Decency, Hope, and the Substitution of Memory in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go
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Keywords

hope
decency
memory
deception
Ishiguro
Never Let Me Go

How to Cite

Mhire, J. J., & Hernandez, R. (2019). Decency, Hope, and the Substitution of Memory in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. The Political Science Reviewer, 43(1), 201–229. Retrieved from https://politicalsciencereviewer.wisc.edu/index.php/psr/article/view/561

Abstract

Set in a parallel dystopian universe, Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go chronicles the lives of three clones created to “donate” their vital organs to aid and abet scientific advancement. No doubt due to our own contemporary anxieties, critics have largely focused on the novel’s dark bio-ethical themes. Yet Ishiguro maintained Never Let Me Go was his most hopeful novel, demonstrating people could lead decent lives despite otherwise hopeless circumstances. Our reading of Ishiguro’s novel seeks a third way between author and critic. On the one hand, we explore Ishiguro’s understanding of decency, taking seriously the sense of hope he finds in modern society. Yet on the other hand, we partly join the critical commentary by casting doubt on the viability of this decency, and therefore on the hope he sees for our future. In other words, we suggest Ishiguro may have in fact written darker than he knew.

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