Never Let Me Go
At Hailsham, Ruth often annoys Kathy by pretending to have special knowledge and privileges. Kathy also describes Tommy, a student known for throwing violent temper tantrums. Kathy sympathizes with Tommy, and tries to calm him down during one of his tantrums. Tommy later learns to control his temper after a guardian named Miss Lucy assures him that it is not necessary for him to be creative. Although the students learn vaguely about the donation program, their guardians shield them from a full understanding of their future.
Miss Lucy disagrees with this indirect approach, and often exhibits strange behavior in front of the students as a result, in one instance telling them explicitly about their futures. After Miss Lucy speaks with Tommy about his artwork, he and Kathy theorize that creativity may be connected to donations. They speculate about Madame, a woman who visits Hailsham to collect the best student artwork.
Never Let Me Go | Book reviews | RGfE
Madame is rumored to keep this art in a personal gallery. When the song ends, Kathy sees Madame crying in the doorway.
Shortly afterwards, Kathy loses her tape. Kathy thinks he is upset about his recent breakup with Ruth, whom he has dated for six months.
But Tommy is upset about Miss Lucy, who recently told him that she was wrong to dismiss the importance of creativity. Miss Lucy departs Hailsham abruptly, and Tommy mends his relationship with Ruth. Ruth often ignores Tommy and Kathy in her efforts to blend in with the veterans, who are not from Hailsham. Kathy notices that the veterans regard the Hailsham students with awe. One couple, Chrissie and Rodney, are especially interested in Hailsham.
In Norfolk, Chrissie and Rodney ask about a rumored exception allowing Hailsham couples in love to defer their donations. Ruth pretends to know something about deferrals, which surprises Kathy and Tommy. The students eventually find the open-plan office.
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They follow her to an art gallery, where they realize that the woman does not actually resemble Ruth. Tommy tells Kathy that he has begun drawing pictures of imaginary animals. After Norfolk, Ruth stops talking about her dream future. Tommy shows his drawings to Kathy, who finds them puzzling but captivating. Shortly afterwards, Kathy submits her application for carer training and departs.
While Kathy is good at her job, the work is both difficult and lonely. She unexpectedly runs into a Hailsham friend named Laura, who is also a carer.
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They talk about Ruth, who had a bad first donation. They also talk about Hailsham, which has closed. They pick up Tommy on the way to the boat, which they find bleached and crumbling in a marsh. The marsh reminds both Tommy and Ruth of Hailsham.
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They also discuss Chrissie, who completed on her second donation. On the return trip, Ruth apologizes for keeping Tommy and Kathy apart.
Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘Never Let Me Go’ Is a Masterpiece of Racial Metaphor
It's a classy and composed British drama, with hardback cinema production values, based on a premise that has already been extensively explored by genre and science-fiction writers. This premise is disquieting, though Never Let Me Go may be too tasteful to be scary, and yet too contrived and unreal to be tragic.
And it has to be said that there is sometimes a "fashion shoot" quality to the styles and visual compositions. Being scary or tragic may not be precisely the point, though. Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley play Kathy, Tommy and Ruth, who have grown up together in a boarding school in a kind of alternative-reality England, which, but for occasional touches of modernity, could be the late s or early 50s.
The children are being groomed for a special, self-sacrificial destiny in this weirdly Sovietised society, and when they realise what that destiny is, it is to have far-reaching repercussions for their relationship, which becomes a distorted love triangle. The secret purpose which the government have assigned to them is not revealed with the flash of drama, horror, or vertigo that it might have in conventional sci-fi treatments. In storytelling terms, this is a bit disconcerting. But the very point is perhaps that it is humdrum, workaday, embedded in the tatty fabric of everyday life, and just something else to be depressed about.