Childhood's End Social Concerns

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The opening of the novel describes an arms and space race which humanity can no longer control; Childhood's End suggests men desperately need a benevolent alien to save them from the politics and technologies that flow from their own nature. But it also suggests that man's nature must be abandoned and thus seems to acquiesce in the abolition of humanity that is portrayed, with elegiac qualification, as a triumph in its last pages.

Its anxiety over nuclear power is projected into an anxiety over the potentially explosive aspects of human nature.

A more central concern is the division the novel portrays between the generations in an era of swift technological and cultural change: "The present sheared asunder from the past as an iceberg splits from its frozen, parent cliffs, and goes sailing out to sea in lonely pride." The parents find their children's dreams impenetrable, and the parental...

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This section contains 296 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Childhood's End Study Guide
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