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Identify a theme that is present in Never Let Me Go that can be found in other Ishiguro...

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franzi885 | High School Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 9, 2012 at 8:53 AM via web

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Identify a theme that is present in Never Let Me Go that can be found in other Ishiguro novels.

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

Posted January 7, 2013 at 11:41 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that a theme that is present in a couple of Ishiguro's works that is also seen in Never Let Me Go is the manipulation of individuals by a larger element.  This manipulation is done to advance an ulterior agenda and is done with through the full commitment of the individual.  In Never Let Me Go, the entire premise of the clones' being is that they are to be sacrificed, harvested for other humans.  Their lives are maximized to feed another beings' agenda.  Their manipulation lies at the heart of the novel, and the closer to "completion" that they get, their lives extinguish.  This idea of the individual being manipulated to feed a larger agenda can be seen in An Artist of the Floating World where Ono comes to accept that his art, one that he believed must have held social importance, becomes part of the Japanese war campaign and the atrocities that are intrinsic to it.  In this, the artist and his world become manipulated by political agendas.  In The Remains of the Day, Lord Darlington finds himself being manipulated by opportunistic Germans who wished to take advantage of appeasement for their own benefit.  In the same way, Stevens' emotional sensibilities are manipulated by his sense of duty, even though he recognized the intrinsic wrong in it.  In these instances, individuals are manipulated into a larger agenda, maximized by their own complicity in their manipulation.


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