Never Let Me Go Essay Example
In the novel, Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro, demonstrates the importance of knowing one’s true identity. The main characters, Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth, have a complicated journey by the fact that they are cloned for the purpose of becoming donors. Meaning, they are forced to save “regular” humans by offering their own lives. Even though Kathy and her classmates are outcasts among society, they look and act like normal adolescents. They question who they are, discover their strengths and weaknesses, and develop relationships with others around them. Yet, because society never thought of the moral implications of experimenting with human clones, they are consumed with unanswered questions that have them feeling incomplete and lost. If their situation was not complex enough, Hailsham treats their students with respect and gives them a foundation for a more meaningful life compared to other clones. Ishiguro emphasizes when an individual becomes isolated due to society’s views, their identity may shatter, fueling them to discover the deeper meaning of life.
Being an outcast of society, causes the Hailsham students to believe they have no worth other than donating their vital organs. As the students chat during their break in the pavilion, Miss Lucy lays down the law by telling the students, “none of you will become film stars” (Ishiguro 20). This diminishes any hope the students may have for living a normal life. The word “none” reiterates the fact that all clones are in the same position and are unable to pursue their dreams of having “real-people” jobs within society. The students question their identity because they are being told who they are, instead of creating a life of their own. They soon become aware that their “lives are set out for [them]” and the only reason for their existence is to fulfill the needs of others (Ishiguro 20). By being a donor, the clones extend the lives of “ordinary” citizens by sacrificing their own time, opportunities and goals for their future. These Hailsham students are being commonized instead of being recognized for their individual talents and character, which ultimately destroys their identity.
Kathy, Ruth and Tommy’s loss of identity fuel their inspirations and hopes of finding answers to who they are and their true purpose beyond being a life-saving clone. When the students graduate from Hailsham, they continue their journey as a clone to the cottages. This is where they meet Rodney and Chrissie, who claim they spotted Ruth’s “possible” during their trip in Norfolk. They believe that when you see the person “ who you [are] copied from, you get some insight into who you [are] deep down” (Ishiguro 121). This gives the clones hope for a brighter future, which causes them to rekindle their fallen spirits that shattered their ability to find their true selves. The phrase “deep down” indicates that the students are searching for their “possible”, so they can see what their life would be like if they were not clones. Finding the person they are modeled after shows the students they do in fact have a deeper purpose, consisting of more than just being a science experiment. When Kathy and Tommy finally take the plunge and try to emerge themselves into the outside world, Madame reveals the harsh reality that society will always put a “barrier against seeing [the clones] as properly human" (Ishiguro 208). Public views regarding clones create a wall that even Hailsham cannot break. Since the students are truly human, it is typical for them to have passions and dreams, but they cannot obtain these because they are restricted by society’s expectations. They seek something greater than what is planned for their future and yearn to live a life for themselves. Even though Hailsham supports the clones and wants them to be treated with dignity, they do not have the power to change the minds of the world.
When society segregates the students, they slowly lose their sense of identity and their hopes for a marvelous life deteriorate. Instead of letting mankind choose their fate, they take control and uncover the depths of their souls. Although the students are able to explore their true nature, the clones and the proper human beings will forever be separated due to society’s biased views.
Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go. Vintage Books. 2005.