The Children of Men

by

P. D. James

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The Children of Men: Chapter 26 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Writing in his diary, Theo describes the lovely, restful day he has spent with the Fishes. He has “never felt so much at ease with other human beings,” and recounts the group’s hours spent dozing, talking, and playing games with sticks and stones. Even the hot-tempered Rolf is behaving.
Despite his wariness to join the group, Theo has found contentment, spiritual renewal, and real happiness in their presence—things which he had begun to believe were no longer possible for him to feel.
Themes
History, Mythology, and Memory Theme Icon
Fatalism and Despair vs. Action and Hope Theme Icon
Apocalypse: Revelation, Renewal, and Redemption Theme Icon
As night falls, the group prepares to set out again—Rolf has repaired the tire. Theo writes that he has “no need” of his diary any longer, as he is not the “self-regarding, sardonic, solitary” man who began writing it. He reveals that during the afternoon, Miriam found a second flashlight hidden in the backseat, but Theo is grateful that the group didn’t find it the night before, because that gave them a day together to bond.
Theo has undergone a major change, transformed by his encounter with the Fishes and their hopeful view of the world and humanity. He is able to see a divide between the person he was and the person he longs to be, and feels he has nothing left to exorcise—he has become someone he is proud to be.
Themes
History, Mythology, and Memory Theme Icon
Fatalism and Despair vs. Action and Hope Theme Icon
Apocalypse: Revelation, Renewal, and Redemption Theme Icon