Children of Men

Topics: Gospel of Luke, Isle of Man, Children of Men Pages: 3 (1083 words) Published: April 4, 2013
The year is 2021, the setting is England, and mankind has indeed been turned aside to destruction. The human race has lost the ability to reproduce; for a quarter of a century, all male sperm has been infertile. The last children to be born left the womb in 1995, a year that has come to be known as “Omega,” the end of all things. A world without children is a world without a future and a world without hope. The best that the aging population can hope for is to live in comfort and prolong their lives as long as possible. A dictator named Xan has taken control of Britain, trying to maintain a stable society through questionable means. All criminals are deported to the Isle of Man, where they can brutalize and victimize each other as much as they please (and leave the decent citizens alone). Since the country needs young, able-bodied workers, Xan allows foreign Omegas–the generation born in 1995–to enter the country and work as slaves. Called “Sojourners,” these foreign Omegas have few rights and must leave Britain at the age of 60 before they can become a drain on the country’s resources. The octogenarian British, although indigenous to the country, are also perceived as a burden to society. They are encouraged (or perhaps coerced) to partake in a mass suicide ritual known as the “Quietus,” where they are sent out in a boat and drowned. Xan’s cousin Theo is the main character, and occasionally the narrator, of this story. Theo is a teacher at Oxford, but with no young people to teach, he lectures to middle aged folk who want to escape the present reality by living in the literature of the past. A woman named Julian approaches Theo, asking him to help a subversive group known as the Five Fishes. The group would like Theo to intercede with his cousin Xan to change his policies regarding criminals, foreigners, and the aged. Theo agrees to help, but doesn’t get very far with convincing Xan or his council of advisors. The second half of the story, titled “Alpha,” begins...
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