The Children of Men


P. D. James

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The Children of Men: Chapter 29 Summary & Analysis

It is early evening when Theo wakes up. Julian stands over him, and tells him that Rolf has left the group for good. Theo insists that Rolf won’t betray them, but Julian points out that he has no reason not to—she betrayed Rolf herself. Theo then decides that Rolf will likely go straight to Xan to deliver the news of Julian’s pregnancy in person. Theo is momentarily “physically weakened” by despair, but then feels a “renewal of hope.” He tells Miriam and Julian that their original plan holds even in the face of Rolf’s betrayal. They will find a refuge deep in the woods and attempt to keep themselves safe from Xan’s clutches. Theo plans to walk to the nearest village to find a car as soon as night falls. 
Julian’s personal betrayal of Rolf has now become the catalyst for Rolf’s vengeful betrayal of not just the group, but all the ideals it has held so dearly since its inception. The added layer of danger—the revelation of Julian’s pregnancy to a desperate and evil regime—causes the group to cycle through despair and horror, and then a renewed sense of purpose, defiance, and determination to safeguard the precious new life for which they are all responsible. This is a big and redemptive change for Theo especially.
Fatalism and Despair vs. Action and Hope Theme Icon
Apocalypse: Revelation, Renewal, and Redemption Theme Icon
Power and Ambition Theme Icon