, as he proved, to stick to “what is right and acceptable” in the town. He loved the strength he had gained over the years but with every bit of strength he lost fragments of heart. SO much so, that loving father, husband or friend could not be put next time his name. He would definitely put his reputation before any kind of love. From his reputation came power, but being strong meant being heartless. This problemshows itself in the real world as well. From fathers that don’t spend time with their kids to work, too parents who get power hungry and ruin the relationship they once had with their children.

Everyone wants to be the one in charge. Tearing apart a city, not exactly the easiest thing to do. However, when one person in a town has the power the others are left with nothing and the ones with nothing have no problem getting upset. Power is rarely distributed evenly among people so that no one has any more or any less, in Waknuk when the inspector is on duty he was in charge and he holds the power. Being in a town where being normal means everything the person who decides what isn’t “normal” definitely rules over all, but if he has almost all the power what are the others left with? All over town neighbours were turned against each other and inner family rivalries got worse and worse as the time passed to the point where relatives wouldn’t even talk. Everyone wants the last say, and a hand on that little bit of power that is still feasible, in the story and in life. The unity a town should have was non-existent.

Power can fog your senses, to the point of danger. Strorm was a name that not only belonged to Joseph but to his brother as well, and out in the Fringes it was a name of power. “Spiderman”, what he was called by many, was the leader of the fringe people, and though he had power out there he was never happy. Having been forced from Waknuk just because he was “longer” then a normal person he had never been happy. One of the things that made him unhappiest was none other than his dear brother Joseph. He helped forced Spiderman from his home some years ago and helped keep him there some years after, Joseph was really the one with the power. Finally when the brothers came face to face for once in a very long time the fringes’ leader’s initial reaction was that to kill, and so he did. Spiderman was not only willing to kill, but to kill someone of his own blood, his brother. He wanted to killbecause this was the man who had taken away his life and any real power he had ever had. Friedrich Nietzsche once said, ” What is good? Everything that heightens the feeling of power in man, the will to power, power itself.” What Spiderman wanted was what he thought was “good.” He wanted that one final chance of feeling on top.

Power is something that takes time to build, effort to build, and strength to hold on to. However not everyone can have power, and once you have it, it can be taken away. This is how problemsbegin to occur. Everyone wants to have power, because with power comes freedom and a sense of ease. With power comes new life everyone wants it and no one wants to it be seized. Power is a dangerous thing. It can break up families, tear apart towns, or even kill. Absolute power corrupts.


This is the complete article, containing 752 words (approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page).



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