Never let me go is a science fiction novel that as written by the contemporary Japanese, English writer Ishiguro, and published in the year 2005. The story is about three characters Kathy, Tommy and Ruth. These three characters have a unique friendship, face gloomy circumstances, and have a unique way of reacting to challenges. This creates a sad storyline. The author of the novel begins the novel in a contemporary manner, and it takes some time before the reader realizes that the world described in the novel is a fictions world. The scene in the novel are in an alternate Britain in the 1990’s, which is quite interesting since it is five years before the actual publication of the book. The society in the novel has a different world with different rules as the characters themselves learn. Reading the novel, one quickly notices that the narrator is obsessive and oversensitive, and she interprets every look, and gestures of every event.
In the literary world, the novel falls in the category of science fiction book, but unlike other science fiction books such as Stephanie Mayor novel the Host, the author does not reveal in detail all her aspects found in a science fiction novel. It also excludes the description of how the whole science fiction works. The dominant genre of the novel is not a science fiction but a boarding school novel. The book features a young narrator and most of the cast are females, which differentiate it from other genre, which all have boys- school bias. It brings out the nature of adolescent female psychology, and the way closest friendships can harbour intensive rivalries in them (Fowler 78).
The organization structure of the novel is wonderful with a continuous flow from one page to another. It brings out human characteristic such as greed and selfishness. It also brings out the devastating emotional dimension in the characters. The book opens at Hailsham, which is not a normal boarding school and its pupils are special. The narrator Kathy can never be an average person.
At the beginning of the book, it opens in secluded boarding school, in the English countryside called Hailsham. The school is not a normal school, and it is only for special pupils. The narrators and other characters in the novel are hesitant to seek for explanations for what they do not know and what they are not aware from the past. These sets them apart as a subclass of people living full lives within a society that they dimly are aware of it. The boarding school setting is a metaphor, which begins with the student creating in groups within the school (Ishuguro 89). These groups’ gives distinction between the older and the younger students.
Ishuguro (93), ‘After the narrator moves out of the school it is a mark of privilege, and handicap since their lives were full of rules controlled by the unseen power’. Ishiguro says that,’ the children in this school are afraid of the woods, and guardians are much stricter’. The school places considerable efforts in the student’s self-expression through art and healthy living. In the school, there are exhaustive medical checkups. Smoking in the school is a crime and despite the care lavished on the students the world that they live in seem to have a puzzling second feeling. Everything that the students in this school own is junk, and the teaching aids in the school are rudimentary. The students have a feeling that they are taken care of on cheap things (Anders 85).
The students’ fear of the woods reflects their fate. The students are part of organ donors cloned to be broken up one day for spare; to be used in the science project. The purpose of the school is to prepare students for their future whereby they are groomed to install powerful mechanisms of self-depression in them. It also installs in them a sense of denial that will keep the students in a steady and dependable manner from one donation to the next. Visitors shun the students in Hailsham, and it is only by rumour that they occasionally discover their origins, and strange destiny.
Ishuguro (102) says, ‘after Hailsham Kathy, Ruth and Tommy grew from puzzled little children to young confused adults who live in a prolonged limbo waiting for a call to donate their organs’. The school management gives them an opportunity to wander, continue with their artwork. They roam around Britain looking for real human beings from which they originated. The characters lack the understanding of the world that they live in and they stare into the windows of ordinary office, and find fascination in the clean, modern space in the offices.
They do not even go out for lunch, and as clones, they look at the society that made them and fail to understand the simplest social and economic structures of the society. Hailsham students are sheltered from the real understanding of the world in which they are living in as well as their purpose. They are not sheltered from understanding of their real fate. They live in suspense from the present understanding of the rules that govern their world. Ishiguro says states in the novel that,’ Beneath Kathy’s flatten emotional landscape lies a pure volcanic of turmoil that will never let her live a normal life’.
Ishiguro attempts to enter British society. The scenes of the book are set in British society, which up to now the British society rules by class with greatly places people in the society having more importance than other members or foreigners. The characters, in this book, are people who believe in that they are a part of the privileged group, but they are still conscious of the true elite, which lies beyond their circle, which they will never belong.
Kathy as a young adult lived in a cottage. From the clear description of the cottage, it is inferior to the luxuries of Hailsham. The building that she lives in is cold, and in poor condition and the clones have little to do in the cottages. Ishuguro (102) said, Kathy lives in fear as she watches her friend Ruth dies’, and as they went to the beach Ruth makes her see that they could show Madame that they are truly in live and, therefore, make them be in a situation relevant to be given a deferral from being donors for three years. While living in the cottage, Kathy faces undercurrents of untold tension and the reality that awaits her. She re engages in lapsed friendship with Ruth and Tommy which made her examine the detail of their youth, and this made them revisit the clues that were evident in their youth that showed that they were different from the others (Brunyate 124).
In her adult hood Kathy, a 31-year-old alumna of Hailsham is conscious of her ending phase of one life and the beginning chapter of her new life. She is in her reflective mood, and she recounts both her childhood memories at Hailsham, and the quest to find the idealistic women who ran it. Kathy suffers emotional break down and deals with illness, self-sacrifice and severe restriction of personal freedom.
On the other hand, there is a scene that is about three quarters of the way through the book where Kathy, after her graduation she travels around Britain. She is seen taking a couple of her friends to go and see an old boat, which was beached on the edge of the Eastern fens. This a common sight at the shorelines, one would think. For Kathy and her friends, this was not the case. For people who are in institutions that cannot allow them to go out such visits seemed to be very important for them. The author uses this to show the smallness of the character’s world that is in the novel. He achieves this by showing enthusiasm of the characters that are so apparent in this visit.
From the discussion above, Kathy can never be an average person as form her childhood she has been living a life that is restricted in school and she has no chance to explore the real world. In school, other students are shunning Kathy and her friends. They have no visitors visiting them in school, unlike other students. As a young adult, Kathy faces problems and subsequently transferred to live in a cottage that is poorly maintained and it is very cold. He has to compete with her friend Ruth for attention and yet still shoe still cannot let her go.
She in her adult hood has to act as a career for the organ. She cannot be an average person as she is a clone and being a clone she will be used for the scientific project either a donor or career of the organs. She can never be an average person since in the British culture there is the classification of people and those people who are rich or from within are considered more special than others are. If she lived an average life, she would have had the privilege realizing her full potential of life. The author uses her to show how the influence characters social class can influence one’s life.