Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on P. D. James's The Children of Men. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The Children of Men: Introduction
The Children of Men: Plot Summary
The Children of Men: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The Children of Men: Themes
The Children of Men: Quotes
The Children of Men: Characters
The Children of Men: Symbols
The Children of Men: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of P. D. James
Historical Context of The Children of Men
Other Books Related to The Children of Men
- Full Title: The Children of Men
- When Written: Early 1990s
- Where Written: England
- When Published: 1992
- Literary Period: Contemporary
- Genre: Dystopian thriller, speculative fiction
- Setting: England in the year 2021
- Climax: Theo Faron, an Oxford historian struggling to cope with the impending end of civilization due to mass infertility as well as his cousin’s swift and insidious rise to power in the new British government, is called upon to assist an anarchist group called The Five Fishes whose leader’s wife, Julian, is the first pregnant woman on Earth in over twenty years.
- Antagonist: Xan Lyppiatt
- Point of View: Alternating first-person and third-person, switching between Theo’s diary entries and a close-third narrator.
Extra Credit for The Children of Men
Page to Screen. The Children of Men was adapted into a 2006 film called Children of Men, starring Clive Owen and Julianne Moore. Directed by the visionary Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) the film rewrote and reinterpreted much of James’s novel. Cuarón’s fascination with shooting long, unbroken takes and his experimental use of documentary-style camerawork contribute to the film’s innovative feel. It was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, and Best Film Editing.