Study Guide

Childhood's End Chapter 23

By Arthur C. Clarke

Chapter 23

  • Karellen explains how they separated the children of Earth and monitored their evolutionary phases, giving him an up-close account with surveillance footage.
  • Imbued with newfound powers, the children seem in a trance; they need neither food nor water, and no physical obstacles seem able to harm them. They've been this way for years.
  • Jan realizes the truth about man's destiny: At the end of one path lies the scientific Overlords and their evolutionary dead-end, while at the end of the other lies humanity's art and transformation into the Overmind.
  • Jan lives as the last human on Earth. He finds happiness improving his piano skills by playing the works of Bach, becoming the best pianist in the world by default.