Join the Southwest Book Club to discuss Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (author of The Remains of the Day). During a reunion, friends confront the truth about their childhoods at a private school in the English countryside and their purpose in life. Woven within this context is a cautionary tale of science outpacing ethics.
Anyone age 18 or older is welcome to attend. The book club meets monthly at the Southwest Branch Library. No registration needed. For more information, please call 407.835.7323 or email email@example.com.
Tuesday, October 20
Southwest Branch Library
If you are unable to attend the meeting and you would like to join our discussion, you can share your thoughts or respond to the discussion questions below. Simply click "Comments" located at the bottom of this post. Join the discussion!
1. Why is it important for Kathy to seek out donors who are "from the past," "people from Hailsham"? She learns from a donor who'd grown up at an awful place in Dorset that she and her friends at Hailsham had been really "lucky". How does the irony of this designation grow as the novel goes on? What does Hailsham represent for Kathy, and why does she say at the end that Hailsham is "something no one can take away"]?
2. Kathy's narration is the key to the novel's disquieting effect. First person narration establishes a kind of intimacy between narrator and reader. What is it like having direct access to Kathy's mind and feelings? How would the novel be different if narrated from Tommy's point of view, or Ruth's, or Miss Emily's?
3. The teacher Lucy Wainright wanted to make the children more aware of the future that awaited them. Miss Emily believed that in hiding the truth, "We were able to give you something, something which even now no one will ever take from you, and we were able to do that principally by sheltering you. . . . Sometimes that meant we kept things from you, lied to you.... But...we gave you your childhoods". In the context of the story as a whole, is this a valid argument?
4. Some reviewers have expressed surprise that Kathy, Tommy, and their friends never try to escape their ultimate fate. They cling to the possibility of deferral, but never attempt to vanish into the world of freedom that they view from a distance. Yet they love the film The Great Escape, "the moment the American jumps over the barbed wire on his bike". Why might Ishiguro have chosen to present them as fully resigned to their early deaths?
Discussion questions obtained at litlovers.com