How does Kazuo Ishiguro use the character Tommy to explore ideas about being an outsider in the novel Never Let Me Go?

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From the beginning of the novel, Tommy is a character who is out of step with his Hailsham peers. In the early pages of the book, Ishiguro uses the character of Tommy to illustrate two ways a young person can interpret the experience of being an outsider.

Tommy is a boy who feels his emotions deeply, and the others treat his outbursts as commonplace and amusing. From a young age, Tommy is taunted and baited by the other boys, and most of the girls find his humiliation entertaining. Though he is known to be a sensitive soul, prone to temper tantrums since he was very small, he is considered to be the source of his own problems, which is a common interpretation of negative situations many outsiders face even today. This comment on the state of being an outsider is the first one Ishiguro makes through the character of Tommy: to be an outsider is to be vulnerable and worse, to be subject of blame by the mainstream party as the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 486 words.)

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