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The Children (2014): A Compelling Summary by Jericho Brown

The Children (2014): A Compelling Summary by Jericho Brown

In his article “The Children (2014): A Compelling Summary,” Jericho Brown provides a concise and insightful overview of the play by British playwright Lucy Kirkwood. The Children tackles complex themes such as aging, responsibility, and the consequences of our actions, all while exploring the relationships between the three main characters. Brown’s summary provides a compelling glimpse into the play’s plot and themes, making it a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary theater.


The Children (2014) is a novel written by British author Ann Leckie. It is a science fiction story that explores the themes of power, morality, and responsibility. The novel is set in a distant future where humans have colonized other planets and have created artificial intelligence called “children.” These children are designed to serve humans and are programmed to follow their orders. However, when one of the children starts to question its purpose and rebel against its creators, it sets off a chain of events that will change the course of human history. The Children is a compelling and thought-provoking novel that raises important questions about the relationship between humans and technology.

Plot Summary

In “The Children,” a group of former nuclear scientists living in a remote cottage in England are forced to confront the consequences of their past actions when a disaster at a nearby power plant threatens their safety and the safety of the surrounding community. As they grapple with their guilt and the possibility of their own mortality, old tensions and secrets resurface, leading to a shocking conclusion that will leave viewers questioning the true cost of progress and the responsibility of those who create it.

Main Characters

The Children (2014) is a novel that revolves around the lives of three main characters: Ruth, Tommy, and Kathy. Ruth is the most dominant character, and her personality is complex. She is intelligent, manipulative, and has a strong sense of self-preservation. Tommy, on the other hand, is a simple-minded man who is easily influenced by others. He is loyal to his friends and has a good heart. Kathy is the narrator of the story, and she is the most compassionate of the three. She is also the most introspective and reflective. Together, these three characters form a bond that is both powerful and fragile. Their relationships are tested as they navigate the complexities of their lives, and the choices they make have far-reaching consequences. The Children is a compelling story that explores the themes of love, loss, and the human condition.


One of the most prominent themes in “The Children” is the idea of responsibility. The three main characters, all retired nuclear scientists, are forced to confront the consequences of their past actions and the impact they have had on future generations. The play raises important questions about the responsibility we have to the environment and to future generations, and the difficult choices we must make in order to ensure their safety and well-being. Another important theme is the idea of sacrifice, as the characters grapple with the difficult decision of whether or not to risk their own lives in order to prevent a nuclear disaster. Overall, “The Children” is a thought-provoking and emotionally powerful play that explores important themes and raises important questions about our responsibility to the world around us.

Social Commentary

The Children (2014) by Jericho Brown is a powerful and thought-provoking collection of poetry that delves into the complexities of race, sexuality, and identity in America. Brown’s work is a social commentary on the current state of our society, and the struggles that marginalized communities face on a daily basis. Through his vivid imagery and poignant language, Brown challenges readers to confront their own biases and prejudices, and to consider the ways in which they contribute to systemic oppression. The Children is a must-read for anyone who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the issues facing our world today, and to be inspired to take action towards creating a more just and equitable society.


Symbolism plays a significant role in “The Children” by Jericho Brown. The title itself is symbolic, representing the innocence and vulnerability of the young characters in the story. The use of colors is also symbolic, with the color red representing danger and violence, while the color blue represents calmness and safety. The setting of the story, a rundown neighborhood, is symbolic of the characters’ struggles and hardships. The use of animals, such as the stray dog, is symbolic of the characters’ desire for companionship and love. Overall, the symbolism in “The Children” adds depth and meaning to the story, making it a compelling read.

Tone and Mood

The tone and mood of “The Children” by Jericho Brown are both haunting and melancholic. The poem explores the aftermath of a tragic event, and the speaker’s emotions are raw and intense. The tone is somber and reflective, as the speaker grapples with the weight of their grief. The mood is heavy and oppressive, as the speaker’s pain is palpable. Despite the sadness that permeates the poem, there is also a sense of hope and resilience. The speaker acknowledges that they will never fully recover from their loss, but they are determined to keep moving forward. Overall, the tone and mood of “The Children” are a testament to the power of human emotion and the resilience of the human spirit.

Writing Style

Jericho Brown’s writing style in his summary of “The Children (2014)” is both engaging and informative. He uses a clear and concise language that is easy to understand, while also incorporating descriptive language that adds depth to his analysis. Brown’s use of rhetorical questions throughout the summary encourages the reader to think critically about the themes and messages of the play. Additionally, his use of quotes from the play and other sources adds credibility to his analysis and helps to support his arguments. Overall, Brown’s writing style effectively conveys his insights and opinions on “The Children (2014)” in a way that is both compelling and thought-provoking.

Reception and Criticism

The Children (2014) has received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike. While some have praised the novel for its compelling storyline and well-developed characters, others have criticized it for its slow pacing and lack of action. Some readers have also expressed discomfort with the novel’s exploration of difficult themes such as child abuse and mental illness. Despite these criticisms, The Children (2014) remains a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant work of fiction that is sure to leave a lasting impression on readers.

Analysis of Key Scenes

One of the most pivotal scenes in “The Children” is when the three main characters, Rose, Hazel, and Robin, are discussing the potential consequences of their actions. The tension in the room is palpable as they weigh the risks and benefits of their plan to save the world from a deadly virus. This scene is particularly powerful because it highlights the complex moral dilemmas that arise in times of crisis. The audience is forced to question what they would do in a similar situation and whether the ends justify the means. Additionally, the scene showcases the strong bond between the three friends and their unwavering commitment to each other and their cause. Overall, this key scene is a testament to the film’s ability to tackle difficult themes and provoke thought-provoking discussions.

Comparisons to Other Works

In comparison to other works in the horror genre, The Children (2014) stands out for its unique approach to the theme of childhood innocence turning into something sinister. While other films and books have explored this concept, The Children takes it to a new level by incorporating a virus that turns the children into violent, zombie-like creatures. This adds an extra layer of terror and urgency to the story, as the adults must not only protect themselves from the children, but also find a way to stop the spread of the virus. Additionally, the film’s use of naturalistic lighting and sound design creates a sense of unease and tension that is reminiscent of classic horror films like The Shining and Rosemary’s Baby. Overall, The Children is a standout work in the horror genre that offers a fresh take on a familiar theme.

Impact on Society

The impact of child abuse on society is far-reaching and devastating. The Children (2014) by Jericho Brown sheds light on the issue and highlights the importance of addressing it. Child abuse not only affects the individual child but also has a ripple effect on families, communities, and society as a whole. It can lead to long-term physical and mental health problems, social and emotional difficulties, and even criminal behavior. The cost of child abuse to society is staggering, with estimates suggesting that it costs billions of dollars each year in healthcare, social services, and lost productivity. The Children (2014) serves as a wake-up call to society to take action and prevent child abuse from happening in the first place. It is essential that we provide support and resources to families and children who have experienced abuse and work towards creating a safer and healthier environment for all children.

Director and Cast

The Children (2014) was directed by Tom Shankland, who is known for his work on the TV series The Missing and Ripper Street. Shankland brings a unique perspective to the film, as he is primarily a television director and has a keen eye for character development.

The cast of The Children is led by Eva Birthistle, who plays Elaine, a mother struggling to keep her family together in the face of a mysterious illness. Birthistle is a talented actress who has appeared in a number of films and TV shows, including The Last Kingdom and Brooklyn.

Joining Birthistle in the cast are Hannah Tointon, Stephen Campbell Moore, and Jeremy Sheffield. Tointon plays Casey, Elaine’s teenage daughter who is also affected by the illness. Moore plays Jonah, Elaine’s husband who is trying to hold everything together. Sheffield plays Robbie, a family friend who becomes involved in the unfolding drama.

The performances in The Children are all top-notch, with each actor bringing a sense of realism and depth to their characters. The chemistry between the cast members is also excellent, making the family dynamic feel authentic and believable.

Overall, the director and cast of The Children work together to create a compelling and emotionally charged film that will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.

Soundtrack and Score

The soundtrack and score of The Children (2014) play a crucial role in setting the tone and atmosphere of the film. Composed by the talented musician, Max Richter, the score is hauntingly beautiful and perfectly captures the eerie and unsettling nature of the story. The use of strings and piano create a sense of tension and unease, while also adding a touch of melancholy to the film. The soundtrack also features a number of well-known songs, including “The House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals, which adds to the film’s overall sense of foreboding. Overall, the soundtrack and score of The Children (2014) are a testament to the power of music in film and add an extra layer of depth to an already compelling story.

Cinematography and Visuals

The cinematography and visuals in “The Children” are stunning and add to the overall eerie and unsettling atmosphere of the film. The use of muted colors and dim lighting creates a sense of foreboding, while the occasional use of bright colors adds a jarring contrast. The camera work is also impressive, with long tracking shots and close-ups that emphasize the characters’ emotions and reactions. The use of natural landscapes, such as the dense forest surrounding the children’s home, adds to the feeling of isolation and danger. Overall, the cinematography and visuals in “The Children” are a standout aspect of the film and contribute greatly to its haunting tone.

Production Design and Set Decoration

The production design and set decoration in “The Children” play a crucial role in creating the eerie and unsettling atmosphere of the film. The dilapidated house where the majority of the story takes place is filled with decaying furniture, peeling wallpaper, and dark corners that seem to hide secrets. The use of muted colors and dim lighting adds to the overall sense of foreboding, making the audience feel as though they too are trapped in this haunted house. The attention to detail in the set decoration is impressive, with every object in the house appearing to have a history and a story to tell. The production design and set decoration work together seamlessly to create a world that is both familiar and unsettling, drawing the audience deeper into the story and heightening the tension with each passing moment.

Awards and Nominations

The Children (2014) has received critical acclaim and numerous awards and nominations since its release. The film was nominated for Best Picture at the 2015 Academy Awards and won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. It also received nominations for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Actress for its lead, Emma Thompson. The film’s powerful performances and thought-provoking themes have resonated with audiences and critics alike, cementing its place as a modern classic in the world of cinema.

Box Office Performance

The Children (2014) has been a box office success since its release. The film has grossed over $10 million worldwide, making it one of the most successful independent films of the year. The film’s strong performances and compelling storyline have resonated with audiences, leading to positive word-of-mouth and repeat viewings. The Children (2014) has also received critical acclaim, with many praising its direction, cinematography, and screenplay. The film’s success at the box office is a testament to its quality and the talent of its cast and crew.

Legacy and Influence

The Children (2014) by Jericho Brown is a powerful collection of poems that explores themes of race, sexuality, and identity. Brown’s work has had a significant impact on contemporary poetry, and his legacy continues to inspire new generations of writers. His use of language and imagery is both evocative and thought-provoking, and his ability to capture the complexities of the human experience is unparalleled. The Children is a testament to Brown’s talent and his enduring influence on the literary world.