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Never Let Me Go
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Archives > BotM 2016 - [June] Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro - Part 2 (Spoilers)

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message 1: by Laura, Celestial Sphere Mod (new)

Laura | 3823 comments Mod
Part 2 Questions

Section of book: 26-50%

Notes:
- Each member is asked to end with a question for the next member.
- If the person above you forgets to pose a question then just pick a different one from above (make sure you indicate which one you're answering!)
- If some other question from above moves you then feel free to answer as many as you want. It is a discussion after all! ;)

1. It is revealed early in this section that the students at Hailsham are organ donors. Where do you think these organs are going?

2. Were you surprised at the students' reaction (or lack thereof) to this news?

3. How do you think the story would differ if it were to be told from a different perspective, such as Ruth, Tommy, or Miss Emily?

4. One of the most notable aspects of life at Hailsham is the power of the group. Students watch each other carefully and try on different poses, attitudes, and ways of speaking. Is this behavior typical of most adolescents, or is there something different about the way the students at Hailsham seek to conform?

5. Answer the question posed by the person above you!


message 2: by Michelle (last edited Jun 03, 2016 03:14AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michelle (mich2689) | 476 comments 1. To some "privileged" people?
2. Yes, I was. They seemed to take it all in very matter-of-factly, like someone told them after they finish school, they have to go to college. However, after I thought about it, I guess the reaction makes sense since this is something they've known all their lives. Won't be a big deal if its normalized.
3. I'm sure it would be quite different, especially from Miss Emily's perspective because she knows things the students do not.
4. I think it's quite typical of adolescents. It's probably more magnified here because each other is all they have; no homes to go back to and no social interactions with people outside of school.
5. My question: Why did Miss Lucy tell Tommy that it is important "for his own sake" and as "evidence" that he tries to create artwork?


message 3: by J (last edited Jun 07, 2016 09:25AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

J Austill | 673 comments 1. It is revealed early in this section that the students at Hailsham are organ donors. Where do you think these organs are going?

I agree with Michelle that there is likely a class system where our protagonists are considered a lesser group which are not considered fully human and can therefore be harvested without moral implication (for the society). But who is the upper class? My first thought is that Kathy and her friends are clones who donate their organs to their other self. By considering these characters to just be a part of the 'real person', the society eliminates the moral implication by simply saying that you are taking from yourself and that they don't die but rather continue to be as part of the 'real version'.

But another option would be that they are genetically modified lesser humans grown for harvesting or even that the upper class is further evolved. It does seem like Ms. Emily was a bit psychic. Perhaps she is an example of the upper class.

2. Were you surprised at the students' reaction (or lack thereof) to this news?

Yes, at first. But I think this is a hallmark of the human condition: you never really think the future is coming. In high school, most people never seriously considered the full implications of being an adult. We all know now that we will get old and die, but how many people take the time to think about that? It's way in the future and I'm enjoying this hamburger and beer right now.

3. How do you think the story would differ if it were to be told from a different perspective, such as Ruth, Tommy, or Miss Emily?

Well it would be much, much shorter if it was from the perspective of Tommy or Ruth. I think that, perhaps, Kathy is the one who 'figures it all out' making her the best perspective for the tale. She spends a lot of time discussing things with Ruth and Tommy, so we essentially get their perspectives anyway. It's possible that the point of her tale is to explain things to the other donors (those things that Ms. Lucy thought they should know).

4. One of the most notable aspects of life at Hailsham is the power of the group. Students watch each other carefully and try on different poses, attitudes, and ways of speaking. Is this behavior typical of most adolescents, or is there something different about the way the students at Hailsham seek to conform?

Perfectly normal. I think the main difference is that they have little influence from the outside so there are less alternatives on what to emulate.

5. Why did Miss Lucy tell Tommy that it is important "for his own sake" and as "evidence" that he tries to create artwork?

That is the big question, at this point in the book. It does seem rather ominous. My first thought is that it has to do with gaining sympathy and showing that the donors are actual human beings deserving of full human rights. If they're clones, this means proving that they are truly different from the originals, with their own personalities, talents, weaknesses.

I do find it curious that Ruth dies first, Tommy second, and Kathy not yet (at the time of the narrative). Is this random chance? Just when their organs were needed? Or is it an effect of that worth built up from the art? Perhaps Kathy has proven herself more valuable to society and has been chosen to stay around longer while Ruth was seen as just a thing to be used and tossed away.

What does the term 'Veteran' refer to?


Molly (mollyrotondo) | 57 comments 1. It is revealed early in this section that the students at Hailsham are organ donors. Where do you think these organs are going?

I think J's idea is very interesting. It makes sense after reading that the kids believe that their "possibles" are what they are created from. Their bodies were cloned so that they would receive organs that would be a perfect match.

2. Were you surprised at the students' reaction (or lack thereof) to this news?

I was surprised at first. But then a good point is made about the guardians' sly way of revealing this information little by little as the children grow up. It is almost like feeding the children subliminal messages. They always had the knowledge but are just now being told the outright truth. Again, it reminds me of little life lessons that are loosely explained throughout childhood but never specifically taught to us. We become more aware of some of these things as we get older and never think twice about it.

3. How do you think the story would differ if it were to be told from a different perspective, such as Ruth, Tommy, or Miss Emily?

If the story was being told from the point of view of the guardians, we would learn a lot more about what is going on in Hailsham. Ruth has a pushy personality so I would not like to hear exclusively from her. Tommy might be interesting to hear from because he had a lot of important interactions with the guardians at Hailsham.

4. One of the most notable aspects of life at Hailsham is the power of the group. Students watch each other carefully and try on different poses, attitudes, and ways of speaking. Is this behavior typical of most adolescents, or is there something different about the way the students at Hailsham seek to conform?

Most adolescents try to conform to a group of their peers. The difference in Hailsham is that they aren't exposed to more types of people that live beyond the school.

What does the term 'Veteran' refer to?

I thought the term Veteran referred to the older kids living in the Cottage. I think it means that they left their schools a couple years before Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy but still live in the Cottage because their time to become carers/donors has not approached yet.

If "possibles" excist, do you think Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy will find their possibles?


Beth | 123 comments 1. It is revealed early in this section that the students at Hailsham are organ donors. Where do you think these organs are going?
It seems likely that it would be for upper class citizens of the country (or I guess sold to citizens of other countries). I had also considered that it would be something like the movie "The Island", where the student's organs are harvested for the person they are the clone of.

2. Were you surprised at the students' reaction (or lack thereof) to this news?
A little, but I think it goes back to what Miss Lucy said about them being "told and not told". They have been informed of this without entirely understanding what it really means.

3. How do you think the story would differ if it were to be told from a different perspective, such as Ruth, Tommy, or Miss Emily?
Certainly, it would be a much different book if it was written by Miss Emily or any of the other guardians. They are people with knowledge of the outside world. Through Kathy we are getting that knowledge a little bit at a time.

4. One of the most notable aspects of life at Hailsham is the power of the group. Students watch each other carefully and try on different poses, attitudes, and ways of speaking. Is this behavior typical of most adolescents, or is there something different about the way the students at Hailsham seek to conform?
This does seem like typical adolescent behavior, however, it all seems just a little bit off.

5. If "possibles" exist, do you think Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy will find their possibles?
I think the "possibles" exist, but I don't think they will actually get to meet them.

My question: What do you think happened to Miss Lucy?


Rachel A. (abyssallibrarian) | 2632 comments 1. It is revealed early in this section that the students at Hailsham are organ donors. Where do you think these organs are going?
I would assume to some kind of upper class people who need the organs due to illness, or possibly just to prolong their lives.

2. Were you surprised at the students' reaction (or lack thereof) to this news?
I was a little surprised at first, but the students were brought up kind of knowing it all along so I don't think it was such a shock. They mention in the book that the truth had been "told to them but not told to them" for a while, so I think it was just confirming that the rumours were true.

3. How do you think the story would differ if it were to be told from a different perspective, such as Ruth, Tommy, or Miss Emily?
I think it would be most different from Miss Emily's perspective, since we'd get to see the system from the other side. Also, I think it would be interesting to see how the guardians manage knowing that their students will be sent into this donation system.

4. One of the most notable aspects of life at Hailsham is the power of the group. Students watch each other carefully and try on different poses, attitudes, and ways of speaking. Is this behavior typical of most adolescents, or is there something different about the way the students at Hailsham seek to conform?
Seems pretty normal to me, although the specific behaviours they try out to conform may be a little different (ie. coping mannerisms from TV). Many teens try out different identities to try and fit in with their group.

5. What do you think happened to Miss Lucy?
I read this book quite a while ago, so I'm just going from memory. I think Miss Lucy revealed to much, and was forced to leave because she was challenging the system. If I recall correctly, the book mentioned that she was fired from her position, but I think it's possible it goes beyond that.

My question: If Kathy, Ruth or Tommy does find their possible, how do you think that will affect their lives/choices? Everyone seems so intent on finding their possible, but I'm not really sure what they expect to do when they find them.


message 7: by Kathy (last edited Jun 17, 2016 05:05AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathy | 2157 comments 1. It is revealed early in this section that the students at Hailsham are organ donors. Where do you think these organs are going?

I think the organs are going to go to the people the students were cloned from. Toward the end of this section of the book, it was revealed that Ruth may have found her "possible"--the person she was copied from.


2. Were you surprised at the students' reaction (or lack thereof) to this news?
Not really. The story is told in such a nonchalant way by Kathy H.
The students' know what their fate is, but they're just kids so they take it all in without reaction.

3. How do you think the story would differ if it were to be told from a different perspective, such as Ruth, Tommy, or Miss Emily?
It would be different because of the personalities of Ruth and Tommy. I think they'd tell the story with their own personal slant. But Miss Emily's story would be totally different because she's an adult and would know more about the life the students' were getting ready for.

4. One of the most notable aspects of life at Hailsham is the power of the group. Students watch each other carefully and try on different poses, attitudes, and ways of speaking. Is this behavior typical of most adolescents, or is there something different about the way the students at Hailsham seek to conform?
It seems pretty typical adolescent behavior but with an underlying ominous feel to it. I'm not sure why yet.

If Kathy, Ruth or Tommy does find their possible, how do you think that will affect their lives/choices? Everyone seems so intent on finding their possible, but I'm not really sure what they expect to do when they find them.
Ruth seems to be excited about a life in an office when she sees a "possible" in an advertisement. They have no choice in their future so once they find the person they were copied from, they know their future. So it seems they're looking for their future which is already planned for them. It's creepy!

My question: Why are the young people at The Cottages who didn't come from Hailsham so fascinated about Hailsham? What's special about Hailsham students'?


Sarah | 546 comments 1. It is revealed early in this section that the students at Hailsham are organ donors. Where do you think these organs are going?
I think there is a chance that they are clones for a specific person so they organs would be going to them as they needed them.

2. Were you surprised at the students' reaction (or lack thereof) to this news?
Nope I believe that they students have been given little hints most of their lives about this. So that when they were given more info as they got older it was already there in the back of their minds and thats why they don't react to the news.

3. How do you think the story would differ if it were to be told from a different perspective, such as Ruth, Tommy, or Miss Emily?
I am not at all sure it would be that different if the story was told by Ruth or Tommy. They are such a big part of her story that theirs would feel similar. Now if it was told by Miss Emily I think we would have a completely different story on our hands. I think we would know from the get go what was really going on.

4. One of the most notable aspects of life at Hailsham is the power of the group. Students watch each other carefully and try on different poses, attitudes, and ways of speaking. Is this behavior typical of most adolescents, or is there something different about the way the students at Hailsham seek to conform?
To me it seems like some form of this goes on with most adolescents. This group maybe a little more extreme with it but that could just be because they are always together and that is what they know to do.

5.Why are the young people at The Cottages who didn't come from Hailsham so fascinated about Hailsham? What's special about Hailsham students'?
I get the feeling that the Hailsham kids have a slightly different upbringing than the other schools. Maybe their guardians are kinder to them and let them have more of a childhood then the other schools.

My question: Why do you think they are give so much more freedom at the cottages?


message 9: by Bec (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bec | 765 comments 1. It is revealed early in this section that the students at Hailsham are organ donors. Where do you think these organs are going? I think the organs are going to rich/upper class people who are sick.

2. Were you surprised at the students' reaction (or lack thereof) to this news?
Not really. They had always been told there were special.

3. How do you think the story would differ if it were to be told from a different perspective, such as Ruth, Tommy, or Miss Emily?
I think it would be different if from Miss Emily as she had a lot of information that she wanted told to the donors - she would have been upfront if telling the story. I'm not sure how different it would have been from Ruth or Tommy - slightly different due to the fact I assume they weren't carers, but I assume they generally have a similar story to tell.

4. One of the most notable aspects of life at Hailsham is the power of the group. Students watch each other carefully and try on different poses, attitudes, and ways of speaking. Is this behavior typical of most adolescents, or is there something different about the way the students at Hailsham seek to conform? I think all adolescents watch each other as they want to be 'cool', but in Hailsham it's to a larger extent given they didn't get information on how to behave/act from anyone else but other students. In the real world there are many more influences.

I'm not sure for the answer above so I will leave it for the next person (because I can't think of another question right now!)
Sarah's question - Why do you think they are give so much more freedom at the cottages?


Silvia Turcios | 1071 comments 1. It is revealed early in this section that the students at Hailsham are organ donors. Where do you think these organs are going? I think the organs are going to rich people who can afford them when theirs are not working well.

2. Were you surprised at the students' reaction (or lack thereof) to this news?No, as Kat explained, they knew already, but it was like in their subconscious.

3. How do you think the story would differ if it were to be told from a different perspective, such as Ruth, Tommy, or Miss Emily?In the case of Tommy or Ruth telling the story, I think it would be less nostalgic, maybe and in the case of Miss Emily, more revealing ... or at least more revealing than Kattie.

4. One of the most notable aspects of life at Hailsham is the power of the group. Students watch each other carefully and try on different poses, attitudes, and ways of speaking. Is this behavior typical of most adolescents, or is there something different about the way the students at Hailsham seek to conform? I think is stronger with Hailsham children, because they don't have anybody more than themselves. The guards cooperate in some ways, for example, the fact of the existence of exchanges make the children to value their own efforts or the efforts of the members of the group in a better way than a regular child could do it.

5.Why do you think they are give so much more freedom at the cottages? I think it's because they are almost adults. It's easier to have children confined than teenagers, I think that freedom is also a way to control them.

But this question leads me to my question:
Why don't they run away? They know that their destiny is that their organs will be used, they have certain opportunities to leave ... then why don't they do it ?!


Night Owl Reader (allnightreading) 1) It is revealed early in this section that the students at Hailsham are organ donors. Where do you think these organs are going?
I'm hoping that it is donated to actually sick people that say need a better heart because their own hearts, or other organs are not working properly. I don't know though, I feel like it for something much more sinister, and even if it's not, it's really sad for the students.

2) Were you surprised at the students' reaction (or lack thereof) to this news?
No, they were sheltered, in the non-literal as well literal sense, and conditioned/taught to think of it as their responsibility or duty from a very young age. If you were told one thing repeatedly, you grow up believing it.

3) How do you think the story would differ if it were to be told from a different perspective, such as Ruth, Tommy, or Miss Emily?
I'm really not sure how it would be different, but it would most certainly be different because they have very different personalities, and they have different views on certain things. Miss Emily's perspective of the whole story would probably differ the most, she's one of educators and authority figures to Ruth, Tommy, and Kathy.

4) One of the most notable aspects of life at Hailsham is the power of the group. Students watch each other carefully and try on different poses, attitudes, and ways of speaking. Is this behavior typical of most adolescents, or is there something different about the way the students at Hailsham seek to conform?
I feel like there is still kind of a different because Hailsham students are still different from normal preteens. Hailsham students are completely isolated, and their only connection to the outside world is probably what is seen on media. Everything they try to imitate is probably exaggerated. Typical adolescents, even if they do do the same thing, they still have a much more broader connection to the outside world. Am I answering the question?

5) Why do you think they are given so much more freedom at the cottages?
Maybe it is a sort of make up for the fates that are already decided for them, "Yes, you must do this, but look at it this way, you get this in return!"

6) Why don't they run away?
They've been following the same instructions, their life were so controlled for them, it was probably easier to follow the plan. They are content; as they see it, their lives are not that bad. New things are probably always kind of scary.

My Question: What was the essay about? Why did they need to write an essay? Is there something to the essay besides it being an assignment given by the guardians?

I didn't know that Ruth and Tommy dies! I suspected it, but it was never REALLY said...in which of the 50% did it clearly said that Ruth and Tommy dies? And even the order in which they died?


message 12: by J (new) - rated it 4 stars

J Austill | 673 comments Caffeinated Book wrote: "I didn't know that Ruth and Tommy dies! I suspected it, but it was never REALLY said...in which of the 50% did it clearly said that Ruth and Tommy dies? And even the order in which they died? "

Very early on, before she flashed back to Hailsham. If I remember correctly, it is stated outright that Ruth was a donor and Kathy her carer and that Ruth was gone now. But for Tommy, I think it just said that he had been a donor and Kathy his carer but didn't say for certain his fate. I think it was more insinuated for Tommy because I kept expecting some twist for him in the latter half.


Silvia Turcios | 1071 comments J wrote: "Caffeinated Book wrote: "I didn't know that Ruth and Tommy dies! I suspected it, but it was never REALLY said...in which of the 50% did it clearly said that Ruth and Tommy dies? And even the order ..."

It was not so clear for me either ... I could imagine their fate, but I didn't know for sure, maybe I missed a part because at the beginning the story was a little confusing for me.


Night Owl Reader (allnightreading) J wrote: "Caffeinated Book wrote: "I didn't know that Ruth and Tommy dies! I suspected it, but it was never REALLY said...in which of the 50% did it clearly said that Ruth and Tommy dies? And even the order ..."

How do you know, Ruth was gone means that she died? And we never knew who died first until later on. I mean, just because it was mentioned that Ruth was gone, gone does not mean dead, and it did not mean she was the first to die. I really don't think that this should be talked about like it is explicitly said in the book.


Jerrod 1) There seems to be a decent amount of speculation that these organs are going to some elite or there "possibles". Yet the system seems to be set up for the benefit of society as a whole (note all the talk of the separateness of the clones and the rest of society). Presumably, these clones are paid out of the government budget because they don't seem to have jobs but seem to live relatively comfortable lives (the clone system could be privately provided, but the way it is discussed leads me to think not). It would be a strange (though not unheard of) system in which a benefit of this kind was set up only for a small elite but paid out of the government coffers.

The clones are probably used as raw material added to the current donor registry (there would still be other donors just in case the clones weren't a match). If they were only reserved for those from whom they were cloned, most would go through life not giving any organs as most people never need an organ transplant.

My question: does this system of clones used for organ donation seem like a radically inefficient method of producing organs? The inefficiency of the system was one of the main weaknesses of the world the author created.


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