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Please engage with each discussion post with 75 words each. Totaling of 300 word for 4 discussion posts. Be engaging, analytical, responsive, conversational. Please number each response according to the posts I have provided.
Read content attached.
1. An English science fiction novel about three friends growing up in the late 20th century, Never Let Me Go tells the story of three friends growing up together in England. They attend a boarding school called Hailsham which emphasizes physical fitness and artistic expression more than any other school Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy have attended. The reader gradually learns that the students of Hailsham are actually clones being raised for organ donation. Following the completion of their studies, the three friends will move into communal housing with other clones, become “carers” for other clones who are undergoing the organ donation process, then become “complete” themselves by donating their own organs. The novel dives into many controversial topics that some of the other novels I have read this semester touch on as well.
One way in which this novel relates to some of the other works I have read during my time in this course is that there is a recurring theme of what I means to be human. Both books create a controversy that makes the reader question their own points of view and their own morality. The books are also similar in the way the monster in Frankenstein and the clones are treated as outcasts of society. As these characters in their respective books are treated unfairly it makes the reader often pity them because both characters are treated unfairly for simply existing and it was not their choice to exist in the first place. For example, in Frankenstein the monster is treated with hostility and fear by the townsfolk, which is similar to how the clones are treated by their teachers and the outside world. The last similarity I can draw between both works of literature is that it seems both Shelley and Ishiguro’s works attempt to enlighten the reader about purpose, creation, and science vs religion.
2. Never Let Me Go is about a dystopian society set in the 1990s focusing on cloning from a scientific realism aspect. Kathy H is the narrator of this story, in the first-person point of view she goes on to look back on her life and the circumstances she has lived through. Kathy and her two friends, Ruth, and Tommy spent their entire adolescent life in a school called Hailsham, where they learn, that they will never amount to anything in life and their one true purpose is to donate their organs when they come of age. Those who donate their organs are called “carers” and their job is not complete until their last donation, indicating their death. Kathy H as a thirty-one-year-old woman, looks back on her life, reminiscing of her times with her dear friends who have already completed all their donations at this time, knowing that her donations will be complete soon enough. Some of the main conflicts posed by the author Kazuo Ishiguro are complications with identity issues and the inevitability of loss and death. These clones go about their entire life knowing that they will not be anyone special in society and their purpose is to have their model live a well and long life. They lose the sense of reality in the notion that they were made for others to benefit, whereas they aren’t even considered people in terms of this narrative. From the moment that they are able to understand, they are told of their fate, which can be a very difficult concept to grasp and come to terms with. The notion that your life isn’t for one to live is heart-breaking.
This story resonates with the story of Frankenstein in the aspect of finding your purpose in life, the creature, and the donors were both created with the positive intent on society and others, however, these individuals suffer greatly in order to benefit the masses. The creature was unaware of the life around him and did not understand the reason why he was placed in this world. The donors had known what was to come, but did not fully understand the reasons as to why this was happening to them, why were they chosen to be the donors, or why this was their fate? Never Let Me Go and Frankenstein focus on the questions that life prompts and have characters that are seen as a means to an end, not as an individual who has feelings, desires, or souls.
3. In essence, Never Let Me Go is about what it means to be human. The main moral and social conflict within Never Let Me Go is the determination of how the clones should be classified. In the novel, the clones are not afforded the same rights as humans and are essentially treated as livestock; “your lives are set out for you. You’ll become adults, then before you’re old, before you’re even middle-aged, you’ll start to donate your vital organs. That’s what each of you was created to do.” (Ishiguro, 58). These clones were created scientifically by man solely to provide organ transplants for humans in need, and although they clearly go through the same stages of life and emotion as humans, they are not considered human; “Before that, all clones—or students, as we preferred to call you—existed only to supply medical science. In the early days, after the war, that’s largely all you were to most people. Shadowy objects in test tubes.” (Ishiguro, 175). They are raised, slaughtered, and harvested for organs by humanity, like how livestock are raised, slaughtered, and harvested for food.
But, they are biologically human, they have the same capacity to feel love and grief as humans, and they have aspirations to lead normal human lives; “None of you will go to America, none of you will be filmstars. And none of you will be working in supermarkets as I heard some of you planning the other day” (Ishiguro, 58), similar to how the Creature does not have the appearance of a human, but has the same ability as humans to learn, as well as process love and grief; ““Believe me, Frankenstein, I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity; but am I not alone, miserably alone?” (Shelley, 114). This is not only an issue of moral and societal ethics, but also of scientific ethics. “Scientists should be concerned about the use of scientific knowledge and they should address the ensuing ethical questions, both in general terms and in terms of their own work.” (National Library of Medicine, Science and Ethics)1. Yet both the clone and the Creature are beings that were ruthlessly subjected the experience of developing the innocent hope of a child looking forward to assimilating into society by scientists who knew this experiences would occur, only to be met with the despair of being rejected from society, ultimately denounced as less than human, even though they have had the same emotional experiences as any ordinary human being would have in the early stages of their lives. 4. In the novel Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro, we learn a significant amount about scientific, social, and moral issues. The civilization depicted in the novel is all about extending the lives of regular people by creating clones of individuals to donate organs. It is expected that after around three to four donations, the clones eventually will die and this is something that they do not know about. All throughout their upbringing, none of this information is disclosed and these clones think that this is all that life is. It isn’t until two of the three main characters, Tommy and Kathy, go and ask some questions that they gain a better understanding of their purpose in life.
Kathy and Tommy were raised in one of the boarding schools that offered the most humane ‘education’ out of all of the schools when it comes to donors. This school claimed to be the most progressive and understanding, but ultimately this isn’t true. The teachers and administrators gave themselves too much credit when it came to being progressive because, at the end of the day, they were disgusted by the clones. At one time, a teacher sought to tell the students the truth about their fate, but she was dismissed for wanting to do so. When Kathy and Tommy learn of all this, their attitudes shift towards life but not in a drastic way one would think; they accept their fate. There is no fighting or attempts to change the fate of their lives, they simply scream with anger but Tommy continues donating his organs and Kathy continues being a carer. The ability to use science for evil was wildly accepted in society and was justified. By exiling the clones to schools, the community felt as if what they were supporting was okay since they do have to look at the clones daily. There is a massive lack of morals in this novel, even by the ones who claimed to be the most ethical of them all. It was too wildly accepted by a society that they were ‘storing’ away clones in order to prolong their own lives. It goes to show that at the end of the day, people look out for the betterment of themselves only. Similar to Frankenstein, Victor wanted to create something in the name of science in order to gain something for himself; fame and acknowledgment. Just like Kathy, who ends up all alone, the creature lives a sad life of isolation. The common theme of isolation is seen clearly in these two novels, specifically isolation not by choice. Both the creature and Kathy want to live the lives they thought they would be getting but due to who and what they were, no one wanted them to live a normal life.