The Subject of Birth in Never Let Me Go

Topics: Never Let Me Go

A scene that touches on the subject of birth in Never Let Me Go is where Chrissie and Rodney spot Ruth’s “possible”. Kathy explains “possibles” as the “people who might have been the models for you and your friends” (Ishiguro, 215). This idea, of being modelled from a human being is similar to the idea of birth. A child is essentially modelled after their parents, by means of their DNA. So when Chrissie, Rodney, Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy head to Norfolk to confirm if it was actually Ruth’s model they spotted, it was more of a journey to find Ruth’s mother.

Although Ruth would have not received any love or nurture from her model, she would still be the source of the DNA that was used in the creation of Ruth, similar to birth, yet lacking of actual birth. Kathy goes on to describe models as being “an irrelevance, a technical necessity for bringing us into the world, nothing more than that” (Ishiguro, 217).

Although they know that there is no emotional connection between them and their model, some of the clones are still eager to look for them. One theory Kathy provides to this is that finding your model would show you what your future would hold. The model spotted by Chrissie and Rodney just so happened to be working as what was Ruth’s dream future. This made Kathy skeptical, but it would’ve been a reason for Ruth to want to seek this model out.

Abrams defines dystopia as a work of fiction that represents a future where “our present social, political, and technological order are projected into a disastrous future culmination” (417).

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Ishiguro’s portrayal of birth in Never Let Me Go, mainly the clones, and their purpose for existence, is to donate organs. From the reader’s point of view, this fits a dystopia, but Kathy doesn’t know anything different, making it just normal life for her. Also, it is revealed later in the book by Madame and Miss Emily just how good Kathy and her peers had it at Hailsham. When compared to other clones, they were being treated fantastically. Although the book is written in 2005, it is set in a post World War II Great Britain, where a government sponsored program of cloning for the purpose of organ donation was taking place. I see some things in common with the genre of dystopia, and our socio political situation today, but there is also a lot difference. One similarity would be government surveillance, while a difference would be the lack of a clone uprising.

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The Subject of Birth in Never Let Me Go. (2021, Dec 27). Retrieved from

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