First-person Narrative and Clones Essay examples

Submitted By etroxell
Words: 1801
Pages: 8

Emily Troxell
Professor Shelnutt
English 1102
13 March 2015
How “You” Affects Readers in Never Let Me Go In the science fiction story, Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro uses first person narration and makes readers feel like they are clones. He achieves this by Kathy referring to the readers as “you” making the story more personable and relatable. Kathy referring to the readers as “you” impacts them in an incredible way, exposing the feelings and emotions the clones experience throughout their short lived lives and allowing the readers to go through these experiences along with the clones. Ishiguro uses this type of narration to allow the readers to make a value judgment of the clones’ worth and humanity. The readers then decide that the clones are, in fact, humans too. To begin with, Ishiguro’s use of first person narration and Kathy referring to the reader as “you” isolates Kathy and the other clones from the outside world and makes the reader feel the same isolation. Kathy speaks to the reader and explains the different memories that she recollected throughout her years at Hailsham, the cottages, and in different recovery centers during her lifetime. Tommy, Ruth, Kathy and other Hailsham students arrived at the Cottages and they encountered another “normal” person other than the guardians, Keffer. Kathy says, “A few of us, for a time, even tried to think of Keffers as a sort of guardian, but he was having none of it. You went up to greet him when he arrived in his van and he’d stare at you like you were mad” (Ishiguro 117). Kathy remembers all of these memories, and tells the reader the types of things she went through as a clone. The reader can feel the same isolation that Kathy and the other clones experience as they are faced with meeting other humans. They felt this isolation when they saw Keffers as a guardian and he rejected the whole idea. He looked at the clones like they were crazy for even thinking he would take on that role. Before the clones arrived at the Cottages the only “normal” people they knew were their Guardians and even they treated the clones differently and isolated them. Every where the clones go, “normals” do not think of them as humans or even think of them having human characteristics. They just see them as something they need, something to keep them alive. Kathy describes how when she and the clones went to the Cottages, “We certainly didn’t think much about our lives beyond the Cottages, or about who ran them, or how they fitted into the larger world. None of us thought like that in those days” (Ishiguro 116). Miss Lucy also explains to the Hailsham clones that, “None of you will go to America, none of you will be film stars. And none of you will be working in supermarkets as I heard some of you planning the other day. Your lives are set out for you” (Ishiguro 81). The world outside of Hailsham and the Cottages was a mystery to Kathy and the other clones. When they do start to find out that there is more than just Hailsham they do not really care to find out more about the mysterious outside world. Being a clone, and being brought up in Hailsham made the clones isolated and sheltered from the outside and they did not even realize it. Lynne Bowyer says, “The idea that we are self-legislating or self-governing beings, the weight of this concept has been lost by dominant liberal theorizing, according to which autonomy is construed on a model that thins out our human existence and views individuals as isolatable social units, directing their lives in accordance with self-interested preferences arrived at by means of disengaged, rational (or “means–ends”) calculation” (140). Bowyers’ words relate to the concept of isolation that the clones suffer from due to living in a sheltered world where they govern themselves and become more and more alienated from “normals” and the outside world. The fact that the clones do not leave their alienated lives frustrates readers because they know the clones can…