Memories in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go: A Clone’s Humanity

Francesca Boschetti Ph.D. Candidate in English at Memorial University of Newfoundland


This research essay, “Memories in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go: A Clone’s Humanity” explores the role played by memory in Ishiguro’s novel. I seek to demonstrate how the process of remembering proves the humanity of the clone-narrator, Kathy H., and allows her to regain control over her life, as her first organ donation gets closer. My essay analyzes how Kathy’s storytelling and recollection of memories aim at discovering the meaning of her life as a student, ‘carer,’ and future donor. In addition, I demonstrate how operating on her own memories allows Kathy to fully develop as an individual and prove her humanity. What makes the clones human are their capability to have feelings and emotions and the subjectivity of their memory, debatably a distinctly human faculty, which in the novel belongs to the clones as well. The recollection of past memories allows Kathy and her fellow clones to escape the sense of emptiness that a future of loss would otherwise entail, and gives a sense to their existence.