The Children of Men

by

P. D. James

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Carl Inglebach Character Analysis

The Minister for Justice and State Security on the Council of England. Regarded as the “brain” of the administration, he is “impervious to public opinion.” He believes that “there are things about which nothing can be done and to try and change them is a waste of time.” It is Carl who tells Theo that mankind needs to be able to perceive a balance between the past, present, and future in order to survive, and that without hope for a future, “what does [anything] matter?”

Carl Inglebach Quotes in The Children of Men

The The Children of Men quotes below are all either spoken by Carl Inglebach or refer to Carl Inglebach. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
History, Mythology, and Memory Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Children of Men published in 2006.
Chapter 12 Quotes

“You are a historian. You know what evils have been perpetrated through the ages to ensure the survival of nations, sects, religions, even individual families. Whatever man has done for good or ill has been done in the knowledge that he has been formed by history, that this life-span is brief, uncertain, insubstantial, but that there will be a future, for the nation, for the race, for the tribe. That hope has finally gone. Man is diminished if he lives without knowledge of his past; without hope of a future he becomes a beast.”

Related Characters: Carl Inglebach (speaker), Theodore “Theo” Faron
Page Number: 98
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 33 Quotes

Carl looked down at the child with his dying eyes. “So it begins again.”
Theo thought: It begins again, with jealousy, with treachery, with violence, with murder, with this ring on my finger. He looked down at the great sapphire in its glitter of diamonds, aware of its weight. Placing it on his hand had been a gesture to assert authority and ensure protection. For a time at least he must take Xan’s place. There were evils to be remedied; but they must take their turn. He couldn’t do everything at once, there had to be priorities. Was that what Xan had found? And was this sudden intoxication of power what Xan had known every day of his life?

Related Characters: Theodore “Theo” Faron (speaker), Carl Inglebach (speaker), Xan Lyppiatt
Related Symbols: The Coronation Ring
Page Number: 240
Explanation and Analysis:
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Carl Inglebach Character Timeline in The Children of Men

The timeline below shows where the character Carl Inglebach appears in The Children of Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11
History, Mythology, and Memory Theme Icon
Fatalism and Despair vs. Action and Hope Theme Icon
Power and Ambition Theme Icon
...and Recreation; Felicia Rankin, a distinguished lawyer, leads Home Affairs, which includes Housing and Transport; Carl Inglebach, Minister for Justice and State Security, is the most powerful member of the Council... (full context)
Chapter 12
History, Mythology, and Memory Theme Icon
Fatalism and Despair vs. Action and Hope Theme Icon
Apocalypse: Revelation, Renewal, and Redemption Theme Icon
Globalism vs. Isolationism  Theme Icon
Power and Ambition Theme Icon
Carl Inglebach finally speaks; he launches into a tirade about the imbalance between humanity’s faith in... (full context)
Chapter 13
History, Mythology, and Memory Theme Icon
Fatalism and Despair vs. Action and Hope Theme Icon
Power and Ambition Theme Icon
...“too late” now. The only other person who could do the job, he says, is Carl, but Carl is dying. Xan confesses that he keeps the job because he’s never bored. (full context)
Chapter 33
Fatalism and Despair vs. Action and Hope Theme Icon
Apocalypse: Revelation, Renewal, and Redemption Theme Icon
...approach Julian and the child. Harriet reaches out a finger, and the baby grasps it. Carl, moved, proclaims: “So it begins again.” (full context)