Saturday, January 7, 2017

Never Let Me Go

6334As children, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy were students at Hailsham, an exclusive boarding school secluded in the English countryside. It was a place of mercurial cliques and mysterious rules where teachers were constantly reminding their charges of how special they were. Now, years later, Kathy is a young woman. Ruth and Tommy have reentered her life, and for the first time she is beginning to look back at their shared past and understand just what it is that makes them special—and how that gift will shape the rest of their time together.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Kazuo Ishiguro writes a novel of dystopian compliance with his novel, Never Let Me Go. Set in an alternate reality, this dystopian novel explores the life of clones who have been created for one purpose: to be organ donors. As the main character reflects on her life, she prepares to begin her donation process, which will end with her death. Readers reflect with her as Kathy tells her story of love, learning, and loss. 

Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy are the central characters in this book, though it's told from Kathy's point of view. Or rather, it's a story that Kathy is telling. She admits that all of the details might not be completely correct, but the story is nonetheless true. Kathy is a woman who is good at her job. All clones have to be 'carers' at some point, providing care for other clones who have already begun donating. This demonstrates just how caring, loving, and understanding Kathy is. As clones, Kathy and the other like her are all separate from society. They're raised together, taught together, and though they are never given the spelled out version, they'll all die, or 'complete,' by donating vital organs to those in need. 

As Kathy reflects on her life, she tells the story of her tumultuous relationship with her friend Ruth, as well as her dear friendship with Tommy. Kathy is presented as a normal woman with hopes to be a good carer and a good friend. Yet, she never questions her predetermined fate to die so that others can live. There isn't much to dislike about Kathy, although she seems to spend her time focusing on building other people up, putting herself and what she wants behind the needs of others. And though this is a respectable quality, it's also sad to witness the consequences. The ever changing status of Kathy and Ruth's relationship is emotional and evolutionary. Though readers will side with Kathy, they'll also understand Ruth's actions and motivations as another clone who will never see her dreams come to fruition. 

The plot of Never Let Me Go is all about Kathy telling the reader her history. It seems that she does this as a way to let the reader know why she accepts her fate. And though it's easy to say she should have fought the system, it's presented as an impossible feat. By hearing Kathy's story, the reader will come to understand Kathy's desire to be finished, to be complete, after the loss she's witnessed. Never Let Me Go is a heartbreaking exploration of a world where organs are harvested and the recipients try not to think about the sacrifice made so that they may live, evoking very emotional responses from its readers including anger, sadness, and understanding. 

Rating: 4/5 Cups

No comments:

Post a Comment