Modern utopia and dystopia in the novel Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

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But these fail to be convincing, because they remain no more than adolescent trivia which contribute nothing to any narrative interest. But this issue does raise another point. We now know that advances in microbiology and DNA manipulation now permit animal matter to be cloned.

Societies in Decline: 5 Dystopian Novels and their Real-World Implications

But the idea of cloning human beings specifically and at risk of their own death to provide body parts to keep other people alive — is a sinister form of modern human sacrifice. The problem is that Ishiguro simply does not examine the social or scientific rationale for this practice.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro - Review

Nor does he explain how individual humans can be clone-created to have normally functioning body parts apart from reproductive organs yet be so singularly lacking in will, imagination, and resistance. The main problem is that whilst it is possible to suspend disbelief and accept the authoritarianism behind cloning and genetic engineering. These are characters who watch television, drive cars, have lots of sex, and read Daniel Deronda , yet who show no enterprise when they are free to walk away at any time from their planned organ donations.

The organisation that has created them has even gone out of business by the end of the novel, but at no point do any of them think to regard themselves as autonomous beings. Chapter 1. Chapter 2. She describes daily life at the school and further instances of teasing and bullying on Tommy, who retreats into a childlike state. Chapter 3. Chapter 4. They all appear to have problems with missing memories. Chapter 5.

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Surrounded by menacing woods at the school, the secret guards plot to kidnap Miss Geraldine. There is rivalry between Kathy and Ruth about favouritism. Chapter 6. Kathy plays her tape of Never Let Me Go. She knows that she and all the other students are infertile. The tape goes missing, but Ruth presents her with an alternative.

Never Let Me Go

Chapter 7. Miss Lucy reveals to them that they have been bred as DNA clones and organ donors.

It appears that their body parts are detachable. Chapter 8.


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The issues his characters confront are buried in the past and remain unresolved. Thus Ishiguro ends many of his novels on a note of melancholic resignation. His characters accept their past and who they have become, typically discovering that this realization brings comfort and an ending to mental anguish.

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Like the author's last novel When We Were Orphans , Never Let Me Go is marred by a slapdash, explanatory ending that recalls the stilted, tie-up-all-the loose-ends conclusion of Hitchcock's Psycho. The remainder of the book, however, is a Gothic tour de force that showcases the same gifts that made Mr. Ishiguro's novel, The Remains of the Day , such a cogent performance. Add to cart.

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Never let me go « Utopia or Dystopia

Buy As Gift. The novel highlights some deep problems of humanity around the beginning of the 21st century using a combination of utopia and dystopia. On the following pages I present these elements and I also try to interpret them: what problems of modern society they reveal and what solutions they might offer. Product Details. Average Review. Write a Review.