full title · Childhood's End
author · Arthur C. Clarke
type of work · Novel
genre · Science fiction
language · American English
time and place written · 1950–1953, America
date of first publication · 1953
publisher · Ballantine Books
narrator · 3rd person omniscient
climax · The climax occurs when the children of the last generation of humanity are assimilated into the Overmind, destroying the Earth in the process.
protagonist(s) · Karellen; Stormgren; George Greggson; Jan Rodricks
antagonist · There is not really any true "protagonists" in Childhood's End, although it can be argued that both the Overlords and the Overmind fulfill a kind of antagonic role.
setting (time) · Late twentieth century; 2050s; 2130s
setting (place) · Earth
point of view · The narrator maintains a fairly straightforward manner of third-person narration.
falling action · The Overlords watch as the Earth is destroyed, then continue on their way to serve the Overmind.
tense · Immediate past; that is, real-time narration
foreshadowing · There is much foreshadowing in Childhood's End. One good example is that since the Overlords resemble a medieval conception of "the Devil," they can be read as foreshadowing the Overlords' role in the ultimate destruction of humanity.
tone · The tone of the novel is fairly neutral.
themes · Technology and power; the limits of knowledge; evolutionary purpose; the problems of utopian society
motifs · Deception; Christian imagery and folklore; collective unconscious; racial memory
symbols · The Overlords; the Overmind; New Athens