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Never Let Me Go

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  • Pages: 6
  • Word count: 1305
  • Category: Behavior

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Quote 1:
“Carers aren’t machines. You try and do your best for every donor, but in the end, it wears you down.” Page 4 This quote really stuck out and resonated with me, especially when you take into consideration how the book ends as a whole. Kath’s quote has quite a bit to do with the theme of this novel. Kath ended up falling in love with Tommy, but he led on to break her heart by not wishing for her to be his carer anymore. All she did was try to make things go well for him, but ended up driving him away. Quote 2:

“But that’s not really what I want to talk about just now.” Page 45 This quote was pulled purely for the syntactical value it holds. Kazuo Ishiguro uses quite a few sentences that start with the words “and,” “but,” and “because.” He previously used it on page 44 when saying, “But the thing was, there was no predicting Miss Emily.” he starts sentences this way eight times within pages 44 and 45. I think this is to make it seem more like actual dialogue and like we are having an encounter with someone familiar rather than an informal informative.

Quote 3:
“’Why? Why is it so much worse for us?’” Page 69
This incredibly simple quote holds quite a lot of power in it. This is the question that really defines Kath as a character; as a carer, even. When she tells them how much more important it is that the donors stay healthy, this is the question she expects to get. Once she realizes about the students that they aren’t going to ask her why, it seems like she becomes disappointed. She seems to mourn the fact that she isn’t prodded anymore about the issue and seems to actually have a desire to reveal something to them. Quote 4:

“For some reason, we called it ‘umbrella sex…’” Page 96 Through this quote, it is explained that gay sex was defined as “umbrella sex” and that partaking in homosexual intercourse made you what they called “an umbrella.” The guardians and children both are unkind and unaccepting of anything of the sort, which I see as a nod towards reality. The reason I chose this quote is because of the diction and the fact that the diction is so unique. There is just no reason I can think of that they would refer to homosexuals as umbrellas, but I found it interesting. Quote 5:

“’I want me and Tommy to get back together again. Kathy, will you help?’” Page 103 This ironic quote shows how the relationship between Kath and Ruth was strained and awkward, yet Ruth could not have possibly known that yet. Here Kath is, secretly pining over Tommy, when Ruth drives a wedge in that by asking whether or not she would help her and Tommy get back together to continue their relationship. It’s actually pretty remarkable in the fact that this exemplifies how utterly human the characters are: assumed innocent by those around them, only to have their own needs and desires. Quote 6:

“When someone wanted sex with you, that too was much more straightforward.” Page 127 This quote really illustrates the setting of the Cottages. I don’t mean this as much in a literal way as I do a figurative way. The entire passage this is pulled from goes on to illustrate how much more “grown up” the Cottages were than Hailsham. One of the major factors to this adult atmosphere was the way Kath describes how she came to learn about hooked up during their stay at the cottages and her initial feelings towards it. The chapter also goes on to explain her reaction to the new setting and hints at her jealousy of Tommy and Ruth by talking about how she was explicitly aware of their sexual relationship and how she had tried it out of curiosity. Quote 7:

“The others filed out behind me, and while I was waiting for the change, I watched them through one of the big misty windows, shuffling about in the sunshine, not talking, looking down at the sea.” Page 155 I chose this quote because of one—possibly two—literary devices I found intriguingly intertwined into this one quote. The first is the imagery. After the uncomfortable and sobering conversation they just had, this scene shows us what I can clearly imagine as a silent event, one in which each of them comes to terms with how what they were previously discussing relates to them as individuals. The next that I see, and call me crazy, is plot. This illustrates one of the many aspects of the plot I’ve recognized: beauty in the breakdown. Here they are, all coming to turning points in their lives and they are shown to be out calmly and serenely staring out into the ocean as the sun caresses them, a moving image to imagine. Quote 8:

“She can go find the art they’ve done over years and years. She can see if they go. If they match.” Page 176 This quote quite literally exemplifies how structured Tommy feels his life is. He and Kath are discussing what they were told by the veterans and how the Hailsham students were given special arrangements from birth. It depicts Tommy going through an internal conflict and not being sure of what to think of it. All he’s ever known is what he has been told to know and now he has reached a point where he thinks for himself and the pressure of this seems to manifest into mild paranoia in this section. He wants to be able to choose for himself, but knows that will never be possible. Quote 9:

“For the most part being a carer’s suited me fine. You could even say it’s brought out the best in me.” Page 207 I find this quote to be a characterization of Kath as well as an ironic statement. In the previous chapter, Kath talks about once she made the decision to become a carer, she never wavered. In the sentences quoted, she goes on to reflect how being on has gone for her. It establishes that she has been relatively comfortable in her position, but there is also an ironic edge to the fact she mentions it brings out the best in her when it has also brought out so much more later throughout the novel. For example, it also brings her heartbreak as she coaches the donors into “completion.” Quote 10:

“’Completing at the second donation. Can’t be good.’” Page 226 This quote was chosen as a short but great example of the interesting story and diction that Kazuo Ishiguro utilizes in his book. In terms of diction, “completing” is synonymous with dying. The donation is literally a donation—but that of an organ. This is a driving factor to the storyline in the respect that Tommy and Ruth are both donors. It is a reminder that one day, they too will have to “complete” and that only foreshadows the pain to come. Quote 11:

“’Or to put it more finely, we did it to prove you had souls at all.’” Page 260 This is what I view as the climax of the story. Tommy had become so obsessed with his thoughts that they kept the Gallery to prove who was able to love who that he didn’t realize how absurd the notion was. Yes, it is here that he finds that he was incorrect to listen to the veterans and it is almost a bit cruel in the way that Marie-Claude and Miss Emily reveal the true purposes behind the art. With this solved, the book is pushed ushered into its ending.

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