Childhood's End | Study Guide

Arthur C. Clarke

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Childhood's End | Chapter 21 | Summary



The children are taken on the Overlords' ship, leaving their parents behind. On New Athens, the colonists decide to use uranium to blow up the dormant volcano on which the colony sits, killing everyone there.


By taking the children, the Overlords effectively destroy humanity. Without children, those left behind see no reason to continue to live; Karellen has already told them that civilization will fall, and they have no hope of seeing another generation rise. As a result, people around the world choose to end their lives on their own terms, in a bid for some dignity and to avoid whatever comes next for humanity on an abandoned planet.

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