Never Let Me Go
It is impossible to talk about the novel Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro in a straightforward manner. This novel though cryptic and rather dark is full of hidden meanings and powerful messages. The novel is written in a slow paced, carefully thought out manner that reveals a parallel world much like our own within the boundaries of modern England. The author, Mr. Kazuo Ishiguro has crept into the world of science fiction and horror to create a book revolving around memory and the daily human interactions that knag at one’s mind.
Ishiguro has found a way to mix unpleasantness with euphemism and blissful ignorance. So it is perhaps appropriate to say that the book is memorable, and to not mention, specifically, why. First a quick spoiler: Never Let Me Go takes place in a parallel universe where the main characters Kathy, Tommy and Ruth are clones raised like farm crops for their organs. These clones are called Donors; they live in a truncated life and die around middle age as their organs are removed from them one at a time in painful and sometimes fatal surgeries.
The majority of the story focuses on the protagonist’s childhood when they were enclosed in a strange boarding school enclosed from the rest of the world. Many reviewers of this novel are focused on the sci-fi and horror aspects of the novel such as cloning humans and using them to grow organs. Many people also fall to the conclusion that the novel is a rather grim portrayal of how the modern medical field and science may take a turn for the worst; I for one find these ideas completely and undoubtedly wrong. When reading the novel one finds an overwhelming sense of frustration.
The idea of knowing about your terrible fate and seemingly doing nothing about it angers one to no end. In this case the characters just accept it. They continue their lives as normally as they can and reminisce about their younger days and yesterday’s events. Often when faced with such a dilemma we find people and even ourselves saying things such as “If that were me I would fight! ” even sometimes along the lines of, “How can you just stand there and do nothing? ” In spite of all of this when I find myself thinking such a thing I find the need to ask myself, would you?
Would I honestly try to fight or would I just sit there and try to continue living normally until the fateful day comes? In even a larger scale are not all of us stuck in past times we have never once examined? How many of us are surrounded by injustices and evils we simply continue to ignore and forget about? Ask yourself this honestly. Recently in my life I have experienced something very similar. A friend of mine developed an extreme case of leukemia. This friend of mine, a mere sixteen year old girl with so much life ahead of her, came down with one of the most awful and deadly diseases.
Now she was faced with the tough decision of continuing her hospitalization for another month or going home. Whatever decision she would make would change her life forever. Stay and fight or accept and spend your last days away from that dreaded white room. She chose to leave. This decision of accepting her fate and leaving what small chance of live she could have had racked my brain. Why would she have given up? I asked myself repeatedly to come up with some reason, I failed. Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is a novel that teaches acceptance of one’s life.
In all of our lives there is something we cannot change, this novel ultimately tells us all that we shouldn’t try to. We should just accept it and move on until we simply cannot move any longer. Reading this novel has impacted me in a way I could not have dreamed it would. I now see some things in a different light then I once did, and I find myself approaching certain topics and ideas very differently. Never Let Me Go is a wonderful though grim take on life full of twists and turns, it truly is a great novel I believe everyone should one day have the chance to read.