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How does the title of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro apply to specific characters in...

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manu1208 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 15, 2011 at 6:15 AM via web

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How does the title of Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro apply to specific characters in it?

For two different female characters in the novel this phrase means different things. Identify these characters and explain what “never let me go” means to each of them.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 15, 2011 at 9:10 PM (Answer #1)

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For Ruth, the title could refer to the idea of seeking to live a "normal" life.  Ruth's hopes reside in working in an office building, being able to wield power, and establishing a position of respect, apart from what she is as a clone.  This might be what she wishes to "never let go."  In Ruth's case, the "me" is the dream, and she holds to it, believing passionately in it.  In her mirroring others' actions, one can see how Ruth seeks to hold on to her dream and through it, she never lets go.  I think for Kathy the title would refer to the idea of emotional happiness and the role she has as a "carer."  She never lets go the idea of being able to be there for people and helping to alleviate their suffering and pain.  While Tommy might have had a sexual relationship with Ruth, he is only able to share his feelings and experience reciprocity in them with Kathy.  It is through this display of love and affection that both of them never let go their feelings of hope in seeking to be liberated from their condition in proving their love to one another.  I think that the idea of "Never Let Me Go" would apply to Kathy when talking about hope and the idea that happiness and redemption can be present in the most dire of conditions.

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