Never Let Me Go: Raising Philosophical Issues
‘Never Let Me Go’ is a novel written by Kazuo Ishiguro in 2005. In the book, we get to follow Kathy H and her two friends Tommy and Ruth and their harmonious upbringing. Kathy is 30 years old but already at the end of her life. The three friends go together at what they think is a classic English boarding school. However, there is something special about the students at Hailsham School. They soon realize their true purpose as prospective donors. The students have been cloned and the teachers are their guardians. During school hours, students learn to express themselves artistically. The best works are then selected by the mysterious Madame who is said to exhibit them in her gallery. However, this is a discrete subject, as is the future. Students realize so little about their true purpose of acceptance without any future. In the book, you can follow Kathy’s search for the meaning of their unusual fate. This is the novel’s fable.
Kathy H tells the story from a hunting perspective that takes place in her travels through Britain and her memories of Hailsham. The first two parts of the book are about their time at Hailsham and The Cottages that they move to when they become teenagers, where you can follow a series of boarding school memories and memories from their teens. Here the stories take place in that time. Initially, it is difficult to keep up with the stories given that there is a great deal of movement between thoughts and time. The last part of the book takes place in the present and you have to follow Kathy’s time as a carer, just before she becomes a donor. The book is structured in a way that Kathy uses narrative events to describe another specific event. This makes it difficult to keep apart the different events and you do not understand why one event has significance for another event. What drives the action forward is the conflict between life and death consciousness as well as the curiosity about whether they should get an answer to their questions about themselves as clones and their true ancestors. Then there is also a question that lies in the back of your mind during the reading experience, ‘when will they escape?’. It seems that there is always an acceptance of their future that should not be so accepted. Someone should revolt, someone should try to escape, someone should find a way out. At the same time as the thoughts as to why this never happens to strive around, you realize that it may not be about acceptance or fleeing from their predetermined. It may be about what the meaning of our lives is and how we shape our lives and our future. It feels obvious that they should be tempted by freedom in the face of all their possibilities, while at the same time one may perceive it a bit like fear. The meaning of these people is that they should exist if someone gets sick and needs an organ, they are like spare parts to the ‘real’ people. With the idea that they should escape and settle free, no clear turning point in the book arises. Another conflict that emerges in the novel is the triangle drama between love, friendship, and betrayal. There is always a hope that Tommy will understand that he is meant to be with Kathy instead of Ruth. Finally, in this conflict, a turning point is shown when the characters realize that it is the purity of love that plays the biggest role.
The happy moments in the book bring with it a bitter side taste because you always know that it is the only temporary based on the story of a woman who has lost everything. Throughout the book, a printed and critical mood suffers from the help of a bleak environment. The characters in the book are very superficial and you must not get to know them in-depth. Kathy is a humble and genuine person who wants everyone well, but she also wants her well. Since everything is reflected from her perspective, it is difficult to avoid her character. She wants to find a way out of their doomed future but at the same time, it doesn’t feel like she is ready to take the step. You have to follow Kathy’s thoughts and memories a lot and you get her view of Tommy and Ruth. Tommy is the sensitive guy who was the victim of being teased at school and Ruth is the determined girl who always gets what she wants and is a bit of a role model to the other girls. Ruth is a bit of a flat character because she is eviler and does not have a mutual behavior where she cares about others. While Kathy and Tommy are more round characters where they show more emotions and feel empathy for others. The feelings of the reader are not brought to life when it comes to the characters, you cannot care about them because you do not get a clear picture of them. While the characters are difficult to grasp, the focus is placed more on people and their inner thoughts and lives instead of everything around them. This is very much because you always have to follow Kathy’s inner thoughts and memories. You do not get a picture of how society is structured, which means that the context fades along with the story. There is always an emotional room and hard-boiled tone above the book, which is also depicted in the light environmental descriptions you get. Everything feels very gray and cold considering the early mornings and pale skies. The story is constantly based on Kathy, her view of things and her thoughts and stories. This makes the novel enigmatic, it takes a lot of the reader to follow the story in that it is written in a fairly advanced way, although the language is simple. The flashbacks and the parallel events move towards the arrangement, which leads to an unclear form of the novel. You are kept unaware of what will happen and how far the conflicts will be resolved or not. There is no clear solution to the significant conflict in the story. Although the story at the end is built together as a kind of net and the puzzle pieces fall into place, there is a complete ending that ties together one’s expectations. While the book is based on sci-fi considering the supernatural with clones and donations of this kind, you get a believable feeling through drama and love. The overall genre is drama because it is very much about the emotions and thoughts of the affected characters, which also takes place in various dramatic situations. You can also relate this to the triangle drama that is played out throughout the story. Also, the narrative voice of Kathy is real and it is not told in a way that transcends the supernatural situation, it is told in a real way. Because of this, it is easy to get into different situations, even if it is something that you cannot relate to at all.
An act where you get to puzzle a lot yourself, where many questions are left to the reader and where high concentration is required is something that sums up this novel. It is recommended for those who are stubborn and aware of their desire to get through the entire book because it is so deep in their action. The novel is a bit of a philosophical kind and raises many thoughts and questions about, for example, human rights and the dignity of the man himself. If you want a book where there is a lot of scraping on the surface and you do not get everything on silver barrels, this is a book worth reading.