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Childhood's End

The following is a report from Inner Party member O'Brien to the other members of the Inner Party of Oceania with regard to the threat of Arthur Clarke's Childhood's End to the peace and order of Oceania and the need for the complete and total destruction of the book:

This book is a threat to Oceania because it encourages and perpetuates false and dangerous ideas about "individuality" and human "independence" that will lead to frustration and misery among our citizens and general unease in the state.

The first two parts of the book are quite misleading. The author seems to be showing how a superior external force can establish a society of conformity in which all are at peace and happy. But in the third part of the book we find the establishment of a separate colony operating according to concepts which are both illusory and dangerous to the smooth functioning of any state whose citizens are exposed to such concepts.

As we read in Clarke's insidious book:

Here on this island we're trying to save something of humanity's independence, its artistic traditions. We've no hostility toward the Overlords: we simply want to be left alone to go our own way. When they destroyed the old nations and the way of life man had known since the beginning of history, they swept away many good things with the bad. . . . People are becoming passive sponges---absorbing but never creating (Clarke 140-141).

In establishing Oceania, we have expended tremendous effort to abolish the individual human being's sense of independence from the society. We have shown what inevitably happens when such illusions of independence begin to control the way an individual thinks, feels and behaves. The example of Winston Smith is a primary image in this argument. Winston was a man, as you all know, who believed in individualism and independence and we all remember well the extent to which we were forced to go to disabuse him and his friend Julia of such danger...

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Childhood's End. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 15:12, April 21, 2019, from