Childhood's End | Study Guide

Arthur C. Clarke

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Childhood's End | Chapter 6 | Summary



This chapter explains the changes that have taken place since the Overlords arrived. In the 50 years between arriving on Earth and revealing their forms, the Overlords have changed the ways of all humans. Religion is no longer practiced, and humans no longer make art or practice other creative endeavors. The Overlords have also done away with war, capitalism, crime, and inequality. The needs of all people are being met, which has created security. No new works of art or scientific innovations have been created in five decades.


The world under the Overlords looks significantly different than it did when they arrived. Conditions are arguably much better; there is no war, crime, or inequality, and everyone can pursue education for their entire lives. Yet without struggle, there is no art or science; people are not inspired to create or to find solutions to problems because problems no longer exist. Humanity is living in a utopia, but the lack of conflict within that utopia has proven fatal to creativity of all kinds, which suggests that while life is peaceful, it is also dull and lacks deeper meaning.

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