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Never Let Me Go
Transcript of Never Let Me Go
The setting of "Never Let Me Go" is located in England in the late 1990s.
"My name is Kathy H. I'm thirty-one years old, and I've been a carer now for over eleven years." This quote is the opening statement of the novel, introducing you to the main character, and bringing you to the present day. It tells you what she is, which is to be later explained throughout the book why Kathy is a carer. (Ishiguro3)
Significance of the author's background with the novel.
Although the author's background is insignificant to his novel, Ishiguro wrote this novel because of the passing of the Human Tissue Act of 2004 (HTA). This act was passed a year before his novel was published. In an interview, Ishiguro states, "I could see a way of writing a story that was simple, but very fundamental, about the sadness of the human condition."
"What made the tape so special for me was this one particular song: track number three, "Never Let Me Go"... "What was so special about this song? Well, the thing was I didn't used to properly listen to the words; I just waited for that bit that went: "Baby, baby, never let me go..." And I what I'd imagine was a woman who'd been told she couldn't have babies, who'd really, really wanted them all her life. Then there's this sort of miracle and she has a baby, and she holds this baby very close to her and walks around singing..." This quote is when Kathy finds her favorite album, and plays this one particular song. The imagine Kathy has in her head about the meaning reflects her inner thoughts about how she and the other students cannot have babies. This is also the scene right before Madame finds her holding her arms like she is holding a baby. This later becomes a discussion between Kathy and Madame when they finally meet. It will show the true feelings of Madame. (Ishiguro70)
“We all know it. We’re modeled from trash. Junkies, prostitutes, winos, tramps. Convicts, maybe, just so long as they aren’t psychos. That’s what we come from. We all know it, so why don’t we say it?” This quote is significant because this is when Ruth is looking for her possible. Ruth wants to know who she was cloned like so she goes looking for her possible in the city. The carers and donors know that they were formed from less decent people, but Ruth says that they should just accept it. Ruth and her friends talked about whether or not they actually act like their possible. This quote shows how Ruth is looking for her place in the world, which was a major aspect of what Ishiguro wanted to present throughout his book. (Ishiguro166)
Never Let Me Go
By: Kazuo Ishiguro
One of the main settings in the book is Hailsham, a school for the "special" students. Hailsham's setting is important because it is a school with no parents, only Guardians. This school is for genetically cloned students so that they can be safe and protected from the outside world.
The second major setting in this book is the Cottages. The Cottages are important because it is there that the teenagers start to prepare for becoming carers and donors.
The human impulse to create a utopian world will fail in the face of corruption or the shortcomings of man or a political system. In the book Never Let Me Go, although the children, like Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy, have their future already set out for them, they do not get to explore their options. While independent at the cottages, they seek to find realistic outside goals for their own lives.
Society is inevitability divided into castes or groups with specialized functions. The students at Hailsham that have completed their years are then sent to different unsupervised homes. Some are sent to The White Mansion and others are sent to the cottages, but they are all to be donors.
Political correctness and attempts to create equality through sameness will result in censorship, less of freedom, and less of individuality and achievement. The guardians can’t choose favorite amongst the children. All of the students have to be treated equally which makes them lose their individuality, and because they are all equal, no one has specific freedom.
"Well... the thing is, it might sound strange. It did to me at first. What she said was that if I didn't want to be creative, if I really didn't feel like it that was perfectly all right. Nothing wrong with it, she said." Tommy tells Kathy about what Miss Lucy had told him in her classroom, which had changed Tommy's mood for the better. He no longer had temper issues. Although that solved one temporary problem, Tommy could not later prove his worthiness for a "deferral", because he had no art work to be sent to the gallery. Which became the reason why later in the novel, he drew the animals, to make up for the art he didn't do to prove his soul. (Ishiguro23)
“’You’ve been told about it. You’re students. You’re …special. So keeping yourselves well, keeping yourselves very healthy inside, that’s much more important for each of you than it is for me.’” This quote is significant because Miss Lucy is explaining how important it is for the students to keep their bodies in good shape because they are specially cloned to donate their organs. It would not be good if the students’ bodies were infected and sick from smoking like Miss Lucy did before. She explains how much more important it is for the students to not smoke than for her. (Ishiguro68-69)
Significance of the title
This title is significant because in the end of the novel, after Tommy and Ruth have completed, Kathy learns to accept their fate, soon to be her own, and moves on. Even though she moves on, she "never lets them go" because they will forever be in her memory.
Information, independent thought, and freedom are restricted.
The students were not allowed to associate with the outside world, have children, or have a profession, such as an actor, in the outside world.
Citizens are percieved to be under constant surveillance.
The Guardians were always watching to make sure the students didn't escape into the woods. When Tommy and Kathy were trying to have a personal conversation outside, the looked up to see students staring at them from inside the school.
Individuality and dissent are bad.
All students were created to be equal as carers and donors. They were not allowed to become individuals outside society. They were also not allowed to speak differently about becoming donors.
Kathy was a long time friend of Ruth and Tommy, a carer for over 11 years, and was patient and understanding of other people.
Tommy as a young boy had a bad temper, because of the teasing he got from the other students. He also struggled with creativity. Tommy completed after his fourth donation.
Ruth was a follower who wanted to fit in with her surroundings. She wasn't a faithful friend to Kathy. Although she dated Tommy for a long time, she betrayed him, and kept him from being with Kathy.
Significant Plot Details
In the beginning, we meet Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth. We learn about Hailsham and what the students there went through and met a few of the guardians. After Hailsham, the students are moved to what is known as The Cottages. While at The Cottages, they meet a couple who claims to have seen Ruth's possible, meaning the woman she was cloned from. From there, they proceed to go to Norfolk to find her. Before leaving to go back to The Cottages, Tommy and Kathy go on a search to find her missing Judy Bridgewater tape including the song "Never Let Me Go." In The Cottages, they hear from the veterans a rumor about the students from Hailsham . It is said the students can get a deferral to push back their first donation date if they can prove they are in love. After Kathy has already gone through years of being a carer and Tommy and Ruth already having started donations, Ruth gives Kathy and Tommy a woman called Madame's address where they should be able to get their deferral. After stalking Madame for a while, Tommy and Ruth finally go to Madame to prove their love and get a deferral, only to hear the devastating news that deferrals don't exist. After getting this devastating news, Kathy and Tommy resume their lives until Tommy completes and Kathy continues on being a carer.
"We don't go outside the boundary..."