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Never Let Me Go

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by

Dylan Doyle

on 1 May 2014

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Transcript of Never Let Me Go

Themes
This novel contains a multitude of themes, but the more prominent ones include:
Loss of innocence:
Kathy and her friends struggle with coming to terms with their existence as clones.
Clone rights:
Should the clones be treated on equal ground as normal people?
Social acceptance:
The clones are viewed as abominations by the majority of society.
Never Let Me Go
By: Kazuo Ishiguro

Setting - Hailsham, Cottages, and the world.
Ishiguro gives us three distinct places for the action in the story.
Kathy is an adult living in the story's modern world, but she often flashes back for whole chapters at a time, describing her younger days at Hailsham, the private institution for clones hidden away in an anonymous valley. The book hints at other such schools for clones, but all are rumored to be inhumane and terrible,
making Hailsham all the more special.
Settings - continued
After graduating Hailsham, Kathy and her friends go to live in the "cottages," a locale something like a farm where the clones live and continue their college-equivalent educations. This location is different from Hailsham because the group has more freedom; Kathy actually gets the opportunity to venture into "normal" towns while living here. The remainder of the story takes place in the donor rest homes where Kathy works.
Major Characters
Kathy
- Main protagonist, as well as the narrator of "Never Let Me Go." Something of an introvert, Kathy is much more thoughtful and observant than her friends. An "old soul."
Ruth
- Kathy's childhood friend. Somewhat shallow and conceited, but when push comes to shove her first instinct is to protect her friends.
Tommy
- Childhood reject, non-artist, "knucklehead." Love interest for both Kathy and Ruth, as well as the third member of their group of friends at Hailsham and beyond.
The majority of "Never Let Me Go" is told in flashback form, with adult Kathy narrating her experiences as if they were happening in the moment. We find Kathy sitting in her donor's room, reminiscing quietly to herself. She begins to tell of her childhood at Hailsham, and these stories take up the first half of the novel. The second half concerns itself with her life at the Cottages, and then later on her life as a carer for Ruth, and later Tommy.
Basic Plot & Premise
"Never Let Me Go" is a story following the life of Kathy H. (her last name is never given, a rule Ishiguro follows throughout the novel,) set in the not-too-distant future.

The main agent of conflict in the story concerns Kathy's learning the true nature of her existence as a clone. Although the word "clone" isn't actually present in the book until later, very early on the reader gets a suspicion that something is not quite normal about Kathy and her friends.
Word Guide for the World of Never Let Me Go"
donor-
The clones are referred to as "donors," because their ultimate purpose is to donate their vital organs for medicine.
carer-
Some clones are chosen to act as "carers," which are just clones that take care of donors as they give organs. They later become donors themselves.
completion-
When donors lose too many vital organs to survive, they "complete" (read as die.)
model-
The source material for the clone's DNA. Some of the clones have a need to find their models.
possible-
A person that could possibly be a "model."
The End.
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Recommend?
Yes. "Never Let Me Go" is a decent book, but I wouldn't recommend it for everyone. Don't read it expecting lots of Sci-Fi cloning like I did, that's not what this story is about.
Full transcript