The Children of Men

by

P. D. James

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Julian Character Analysis

One of the members of The Five Fishes, Julian is compassionate and driven by a desire for social justice. She wants to secure civil rights for Sojourners (immigrants forced into a kind of indentured servitude), put an end to the Quietus (which involves putting to death the elderly), and end the compulsory, invasive examinations of healthy young men and women. Because of a deformity in one of her hands, Julian is exempt from the twice-yearly examinations to which all healthy young women are subjected. Later in the novel, Julian is revealed to be pregnant—the first pregnant woman on earth, as far as anyone knows, in twenty-five years. Though married to the ambitious, hotheaded Rolf, the pious priest Luke is the true father of her child. When Theo absconds with The Five Fishes at Julian’s behest, the two of them slowly begin to develop feelings for one another. Julian ultimately gives birth to a healthy baby boy, the first birth in a quarter-century. Julian’s story arc ties in with the novel’s themes of hope and action, redemption and renewal, and global thinking towards a greater good. And yet, the novel ends with her nervously wondering why Theo has put on Xan’s Coronation Ring, and so her own story of redemption and renewal of the human race (through this first birth in 25 years) is tainted with the “renewal” of despotic rule suggested by Theo taking over Xan’s role as dictator.

Julian Quotes in The Children of Men

The The Children of Men quotes below are all either spoken by Julian or refer to Julian. 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:
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). 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 14 Quotes

“Holding up the Cross of Christ before the savages, as the missionaries did in South America. Like them, get yourselves butchered on the beaches? Don’t you read any history? There are only two reasons for that kind of folly. One is that you have a yearning for martyrdom. What is new is that your martyrdom won’t even be commemorated, won’t be noticed. In seventy years it will have no value because there will be no one left on earth to give it value. The second reason is more ignoble and Xan would understand it very well. If you did succeed, what an intoxication of power! The Isle of Man pacified, the redeemed kissing the hands of the living saint who made it all possible. Then you’ll know what the Warden feels, what he enjoys, what he can’t do without. Absolute power in your little kingdom.”

Related Characters: Theodore “Theo” Faron (speaker), Julian
Page Number: 108-109
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 33 Quotes

Julian looked up at him. For the first time she noticed the ring. She said: “That wasn’t made for your finger.”
For a second, no more, he felt something close to irritation. It must be for him to decide when he would take it off. He said: “It’s useful for the present. I shall take it off in time.”
She seemed for the moment content, and it might have been his imagination that there was a shadow in her eyes.

Related Characters: Theodore “Theo” Faron (speaker), Julian (speaker), Xan Lyppiatt
Related Symbols: The Coronation Ring
Page Number: 241
Explanation and Analysis:
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Julian Character Timeline in The Children of Men

The timeline below shows where the character Julian appears in The Children of Men. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 6
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The two re-introduce themselves; the woman’s name is Julian. She tells Theo that she and “a small group of friends,” aware of the wrongs... (full context)
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Theo tells Julian that he has no relationship or influence with Xan any longer, but Julian begs him... (full context)
Chapter 8
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It is the Sunday of Theo’s meeting with Julian and her group, and he heads to the church where the encounter will take place.... (full context)
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Julian meets Theo at the front of the church. He follows her inside, where the group... (full context)
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...if they’re a religious one, which Rolf vehemently denies. Miriam explains that while Luke and Julian are Christians, their group only meets in churches because “no one asks any questions.” (full context)
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...expresses his desire for the end of “compulsory” gynecological examinations as well as the Quietus. Julian adds that something must be done to ensure rights for Sojourners. (full context)
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...even the common people, “care[s]” enough about the issues the group wants to tackle. When Julian explains that part of the group’s goal is to help people to care, Theo retorts... (full context)
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Julian implores Miriam to tell Theo about her brother. Miriam describes how her brother was sent... (full context)
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Theo tells the group that their demands are foolish, and will never be met. Julian then asks Theo how he would begin to resist and rebel, if it were him... (full context)
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...decision, he wants to see a Quietus—he wants to bring Xan more than just hearsay. Julian tells him there is one happening nearby in Southwold in three days. Theo tells her... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...of land.” Theo tells himself that he has seen enough, but remembers that he “promised” Julian he would watch the Quietus in its entirety. (full context)
Chapter 10
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...more than his visit to Xan.” He heads to the Cast Museum, where he told Julian’s group he’d leave the note, and he remembers that Xan is the one who introduced... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...returns to the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford, the designated meeting-place for him and for Julian. While waiting for her to arrive, Theo takes a look through the exhibits, which contain... (full context)
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Julian arrives and, without even greeting Theo, asks if he’s met with Xan yet. Theo explains... (full context)
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Julian wonders aloud whether a group getting themselves sent to the colony intentionally could change things... (full context)
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Theo, making “one more effort,” tells Julian again how poorly equipped the group is—they are all motivated by different things, and have... (full context)
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Theo worries that, if Julian is caught, Xan will take action against her. He worries, too, that he has misjudged... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Two weeks later, Theo discovers a pamphlet written by Julian’s group that has been dropped through the letter slot along with the rest of his... (full context)
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...floored by the “humanity” of the words, and feels they must have been written by Julian. Nevertheless, he feels that “no good” can come of the pamphlets. He reads it through... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...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,... (full context)
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...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... (full context)
Chapter 19
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In his diary, Theo describes having seen Julian at the market earlier that morning. As she exited, he followed her, and asked to... (full context)
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...events of the last several months out of his head. He feels regretful that if Julian comes to call on him, “she will find [his] house empty.” (full context)
Chapter 20
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...in a car. Rolf pounds on the windows of the car and screams “You’ve killed Julian!” over and over. (full context)
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...surveilled, though he has received no communication from Xan or the Council. Theo is afraid Julian has been captured by the police, and longs to find a way to get in... (full context)
Chapter 21
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...him that the police have captured Gascoigne, and the Fishes are going on the run. Julian needs Theo, Miriam says, and tells him that the group is waiting at a nearby... (full context)
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...police should come looking for him, but he feels such an “anxiety to get to Julian” that his own safety is of minor concern.  (full context)
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A few minutes later, Miriam tells Theo that Julian is pregnant. Theo feels “irritation” and “disgust” at the fact that both Julian and Miriam... (full context)
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The rest of the Fishes are waiting inside the chapel. Julian approaches Theo and right away lifts her shirt to reveal her swollen belly. He kneels... (full context)
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...contact Xan, and tell him of the pregnancy. Xan will, Theo knows, make sure that Julian is safe, whereas if she goes on the run she risks her own life and... (full context)
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Miriam and Rolf both agree that Julian should have the baby on her own, away from the Council’s clutches. Theo insists that... (full context)
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...Rolf states that they want to find an empty cottage or shelter somewhere remote where Julian can carry her baby to term. Theo tells the group that their plan is “futile”—Gascoigne... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...death of one child” (Natalie), Theo decides to stay with the group and acquiesce to Julian’s desire to have her baby in private. At the car, after one last attempt to... (full context)
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...meets Miriam upstairs—she has taken medical supplies from the bathroom, and enough linens to provide Julian with a comfortable birthing bed. Miriam tells Theo not to let Rolf or Julian know... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Theo has to pull the car over several times so that Miriam can help Julian into the woods to relieve herself. On one of the stops, the group all gets... (full context)
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...get what they “need” from him and then quickly dispose of him. Luke, Miriam, and Julian return to the car, and Theo allows Rolf to take the wheel. (full context)
Chapter 24
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...of the road. Theo knows there is a spare tire in the trunk. Rolf , Julian, and Theo drive the car a little further up the road, to a place where... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...wake. He has, to his surprise, slept soundly on the ground. Tea is brewing, and Julian and Luke are off in the woods praying. Rolf asks Theo what he believes in.... (full context)
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Theo is “uneasy” about Luke and Julian having left the group—he feels everyone needs to stay together. He goes off to find... (full context)
Chapter 27
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...of reasoning with them, even if they appeal to the Omega’s humanity by pointing out Julian’s pregnancy. Theo tells Rolf that when the Omegas inevitably crack up the car and force... (full context)
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...the rest of the group join their dance. When one of the Omegas reaches for Julian, Rolf grabs her and they make a run for it. They must climb over a... (full context)
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...has been battered and torn beyond recognition. They bring it back to the forest, and Julian falls over Luke’s corpse. Rolf then asks Miriam whose child Julian is carrying, and when... (full context)
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Theo and Miriam admire Julian’s unusual calmness, which Miriam attributes to her faith in God, and they wonder whether Rolf... (full context)
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...tree, but Theo cannot sleep. He can smell the drying blood on Luke’s coat, which Julian now wears. (full context)
Chapter 28
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...very large. Miriam and Theo bury Luke at the edge of the little forest, and Julian places his prayer shawl into the ditch with his body. Rolf makes no move to... (full context)
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Julian asks Theo to say the Burial Service, and hands him Luke’s Bible. Theo speaks an... (full context)
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...he says, the group will find another car and get moving again. Theo, Miriam, and Julian pick wild blackberries from a hedge and eat them, then the four of them lie... (full context)
Chapter 29
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It is early evening when Theo wakes up. Julian stands over him, and tells him that Rolf has left the group for good. Theo... (full context)
Chapter 30
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Theo takes the couple’s car from their garage, and heads back for Miriam and Julian. He wonders fretfully where the three of them should go, and how they might be... (full context)
Chapter 31
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Theo finds his way back to Miriam and Julian when he recognizes the blood-spattered road where Luke was killed. He offers them the meager... (full context)
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...a woodshed there where the three of them can take shelter. He instructs Miriam and Julian to get in the car, and begins driving quickly back the way they came. (full context)
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...Theo is able to navigate with the help of the stars and the occasional signpost. Julian’s labor slows down, introducing the fear that the labor is a false alarm, and that... (full context)
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Miriam prepares a bit of food for the three of them, allowing Julian to eat more than herself and Theo combined. Theo reaches the edge of the forest,... (full context)
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As they move into the heart of the forest, Julian and Miriam get back into the car. Miriam spots a house, but Theo thinks that... (full context)
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...states that their group’s “one comfort” is that he has no way of knowing that Julian is already in labor. (full context)
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...elderly couple on some level, and having found the mission exciting. He lashes out at Julian and Miriam, asking “how many lives will [the] child cost before [it’s even] born, and... (full context)
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Theo asks Miriam and Julian if either of them continue to think of Luke. Julian responds that there will be... (full context)
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Julian points out a beautiful tree covered in berries, and Theo feels suddenly as if the... (full context)
Chapter 32
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Theo, Miriam, and Julian enter the shed. It is larger than Theo remembered it, but less private, and Theo... (full context)
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...for the sound of any approaching sirens or helicopters. He comprehends, “for the first time,” Julian’s need to give birth in private. He thinks deeply about the role God has in... (full context)
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...hears “a sharp cry”—he runs back in, asking what he can do to help, and Julian tells him to build the fire so that it will be ready to light. Theo... (full context)
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The late stages of Julian’s labor begin, and Miriam instructs Theo to kneel behind Julian and support her while she... (full context)
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Miriam instructs Theo to heat the kettle so that Julian can have a warm drink, but as Theo prepares to light the fire he knocks... (full context)
Chapter 33
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The baby nurses, and Theo lies with Julian on the soiled birthing sheet. Despite the stench, Theo has “never known such peace.” After... (full context)
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...than likely they are watching him. He knows too, though, that Xan is not expecting Julian to have given birth yet. He wonders if Xan had Miriam killed in a show... (full context)
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Theo returns to the shed and finds Julian and the child resting peacefully. Julian understands that Miriam must be dead, and begins to... (full context)
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...a “gasp of relief,” then tells Theo that though he does not want to frighten Julian, he has brought “everything she needs” to have the child in “comfort and safety.” It’s... (full context)
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...“the father of a new race,” and may even be able to “breed again [with Julian] herself.” He tells Theo that he will most likely marry Julian, and ensure she is... (full context)
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...gun. Xan attempts to call Theo out as bluffing, and warns him not to “romanticize” Julian—she is a “whore,” Xan says. (full context)
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...has been born, and they ask to see him. Theo tells them he must secure Julian’s consent first, and goes back into the shed. (full context)
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Julian is grateful to see Theo alive. The two embrace, and Theo tells her that Xan... (full context)
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...and orders the Grenadiers to take Xan’s body away. Once inside, Harriet and Felicia approach Julian and the child. Harriet reaches out a finger, and the baby grasps it. Carl, moved,... (full context)
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Theo asks the Council to leave him and Julian alone. After the Council members leave the shed, Julian notices Theo wearing the ring, and... (full context)