What are some dystopian elements in Never Let Me Go?

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

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I would argue that one of the chief dystopian elements, common to many dystopian classics, is the question of identity and what it is to be human. The clones show themselves to be identical to humans: they are able to love, dream and are physically the same. Yet they live in a society that has created them and given them life solely for the purpose of taking and harvesting their organs to give life to "real" humans. In this world that they live in they are looked down upon and regarded as a kind of sub-human species. The question of what is humanity and how do we define humans and separate them from such imitations abounds, and, just as in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the answers are rather unsettling.

Together with the issue of humanity, another topic that rears its ugly head in this excellent novel is that of rights and control. The clones live in a very tightly-controlled world. No mention is made of any clones ever trying to rebel against their lot. Although there are rumours of extra time that can be won, it is just extra time, not life, and these rumours are shown to be false in the novel anyway. Clones are created and brought up to serve one purpose: to give their organs until they die. As such, their existence is pitiful and short. They are used and abused by humans.

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