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What is a good argument for Never Let me Go?

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garytanker | Student, College Freshman | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 1, 2012 at 6:45 PM via web

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What is a good argument for Never Let me Go?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 31, 2012 at 6:44 AM (Answer #1)

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A key theme of this excellent text is the way in which the clones are treated at Hailsham and by society in general, and in particular how they are not told the truth initially, and then only fed certain lines of argument that support the harvesting of organs and do not expose the full horror of what the clones must endure. This is a theme that becomes clear to both Kathy and the reader in Chapter Seven, when Miss Lucy, one of the guardians at Hailsham, is no longer able to restrain herself from telling the truth to these children. What triggers this revelation is hearing the children talking about their plans for the future. Note what she says to them:

The problem, as I see it, is that you've been told and not told. You've been told, but none of you really understand, and I dare say, some people are quite happy to leave it that way. But I'm not. If you're going to have decent lives, then you've got to know and know properly. None of you will go to America, none of you will be film stars... Your lives are set out for you. You'll become adults, then before you're old, before you're even middle-aged, you'll start to donate your vital organs.

The theme of information and how this is used and abused in order to keep the clones understanding only very little about their situation and to keep them accepting of their fate is a key theme in the novel. Critics have remarked, often with great annoyance, about the way in which the characters never challenge or question their fate: they do not try to run away or to rebel. However, Ishiguro paints a picture of a society that carefully feeds them arguments to help them except their lot in life. They are told they are very special and they are given strict instructions to look after their health. The clones are quite clearly indoctrinated by society at large so that they fulfill their role of donating their organs. Information and its use and abuse is therefore a key theme in the novel and well worth exploring further.

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