The Children of Men

by

P. D. James

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The Children of Men: Chapter 18 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Theo puts his diary away and reflects a bit more on the SSP officers’ visit. He had found Rawlings and Cathcart “unfrightening,” but wonders now whether his lack of fear was justified. It begins to rain, and Theo becomes depressed and worried. He reminds himself that the officers are not after him. They are looking for Julian and the rest of the Fishes. Though the Council—and the SSP—suspect that Theo knows something, they do not yet have any proof. However, Theo wonders how much the officers know about him that they have not yet revealed.
Despite his close connection to Xan and his attempt to spin that connection as a proof of his innocence, Theo, as a former Council member, knows that there is always more going on than meets the eye when it comes to Xan’s regime. As the fear and fatalism set in, Theo becomes obsessed with going over every possible way the authorities could catch him in a lie.
Themes
Fatalism and Despair vs. Action and Hope Theme Icon
Power and Ambition Theme Icon
Theo feels a combination of fear, guilt, loneliness, and a “renewed irritation” at having ever gotten involved with the Fishes. He reminds himself that he did warn Julian and the group, after his visit with Xan, that the Council would soon be onto them, and wonders how he might be able to warn them further about the SSP’s investigation. Trapped in a web of indecision and fear, Theo decides that the only thing he can do for now is wait.
Expanding beyond the boundaries of worrying only about himself and his own well-being, Theo begins to consider how he might be able to warn Julian in order to keep her and the group safe from detection and imprisonment. However, he is too afraid to reveal his connection to them to take any real risk on their behalf.
Themes
Fatalism and Despair vs. Action and Hope Theme Icon
Power and Ambition Theme Icon