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Never Let Me Go

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Chris Sanders

on 12 December 2013

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Transcript of Never Let Me Go

Protagonist: Kathy H.
Antagonist: Society Ruth is an anti-heroine
Never Let Me Go
Kazuo Ishiguro (November 8, 1954 - present)
Plot Summary

Part 1
Never Let Me Go is told in a series of three parts, each chronicling a chapter of Kathy's life. The book begins with her retelling important events from her childhood and time spent at Hailsham. In these flashbacks, we learn about her relationships with Tommy and Ruth and her experience being brought up in Hailsham being brought up with their guardians and other peers. During their time at Hailsham, they are taught about their true purpose as clones, to eventually have their vital organs harvested. As they
"[...] I wasn't sobbing or out of control. I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be" (p, 288).
-Kathy
Cool
Quotes
These are really cool!
"'It might just be some trend that came and went,' I said. 'But for us, it's our life'" (p. 266).
-Kathy
"[...] There are people out there, like Madame, who don't hate you or wish you any harm, but who nevertheless shutter at the very thought of you - of how you were brought into this world and why - and who dread the idea of your hand brushing against theirs. The first time you glimpse yourself throught the eyes of a person like that, it's a cold moment. It's like walking past a mirror you've walked past everyday of your life, and suddenly it shows you somethin else, something troubling and strange" (p. 36).
-Kathy
Setting: dystopian alternate history England in 1970 to 1990s
Genre: drama, science-fiction, alter historical, and dystopian
P.O.V.: First-person from the perspective of Kathy. She tells the story in retrospect while also flashing forward to the present in order to tell the reason for why she is telling the event. It is a topical story, not chronological.
Social Millieu: Dystopian idea in which humans are cloned and the clones must live a separate life that ends with them being harvested for their vital organs.
"'We all know it. We're modelled 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?'" (p. 166).
-Ruth
Tone: Nostalgic
"There have been times over the years when I've tried to leave Hailsham behind, when I've told myself I shouldn't look back so much." (p. 5). Throughout the novel Kathy recants memories as she is nearing the end of her career as a "carer".
Style: As we've already touched on, Ishiguro writes our narrator Kathy to be a very chatty person who goes about telling her story in a topical and sporadic manner. She never fully reveals facts up front and consistently fails to tell her stories in chronological order. This makes it the reader's job to piece together her memories in order to construct a vague timeline of what went on during her childhood, teenage, and adult lives.
Themes- Friendship is one theme of the novel. This is evident when Kathy, Tommy and Ruth reach the Cottages, they are forced to stay together because no one else knows who they are or where they are coming from. Also, when they get to the Cottages, Ruth begins to make friends with the veterans and drift away from Kathy. Each night, though, Kathy and Ruth have talks in their room about each other's problems or whatever is going on and these talks are what keep their friendship strong.
Figurative Language:
Understatement :
Miss Lucy- "Your lives are set out for you. You'll become adults, then before you're old, before you're even middle-aged, you'll start to donate your vital organs. That's what each of you were created to do".
...
Kathy- "Well so what? We already knew all that."
(p. 81-82)
The seriousness of Miss Lucy's statement is underscored by the fact that Kathy and her peers are unaffected by the gravity of their fate at this time.


Symbols:
Hailsham: It symbolizes their childhood, innocence, and their grip on reality. Hailsham continues to hold a powerful influence in their lives 5, even 10 years after leaving.
Gallery: The gallery is a symbol of hope and also mystery. While in Hailsham getting art in the gallery was something to strive for because of its mystery and link to the outside world. Later in the novel the gallery represents hope for Tommy and Kathy when it comes to getting a possible deferral for their donations.
Acceptance- This is what all of the students face when they start to realize their inevitable fate. They also need to accept that they can't have a normal life whatsoever such as having children, having and succeeding in a career. Because they know they can;t have a glamorous job, they fantasize about becoming mailmen and office workers. The students are forced to accept each other as well because they are the only one's they have to relate to. Acceptance is especially found in Kathy as she has to put up with Ruth and Tommy's antics. She even goes as far as completely forgiving Ruth for her trying to keep Tommy away from Kathy.
Part 2
As Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy reach their late teens, they leave Hailsham and transition to life at the cottages. Here, they have to assimilate to their new surroundings which includes new people and situations for the friends to get through together. Ruth and Kathy experience a rocky relationship often engaging in petty arguments surrounding their relationship with Tommy, Ruth's desire to make new friends and move past Hailsham. It is during their time at the cottages, that the possibility of a deferral, or extension of their time before becoming donors, is mentioned and considered. During their time at the cottages, the trio and two of their companions travel to Norfolk to find Ruth's possible. After finding Ruth's suspected possible and realizing that the only people they could be modeled after are the scum of the society. After that they break off giving Tommy and Kathy's relationship a chance to blossom. They return to the cottages, where Ruth, Tommy, and Kathy have a huge falling out. IT is after this that Kathy decides to leave the cottage and sign up to start her carer training.
Part 3
10 years later, Kathy is a respected carer. She reconnects with both Tommy and Ruth, both as donors, Rekindles her relationship with Ruth after becoming her carer, however, after two donations Ruth dies. Before her death though, Ruth makes the confession that she was intentionally driving Kathy and Tommy apart. In her remorse, she wants Kathy and Tommy to try and get a deferral. After Ruth's death, Kathy becomes Tommy's carer and is finely able to embrace the love they should have had years ago. After much diberation and the threat of Tommy's fourth donation looming over them, they finally decide to seek out a deferral. They find out that there is no such thing, and the two accept their fate. Tommy dies after his fourth donation and Kathy continues to leave out her life as a carer, knowing that her donation and her death isnot far away.
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