What is she trying to say? (Possible Chrysalids spoilers)

I looked up at Sophie. The smoky candles gave enough light to show that she was watching my face intently, a little uneasily.

‘You were “talking” to that girl?’ she said.

‘And my sister. They’re awake now,’ I told her. ‘They are in the tent, and being guarded by an albino. It seems odd.’

‘Odd?’ she inquired.

‘Well, one would have thought a woman in charge of them…’

‘This is the Fringes,’ she reminded me with bitterness.

‘It – oh, I see,’ I said awkwardly.

Well, *David/i] might know what she means, but I’ve been scratching my head over this for weeks. What is Sophie trying to say here?


I think she is refering to the fact that the fringes residents are forcibly rendered unable to reproduce prior to being exiled to the fringes. As (from what I remember of the book) surgery isn’t very advanced in their culture this probably leaves the males incapable of the act, so there isn’t the same risk of interference to the women.

(To clear a related plot point Sophie’s lover escaped to the fringes and wasn’t operated on.)

Darn. Can someone fix my quote tags, please?

Thank you.



That’s…a pleasant thought.

So what you’re saying is: Since the men are effectively castrated. the guy that Gordon put in charge of David’s cousin can’t, um…mess with her?

That’s certainly how I’ve always understood it.