Hope is the feeling of desire for a certain thing to happen. When we think of the future we are optimistic that it will be the best possible. In the book “Children of Men” by P.D. James one of the main themes is hope for the future. Hope provides us with the strength to defeat the misery and tragedy caused by unfortunate events. Many of the events in the novel have relevance and can be compared to today’s society. Throughout the book hope is shown through politics where hope has given people the power to stand up against the government, hope that violence will stop and hope also keeps people going so they can stay optimistic towards humanity.
An element of the theme of hope is politics. Politics is complicated in the book, Xan, Theo’s cousin is the self-appointed warden of England. In the novel, Theo stated since seeing his cousin the last time he has changed drastically as he became very obsessed with power. As much as Xan wanted to call himself Warden of England, he truly was a dictator. This is when a group of people noticed that Xan wasn’t doing much to help England, they formed the Five Fishes to demand changes in the way the government was being run. Some of the changes they wanted to be included having an open election, abolishing Quietus which was a supposedly voluntary mass suicide for citizens sixty and older, give rights to the youth imported from 3rd world countries to provide labour, get rid of the Penal colony where people convicted of violent crimes would go and never come back, stop compulsory examinations of healthy young men and women and close down the public porn shops. When Theo was debating joining the group he decided he wanted to see a Quietus ceremony before he decided. At the ceremony, he recognized an old lady to be one of his old friend’s wife when he saw her try to escape they caught her and brutally killed her. This was the point of no return for Theo, he knew at that moment that he needed to help the Five Fishes This group is similar to events that are held by activist groups in our society like rallies and protests. For example, a group like Black Lives Matter. The purpose of Black Lives Matter and Five Fishes is to bring the attention to the government as to what they want to be changed. This ties to the hope that citizens of England have, they hope in the future that the government will understand what they are doing wrong and it will be fixed before issues arise.
Another element of hope is violence. Violence has become very bad in England and its citizens want it to stop. The source of the violence is from the government and the omegas who are the last generation born. Violence is seen by the government and more specifically the police. There is police-state brutality toward illegal immigrants and they are kept in cages. The omegas have a reputation to be wild because they were spoiled rotten but when it was known that everyone had become infertile the parents of the Omegas became helicopter parents to make sure they were healthy and happy. The Omegas were frustrated with having all of the attention on them all the time. Since they were the last children born they were taught to keep the inner child inside of themselves and they basically held all of the symbols that children hold innocence and purity. Their parents used them as a placeholder until they could figure out why there is worldwide infertility. This is the reason why the Omegas would attach groups of people, steal their things. These events are similar to those of a terrorist group. As well in both the book and today’s society the government is not doing very much to stop it. Citizens have to experience it first hand and depend on the government to do something. This is showing that the citizens in England truly hope that in the future they find a cure for worldwide infertility so the Omegas don’t feel the need to act like children and savages.
Lastly, an element of the theme is humanity. This is the last straw for humanity, no one is being born and eventually, the world is going to end. Everyone is giving up, they feel that there is no reason to live and are committing suicide out of desperation. The world has gotten to the point of no return, women buy dolls and pretend that it is their child and people have become obsessed with watching videos of children, they are addicted. There is hope for the world to overcome this event before it is too late. This connects to today’s society as mental health is a very important topic. In the UK every 1 in 4 people have a mental illness. The book showed truly how ill minded many people were and it was not going to be easy to fix. Worldwide infertility had a big impact on everyone, if they had kids or not, for so long the Omegas has all the attention on them and those who didn’t have kids wanted to be a part of that, they wanted to have attention on them but didn’t ever get the chance.
Hope is important to have to help us get through the hardest times. In the novel Children of Men, P.D. James writes of hope for the future in ending violence, returning humanity to how it once was and ensuring the government is doing good for its citizens. Hope for the future is very key in this novel as it is a major key in the world continuing to exist. Again hope gives us the strength to defeat tragic events such as infertility.