Klara and the Sun

by Kazuo Ishiguro

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Part Six Summary and Analysis

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Josie recovers in full, and eventually her focus shifts toward preparing for college. As Josie nears adulthood, Klara notices that she and Rick are drifting apart. Suddenly, she observes, they seem to be preparing for two completely different futures.

Concerned, Klara asks Rick whether what he told her at the barn the week of Josie's recovery was true: that their love was genuine and everlasting. Reassuringly, he tells her it was—they loved each other deeply at that time, and it was certainly not a lie then. And even though they've grown into separate people and no longer see the same vision for themselves that they once did, in a way it's still true now. They can still hold that same love for each other, even as they set out on their own separate paths.

Josie becomes busier with her studies, and other young women start to visit the house to stay for a night or two at a time. Unsure where she should go during these visits, and recognizing that Josie and the Mother need less from her than they once did, Klara takes up residence in a disused utility closet at the top of the landing in order to stay out of the way. When Josie discovers her sitting in the closet, she points to the window high on the wall and asks if Klara can see out of it. Klara reports that it's too high up, and Josie builds a platform for her to stand on so she can watch the sun move across the sky. Klara, immensely grateful, thanks her.

One morning, Mr. Capaldi stops by the house to speak to Klara. People are growing increasingly concerned about AFs, he tells her. There's fear that they've become too clever, and he's looking for volunteers to help his research in fighting back against this prejudice. Klara starts to respond, but the Mother seems concerned and intervenes on her behalf. "Klara deserves better. She deserves her slow fade," she tells Mr. Capaldi.

When Josie finally leaves for college, it's clear that she and Klara may not see each other again. The two hug, and Klara notices that for the first time, Josie is taller than she is. "Thank you for choosing me," Klara says before she leaves.

From her place sitting on the ground at "the Yard," a vast resting area for decommissioned technology, Klara reflects on the memories she's collected over the course of her life as an AF. She's surprised to notice that her memories are starting to overlap—in her mind, she can see one memory connecting with another to take place in a composite setting, like a collage.

As she sits contentedly in the Yard, sifting through her memories, Klara is surprised to see a familiar figure collecting interesting trinkets off the ground: the Manager, the kind woman who was responsible for Klara's early days at the department store. The two share a friendly chat, and Klara tells the Manager what a wonderful life she's had. The Manager tells her there are several other AFs in the Yard, and she can ask the workers to move her to be with them if she'd like.

Grateful for the kind offer, Klara thanks the Manager, but declines. She's happy where she is, she assures the Manager, and she has many memories to sift through.

Analysis

When the Mother insists to Mr. Capaldi that Klara deserves her "slow fade," the author confronts the notion of AF death for the first time. This is a stark contrast to the rest of the narrative, which has predominantly addressed grief and finality...

(This entire section contains 811 words.)

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through the emotional tragedy of human mortality.

For Klara, this acknowledgment comes at a time that feels natural. Josie is now grown and ready for college. The AF has taken up residence in a utility closet to stay out of the way. This is a direct contrast to the human experience, in which most people fear death more than anything.

When her slow fade does come, the extent to which Klara's life experience has fostered distinctly human tendencies is abundantly clear, and her inherent duality is again reinforced. She finds, as many humans do, that her memories have organically begun to overlap. She can separate them if she tries, but they mix and muddle in her mind, just as the memories of aging humans do.

When Klara declines to be moved near the other AFs in the yard, her choice perfectly encapsulates this perpetual duality. Klara is content to sit in solitude and place her memories back in the right order, just as a human might be content to reorder their collection of photographs in their old age. Having reached the end of her life expectancy and her natural utility, being able to reflect on a job well done under the Sun's generous rays is a peaceful, graceful end.

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Part Five Summary and Analysis