The Children of Men

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For the 2006 film based on this book, see Children of Men

The Children of Men is a dystopian novel by P.D. James that was published in 1992. Set in England in 2021, it centers on the results of mass infertility. James describes a Britain that is steadily depopulating and focuses on a small group of resistors who do not share the disillusionment of the masses.

Dr. Theodore Faron[edit]

  • "If from infancy you treat children as gods they are liable in adulthood to act as devils."
    • Chapter 1
  • "I knew that what I had felt was envy or regret, not for something lost but for something never achieved."
  • "Use some reverence. Remember what he was only a minute ago. You wouldn't have dared laid a hand on him."
    • Dr. Theodore Faron About Xan.
  • "We can experience nothing but the present moment, live in no other second of time, and to understand this is as close as we can get to eternal life."


  • "Darling, you can't promise that...but I like to hear you say it."
  • "I didn't love him, but I liked him being in love with me.."

Xan Lyppiatt[edit]

  • "When my turn comes I propose to take my lethal capsule comfortably in bed at home and preferably on my own."
  • "Generosity is a virtue for individuals, not Governments. When governments are generous it is with other people's money, other people's safety, other people's future."
  • "Whatever else I am now, I'm never bored."
  • "I'm not a tyrant, but I can't afford to be merciful. Whatever it is necessary to do, I will do it."

Other characters[edit]

  • "Perhaps His experiment went spectacularly wrong, sir. Perhaps He's just baffled. Seeing the mess, not knowing how to put it right. Perhaps not wanting to put it right. Perhaps He only had enough power left for one final intervention. So He made it. Whoever He is, whatever He is, I hope he burns in His own Hell."
    • A driver upon being asked if he believed in God.
  • "We all die alone. We shall endure death as once we enjoyed birth. You can't share either experience.
    • Woolvington.


Theo: The Man Penal settlement. Do you know whats happening there? The murders, the starvation, the complete breakdown of law and order.
Xan: We do. The question is, how do you?

Xan: I don't want to kill you.
Theo: You're going to have to, Xan. You may have to kill her, too.

Theo: I don't think God bargains.
Miriam: Oh yes he does. I may not be religious but I know my Bible. My mother saw to that. He bargains all right. But He's supposed to be just. If he wants belief He'd better provide some evidence.
Theo: That He exists?
Miriam: That he cares.
  • Chapter 27, P. 186

External links[edit]

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