Klara and the Sun

by Kazuo Ishiguro

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How does Klara’s narration reflect her evolving understanding of the world in Klara and the Sun?

Klara’s narration becomes more nuanced and complex, reflecting her evolving understanding of the world, as she grapples with the intricacies of her own existence and the ever-changing, dynamic interactions between sentient beings.

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Initially, as Klara awaits being purchased at a department store, she observes human interaction with some confusion and distance between human emotions and her own. For instance, at the beginning of the novel, she watches two cab drivers get into a physical altercation and simply cannot imagine feeling so angry that she would want to hurt another being. She tries to conjure up this emotion but ends up laughing at herself in the process.

After she goes to live with Josie and Josie's family, Klara develops much stronger insight into the complexity of emotions. She learns how love can be felt and expressed differently, such as the love between Josie and her mother, and the love between Josie and Rick. Klara also learns how to interpret the subtleties of tone and inflections in human voices. She comes to understand how supposedly opposing emotions can be felt simultaneously.

Klara also faces the limitations of her role as an AF and, with that, develops a deeper understanding of friendship and family. When Josie is struggling with her illness and her fear of her own death, Klara tries to comfort her, but Josie is adamant that she be comforted by her mother. Klara explains that she is Josie’s AF and that she exists to support Josie, as Klara does not yet understand that she cannot simply replace or replicate the role of Josie’s mother in comforting her daughter during such emotional turmoil.

Finally, as Klara grapples with being expected to become an AI version of Josie, it is clear through her narration how much nuance, emotional depth, and emotional intelligence she has gained throughout the novel.

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