Parallels Between Never Let Me Go, a Novel by Kazuo Ishiguro and Karen Traviss's Ally

Topics: Never Let Me Go

In Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go, clones are raised to donate vital organs. Ishiguro’s work parallels an idea in Karen Traviss’ book Ally: that individuals and society are the same thing. Ishiguro agrees with Traviss in that each individual action comes together to form society.

Ishiguro’s agreement is exemplified through the scene where Miss Emily explains to Kathy and Tommy how the public views the clones. She says, “for a long time you were kept in the shadows and people did their best not to think about you” (Ishiguro 263).

Ishiguro describes a mentality of feigned ignorance common in this society; he uses words like “people” and “they” to indicate a cohesive attitude shared by the populace. Each person has a duty (Traviss calls it “individual acts of personal responsibility”) to speak up for the clones, yet nobody does. This lack of leadership escalates into a generally accepted idea that clones are a taboo topic. It is the acts of individuals that shape a society, not the other way around.

Another example comes again from Miss Emily’s talk with the students. She mentions the scandal of the doctor James Morningdale as reason for the closing of the clones’ school Hailsham. Miss Emily explains also that “there were other things contributed, contributed to the turning of the tide” (Ishiguro 264). Morningdale could not have known that his research would cause the closing of clone facilities everywhere, just like Traviss says that “snowflakes are equally blind to their role in causing avalanches”.

Get quality help now
Dr. Karlyna PhD

Proficient in: Never Let Me Go

4.7 (235)

“ Amazing writer! I am really satisfied with her work. An excellent price as well. ”

+84 relevant experts are online
Hire writer

Although the research of enhanced genetics doesn’t initially appear to be related to the clones, Miss Emily admits that it “did create a certain atmosphere” (Ishiguro 264). Other scenarios contribute to this atmosphere, such as an “awful” television series. Individual influences create this atmosphere where people no longer wish to support the school. The actions of individuals once again form an ingrained societal belief that affects everyone from the clones to the general public.

Traviss and Ishiguro are both in agreement on the idea that people, and how they choose to act, equal a society. In Never Let Me Go, Ishiguro can juxtapose this belief that individuals and society are the same with some individuals’ struggles against this same society. Readers leave with a better understanding of how society functions and their role and responsibility in it as a human.

Cite this page

Parallels Between Never Let Me Go, a Novel by Kazuo Ishiguro and Karen Traviss's Ally. (2021, Dec 27). Retrieved from

Let’s chat?  We're online 24/7