Student Question

How does Never Let Me Go's dystopia promote solidarity between the clones?

Expert Answers

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In Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, the protagonist Kathy and many of the other characters are clones whose whole purpose in life seems to be to donate their organs and then “complete,” or die. These clones are raised and educated in such a way as to simply accept their fate without questioning, yet they do develop relationships with one another that help them face their meaningless futures. Let's take a look at some points you might make as you construct your answers to these questions.

First, with regard to both solidarity and acceptance, consider the clones' education. They go to boarding school where they are under complete control of the authorities. They learn what they must do with their lives, and this seems perfectly normal to them. They know nothing else, so they do not question all that much.

Notice, too, the terms used to describe the role of the clones. They “donate” their organs. This emphasizes generosity and selflessness, making people less likely to question the morality of what they are being forced to do. They “complete” their lives rather than die. This takes the edge off of the reality.

Later in life, the clones live together where one serves as “carer” for the “donors.” This arrangement brings the clones closer together. They share each other's fate, and again their roles are reinforced by the way they live in community. They never have a chance to know anything else. They merely accept what is given to them.

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