To Seek or Ignore the Truth?

Part 1 of Kazuo Ishiguro’s dystopian novel Never Let Me Go describes the life of Kathy beginning with her times at Hailsham which in later parts starts to describes her times in the Cottages and ultimately as a carer. As we learn about this society, there are many mysteries which are left unanswered such as the requirement to be creative and the potential of clones. Through these mysteries, Never Let Me Go brings up the idea that people will decide to seek or ignore the truth depending on which is more beneficial for their individual gain.


To seek or ignore the truth?

For example, throughout the time at Hailsham, all of the students were pressured to be gifted in the arts and creativity. If you were not a creative student, like Tommy, you were looked down upon. However, in one instance, Miss Lucy states that creativity is not truly needed to be successful which brought further questions in the minds of the students at Hailsham which she later denies. This change in answers drives Tommy to continue to seek out the actual truth over the years. All of the mystery surrounding creativity acts as the main motivating factor behind searching for the truth. Tommy’s innate curiosity spurs the movement towards discovery. For example, Tommy later hypothesizes based upon rumors that “things like pictures, poetry, all that kind of stuff […] revealed your soul” (Ishiguro 175). If two people were truly in love, they would be able to defer their donations. However, Tommy becomes disappointed when he finally realizes the actual truth; the large emphasis on the arts was mainly due to trying to make these clones more human than they actually are. By instilling this creativity within the clones, the guardians at Hailsham attempt to make the clones appear more human.  


The imaginary animals Tommy continues to draw as he strives understand the true purpose of creativity

However, for others, people will decide to ignore the truth in order to better themselves. For example, in regards to the ideas of donations and cloning leading to the advancement of science and the discovery of new cures allowed for the general public to ignore where these organs came from. They solely were interested in the idea that “their own children, their spouses, their parents, their friends, did not die from cancer, motor neuron shadows” (Ishiguro 263). People’s care for the own desires trumps their curiosity. People decide when the truth really is important or if it is better to ignore the truth for their own good. For example, if the general public were to not turn a blind eye to these children who are raised for the sole purpose of organ donations, they may feel bad for the children which would not be beneficial to them. So their solution is to completely ignore reality and live in this world of ignorance instead. 


Ignoring the truth of the source of organ donations

As a whole, Never Let Me Go highlights the idea that humans are selfishly driven. They will decide to search or ignore the truth depending on which is better for the individual situation.



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