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Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End

Paper Masters can show you how to write a book report or research paper on Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End. We suggest it be a character analysis of Karellen. Custom book reports are Paper Masters specialty. The thesis statement and Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End you see here is just a SAMPLE term paper of what we can provide you in literature research. Papers are always original and we guarantee each research paper, essay, book report or research paper that is sold by Paper Masters will never be resold and is plagiarism-free.

How to Write a Research Paper About Childhood's End

Your research paper should be about whether or not Karellen, the most important character in Arthur C. Clarke’s novel, Childhood’s End, is a sympathetic character. In it you will attempt to show that Karellen is, in fact, a very sympathetic character. Karellen’s destiny, and the destiny of his species, is tragic. His will is not his own. He must act at the bidding of a super-entity, the Overmind, as supervisor of the destruction of the human species, a process in which the adults will die off and their children folded into the Overmind. Throughout the novel Karellen shows great dignity and kindliness in dealing with the humans supposedly “beneath” him. He carries three heavy burdens of awareness:

  1. That his people, the Overlords, are at an evolutionary dead-end and can never become part of the Over-mind;
  2. That the destruction of humanity is at hand;
  3. That the seemingly inferior human beings, whose end he oversees, had all along within them a potential to merge with the Overmind and have therefore been, all along, greater than his own kind. He carries all these burdens well. Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End

Write an augmentation essay on Arthur C. Clarke's Childhood's End.

Remember that your research paper is to take a position on whether the book presents Karellen as a sympathetic character or not.

Do not retell the story in the book report. Argue whether the reader can and should sympathize with Karellen.

What to Write about Karellen

The key to Karellen’s nature and the nature of his fellow Overlords can be understood if we think about the title of the book, Childhood’s End. At the end of Man’s dormant period, his childhood, the Overseers are sent by the Overmind to ensure that the passage of Man into his adulthood, a passage that involves the death of Man and the merging of his children into a great collective will, will be successful The Overlords are not robotic executors of their orders. Rather, they are like tender nursemaids. They give Man a “Golden Age”—the title of the second section of the book--at the end of his childhood. They give a reign of peace, prosperity, material comfort, leisure, and freedom. All of this has some significance with respect to how we view Karellen. At no point does he not act in a benign fashion.

Karellen is magnificent in his last speech to Man. He tells mankind that he must take their children—who are in the process of reaching a higher level of being than the level of either Man or the Overlords—from them. And he displays a fine honesty when he tells Man what he must do respecting them. He suggests that it might be best if he destroyed them as “you yourselves would destroy a mortally wounded pet you loved” (182). But, for reasons he does not explain, he says that he cannot do this. He then leaves the last bits of Man’s future up to Man himself and says that “It is my hope that humanity will go to its rest in peace” (182). This is very sad, but it is also very dignified, very truthful, and it is a fond farewell.

We can conclude by saying that Karellen is most definitely a sympathetic character. He and his assistants have been given a terrible task to do. Due to the fact that the Overlords are truly a noble race, they perform this task with the utmost sensitivity. If one must have Overlords supervise one’s own destruction, one couldn’t ask for better than that. And at the end of his speech Karellen reminds mankind that what their children are to become “is something wonderful and you created it” (182) and he also says, “And remember this—we shall always envy you” (182).

Clarke, Arthur. Childhood’s End. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Publishers, 1953.

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