Japanese-English novelist Kazuo Ishiguro
A novelist Kazuo Ishiguro is one of the most celebrated contemporary Japanese-English fiction authors in the English-speaking world, having received four Man Booker Prize nominations, and winning the 1989 prize for his novel "The Remains of the Day".
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Kazuo Ishiguro is a Japanese-English novelist. He was born in Nagasaki, Japan, and his family moved to England. Ishiguro is one of the most celebrated contemporary fiction authors in the English-speaking world, having received four Man Booker Prize nominations, and winning the 1989 prize for his novel "The Remains of the Day". In 2008, The Times ranked Ishiguro 32nd on their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". "Never let me go" was published in 2005.
The book starts not with the very beginning of the story, but from the main heroine`s latest recollections: 'My name is Kathy H. I'm thirty-one years old, and I've been a carer now for over eleven years. That sounds long enough, I know, but actually they want me to go on for another eight months, until the end of this year. That'll make it almost exactly twelve years.' These introductory words puzzled me, and if I hadn`t watched the film previously it would take long for me to tune in. The author starts his book with this effect of deceived expectation -so to concentrate our attention on the figure of Kathy from the very beginning. The book is written in the 1st-person narration.
Actions of Never Let Me Go take place in the late 20th century, in England where human beings are cloned and bred for the purposes of taking their organs when they become adults. (The main idea of this business might sound not so ghastly in case we look at it from the other side - here exists a justification - lots of death-sick people might be cured with the help of donators` organs. )These "clones", children, grow in boarding school-type institutions, like Hailsham - the school, where everything started for Kathy, Ruth and Tommy, who made friends since they were at Senior 4. Later when clones are 18 they are taken to towns, for 3-5 years they live in little communities and rarely contact with the outside world. Soon they are taken into hospitals for operations. The strongest live through 3 operations, between which they live without some organs, and carers, like Kathy, have mission to encourage those operated, to stay with them till the end.
But 3 students from Hailsham school turned out to be exceptions - they managed to experience strong emotions, not to live the routine live of clones. Their straighforward images are omitted, we understand their characters according to their actions and phrases. Kathy was rather naive, but a strong person, fair, wise, very attentive and impressible ("I`ll never forget the strange change that came over us the next instant", "She didn`t say anything, but I understood enough"), she explains everything in details, involves the reader completely ("I should explain why I got so bothered by Ruth saying what she did", "I want to talk about the Norfolk trip"), also she addresses us directly - "As you`d expect...", "You`d hardly ever see Chrissie without her boyfriend..". Ruth, a very decisive character, a born leader, stubborn, cunning, but grateful. "Most of us didn`t agree with Ruth, but then that just made her more determined to prove she was right". After having involved Tommy into affairs with her that lasted for 7 years, Ruth found strength in herself to confess, that she always saw Kathy`s love to Tommy, and felt herself like a rival in love. Before she died she wished them happy days , that were given them untlil Tommy had to be operated. (p.228). Tommy was quite strange at childhood, very agressive (once he even hit Kathy), but on the other side he was attentive, sensitive, he gifted Kathy the cassette, called "Never let me go", which Kathy carried through her life and used to listen even after Ruth`s and Tommy`s deaths. kazuo ishiguro novelist
Kathy, the narrator, mostly focuses on mundane life in Hailsham: quarrels between friends, schoolyard rumours, interactions with "guards" (teachers). Amanda C., Moira B., Graham K., Jenny B. - all childern were depersonalized - Ishiguro wanted to show us that there were hundreds of such kids-clones, to intensify the thought of their initial role in this world - to help people, but not to show their personalities. And here again - the exception. Several times a year Madam came at school to pick children`s pictures. Tommy was a very good painter. When Tommy and Kathy tried to find variants not to live that life anymore they came to Madam, after 10 years, they believed she`d help them to get a ferry and escape from their fate. But they were on a wrong way-Madam used to come and take child`s pictures within the frame of an experiment- whether clones had a soul, or not.
Ishiguro often uses italics, a graphical mean of expressiveness, e.g. "A big mystery", "What do you think about it?", "But do you really like her?" - that let us understand how it might sound in reality. Lots of detachments are used for detalization of some facts - "..she was scared I`d expose her - the pencil case, sure enough, vanished from view - and I wanted to tell her she`d nothing to fear from me".
As well, the text is full of inversions - to underline the most significant sentences - "What happened was that a few days after they split, I was in the Art Room..", "All this did, as I say, put me in a bit of a confusion".
All in all, the message of the story is philosophical and psychological.
Firstly, the real love would bear everything and finally lovers would be together no matter what.
Secondly, those, who have right to live sometimes don`t find their love, don`t live in full, are not emotional - as they have nothing to loose. Those who sacrifice themselves willingly are meek, accustomed since childhood to the thought of their future donations. The latter uprises emotions in me - Why they? How could it be right? How could they be so meek? And such a reaction proves, that the book is worth reading.
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