In Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro presents a dystopian society which harvests organs from clones. The clones are presented as nearly identical to humans throughout the course of the novel. They also know the fate that awaits them in the future yet they do not rebel against this system in favor of leading their own lives. Ishiguro, in creating this dystopian society, sets up a distinct foundation of environmental factors, social structures, and complex relationships as a way of developing the main character’s complacency within their place in society.
Environment is the first foundation established in the novel, with the introduction of Hailsham and its unique standing in the clone’s society. Kathy H. (the narrator of the novel) grew up in Hailsham a boarding school in England, which raises clones to donate their vital organs. Kathy on initial mention of Hailsham, sets it up as a grand construct for her and her fellow classmates. Hailsham gives the initial impression of an aristocratic school, with it being put on airs by Kathy, especially when she remarks, “And I’m a Hailsham student which is enough by itself sometimes to get people’s backs up.” (4) Hailsham prided itself on being one of the best places for a clone to grow up. Hailsham gives the sensation of wealth and higher social standing amongst the clone community. The Hailsham institution prided itself on giving a well-rounded education and encouraging the clones to be very creative. The idea behind it is that the clones would prove to be more human and were not just cattle being lead to slaughter. Indirectly the sinister social experiment at Hailsham lead to the donors being more successful. This is evident in that all of Kathy’s Hailsha...
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... exhibit similar behavior in both institutions. While at the Cottages there may have been more subtle rebellion and resistance of the societal system, the clones kept well within the norms society and their governing system set for them. The clones know of their fate, yet are complacent about it, they hardly talk about it when given the opportunity, and even during Miss Lucy’s outburst at Hailsham no one questioned the nature of their being to any significant degree. This concept introduces a rather interesting idea about the nature of Ishiguro’s dystopia. A society in which there are two distinct social classes, yet they both contribute equally is one of two situations, Communism, or Collectivism. However, Environment is only one of the three major foundations of Ishiguro’s society. The next significant factor in Ishiguro’s society is the complex social structure.
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