The problem of cloning people has received its huge popularity recently, and has led to creation of numerous pieces of literature, which touch the problem of cloning and depict the life of cloned people in usual society. It should be noted that the problem of cloning is always connected with humanity, as these two topics are closely interrelated. The topic of the present paper is discussion of the novel “Never Let Me Go” written by Kazuo Ishiguro, which illustrates the life of cloned people. The main characters showed the features of simple people and proved that even being cloned is not the obstacle for having usual feelings, peculiar to humans.
“Never Let Me Go” is the story about the life of the cloned children, who are living in usual society. Kathy, Tommy and Ruth, and the love-triangle they start at Hailsham is the major theme, which the story is focused on. Ruth is the controlling person, while Tommy is the person, for whom it is very difficult to control his temper, but they both hope that love can save them. They are sure that it is exactly love and art will get the deferral. One more participant of the love triangle is Kathy, who is a carer by nature as well as by profession. Kathy watches the break of their friends, but never lets them go. After Hailsham, they grow from bewildered children to confused adults and their life seems to be like that of usual people: they are studying at school, but unlike other children, they study more arts. Teachers at school teach them to follow everything obediently; make them to protect their organs and teach arts rather than teaching math and science. They have usual life, during which they are trying to find themselves, as they understand that despite having the same appearance, they are little bit different from the rest of society. Their sense of deferral is pervasive, as they do not understand quite properly how to live. Kathy and Tommy and Ruth are childishly snobby about the proprieties and with the flow of time, the teens start setting teenage behavioral traps for each other. It means that they growing up and start feeling the feelings that have not been familiar to them before, such as love, friendship, affection, devotion, deceit and lies. The readers see the transformation of clones into usual people, who start familiarizing with the world, step by step.
Despite the sad final of the story, the major charters develop features and feelings that have changed their life almost completely and made them believe that they are usual people. The first thing that the life has taught them is acceptance. Though sometimes Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy have questions about their existence, their roles in life and the roles as organ donors, they accept their plight and do not try to resist it. They understand that they are somehow necessary for the rest and the feeling of duty and necessity that they have developed, made them accept everything, provided by the destiny.
The characters have known what real friendship is and how necessary it is in life of every person. The theme of friendships in “Never Let Me Go” is rather complicated, but very realistic. In the novel, the author showed all the features of friendship, with fights and quarrels between friends, as well as the moments of making up, misunderstandings, support hurt of each other’s feelings. When she is younger, all these tiffs get to Kathy, however, being an adult, she looks past all that stuff and during her flashbacks about Ruth and Tommy, we are shown all the ups and downs of friendship, and remind about endurance of friendships: “I can see now, too, how the Exchanges had a more subtle effect on us all. If you think about it, being dependent on each other to produce the stuff that might become your private treasures—that’s bound to do things to your relationships” (Ishiguro 19). Ruth, Kathy and Tommy developed the sense of devotion to a friend and understood how important it is to have a close friend by one’s side. The next thing that the characters have learnt is danger of dreams and transience of life. In “Never Let Me Go”, Kathy together with friends has shorter life compared to regular humans, therefore they have less time to accomplish their dreams and goals, but still they keep on doing so:
“Ruth began telling us about the sort of office she’d ideally work in, and I immediately recognised it. She went into all the details—the plants, the gleaming equipment, the chairs with their swivels and castors—and it was so vivid everyone let her talk uninterrupted for ages. […] In fact, listening to her, I even started wondering if maybe it was all feasible: if one day we might all of us move into a place like that and carry on our lives together” (Ishiguro 28).
In this respect they understand how valuable the life is and how important it is to cherish every moment of life and enjoy it, whatever difficulty one faces. These people treat life in a different way, as they understand that it may end in every moment, so love for what one is having now is what they have learnt; therefore their attitude to life, dreams and hopes is somewhat different, as it is more sincere.
Finally, the most important and meaningful theme is that of love. Tommy is in love with Kathy, as although the guys understand that their destinies are doomed and they already know their roles in life, they felt the feeling of love and understood that this is one of the most important and valuable feeling in life. Unfortunately, the characters died in the end of the novel, having given their organs, but this was the destiny that they have chosen themselves, realizing that their mission is serving people and saving them. They have learnt a lot of important and beautiful things in life; therefore they decided to help the others to feel the same by giving their organs.
Kazuo, Ishiguro. Never Let Me Go. London: Faber & Faber. 2010. Print