The Theme of Knowing Your Purpose in “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro

June 7, 2021 by Essay Writer

It is known to man that when one knows what when you can find your purpose find a sense of identity to yourself. In “Never Let Me Go” the story focuses on Kathy H., who portrays as herself as a guardian, talking about looking after organ donors. She has been a carer for almost twelve years when she begins stating about her past life, and she often references about her time spent at Hailsham, a British boarding school. All the students at the school are clones who are being prepared for donations of their organs. The teachers are known as carers and the children are watched carefully. In the story the children are primarily educated about the importance of producing art and of being healthy. Kathy creates a bond between two other characters, Ruth and Tommy. Eventually, Kathy develops feelings for Tommy, as well as her best friend Ruth, which creates a conflict between the two. In the story “Never Let Me Go’’ Kazuo Ishiguro uses conflict to portray the theme that knowing your purpose in life can lead you to a state of identity.

Kathy and Ruth the two main characters have been experiencing a conflict trying to find a meaning to their life because sometimes they feel like they just do not belong. A way they believe they could figure out who they were, was by finding out who their possible was which is the person that they are cloned after. In the story Kathy states, “Nevertheless, we all of us, to varying degrees, believed that when you saw the person you were copied from, you’d get some insight into who you were deep down, and maybe too, you’d see something of what your life held in store.” Kathy finds out this information from her friend Chrissie and Rodney who are Veterans. They tell Kathy and Ruth these things because they know all they have knowledge about the things that are going on at hailsham. Later on in the story Kathy finds out that her possible is made after a famous person because they are the ones who would like to get the donations later on in life. Kathy wanting to know more about who she is as a person feels determined to find this person and she states, “It’s just that sometimes, every now and again, I get these really strong feelings when I want to have sex. That’s why I started thinking, well, it has to come from somewhere. It must be to do with the way I am.’ I stopped, but when Tommy didn’t say anything, I went on: ‘So I thought if I find her picture, in one of those magazines, it’ll at least explain it. I wouldn’t want to go and find her or anything. It would just, you know, kind of explain why I am the way I am”. The reason Kathy wants an explanation on the way she is because recently she has been having these sexual urges that she can control to the point where she is horny all the time. She asks her best friend Ruth is what is going on with her normal and Ruth lets her know that No, it’s not normal, it’s actually wrong. This makes Kathy feel the need to find her possible and to get explanations on what is going on. Finding her possible will help her solve the conflict and explain to her self who she is giving herself some reason and an identity to herself.

Furthermore, throughout the story Kathy and Ruth both struggle to find their purpose in life because everyone makes the clones feel like your nothing but a clone and nothing else. When Chrissie and Rodney talk about clones they let Kathy and Ruth know that there is more to just being a clone and that you are your own person with your own identity. Chrissie states, “There were some who thought it stupid to be concerned about possible at all. Our models were an irrelevance, a technical necessity for bringing us into the world, nothing more than that. It was up to each of us to make of our lives what we could.” What this shows in the story is that there is definitely a mix of dependence and free will in the clones’ very existence. On one part, they rely on their model as someone they need in life or worship, they feel that their life is based around someone else. But on the part, once they’ve been made, the clones have to fend for themselves. Chances are, they’ll never see their model again; Which gives people a chance to be themselves. Identity is a huge factor in the book because that is all they are trying to find about themselves. Later on in the story Kathy begins to start focusing more on her own self and not possible. She begins to understand that she might actually just be different than anyone else and that’s alright. She begins to use her path as a metaphor talking about it as a road and how hers is a different one than everyone else. Kathy states, “I realised, of course, that other people used these roads; but that night, it seemed to me these dark byways of the country exist just for the likes of us, while the big glittering motorways with their huge signs and super cafés were for everyone else”. In this section Kathy creates a comparison between clones like her and regular humans. It’s as if she’s envisioned an alternate path of life between the two kinds of people. This conforms that Kathy throughout the story has somewhat found her identity and views herself different from others.

The theme of knowing your purpose in life helps you locate your identity is present in The TV show “Lost” as it is conveyed through the character John Locke. For example when John Locke was struggling to find his purpose on the island because he knew that something great was destined for him. He had found the hatch but not open it yet and he is banging on it saying, “I have done everything you have asked of me, why am I like this, what else can I do?”. This relates to Never Let Me Go because John and Kathy both are having a hard time finding their purpose but eventually John finds his with the hatch just as Kathy found hers. Another outside source that proves finding the meaning of life is key is represented in the movie The Island where Lincoln and Jordan are looking for answers about themselves when they suddenly find out that they are clones made from people in the real world. They are looking for answers to find out their identity when they find one of their inventors Merrick who tells them, “There was a cloning defect in Lincoln’s default person.” (The reason he tells Jordan this because it explains what is the reason for Lincoln’s thoughts and the way he has been acting, resulting in him and every clone to start to question their existence. This relates to Never Let Me Go because they are both trying to find answers to the way they are giving them some answers to their identity.

Overall, the purpose of life is used to help you find your identity in conflict situations. In all three sources “Never Let Me Go” ,“Lost”, and “The Island” they all show this trait of finding a sense of belonging once they have found their true identity.

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