Study Guide

Childhood's End Chapter 22

By Arthur C. Clarke

Chapter 22

  • A mere six months older, Jan returns to Earth after eighty years hitchhiking the galaxy.
  • The Overlords treated him well during his stay—they hadn't even been all that surprised to find him on the ship, which Jan found a wee-bit disappointing.
  • Their world was so technologically advanced that Jan felt like a man from the Stone Age dropped into the modern world.
  • An Overlord named Vindarten took charge of Jan and did what significantly advanced aliens do with a human in their midst: experiments and research.
  • During one of his first trips outside—not that he could go anywhere on his own, since he can't fly like the Overlords—Vindarten took him to a museum and showed him the Earth exhibit, filled with the ever advancing technology of Earth's many civilizations.
  • One of the other exhibits frightens Jan something awful: a giant eye from a extraterrestrial beasty, but Vindarten doesn't understand his startled reaction.
  • Other wonders of the Overlord world include a creature Jan mistakes for a mountain stalking across the horizon.
  • Vindarten refuses to let Jan take a picture of the creature, and Jan realizes the Overlords have masters, too.
  • When the ship touches down on Earth, Karellen is already waiting for Jan.