Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Art and Culture Quotes in Never Let Me Go
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
"She told Roy that things like pictures, poetry, all that kind of stuff, she said they revealed what you were like inside. She said they revealed your soul." (15.61)
Tommy remembers when Miss Emily finally told Roy why their artwork matters so much: because it has soul-revealing properties. Do you agree with Miss Emily? Is art a window into your soul? Or into your mind? Or maybe your heart?
"The thing is, I'm doing them really small. Tiny. I'd never thought of that at Hailsham. I think maybe that's where I went wrong. If you make them tiny, and you have to because the pages are only about this big, then everything changes. It's like they come to life by themselves. Then you have to draw in all these different details for them." (15.89)
Tommy wants to make his imaginary animals "come to life" and he thinks he's found the secret ingredient: making them teeny tiny. Well, we guess we won't ask Tommy to paint a life-sized mural any time soon.
"You said it was because your art would reveal what you were like. What you were like inside. That's what you said, wasn't it? Well, you weren't far wrong about that. We took away your art because we thought it would reveal your souls. Or to put it more finely, we did it to prove you had souls at all." (22.19)
Wow, this is a hefty role for art to play. Does this mean that if the students are bad artists, then they have lesser souls? That doesn't seem quite fair. Unfortunately, Miss Emily doesn't explain her theory in detail. Just like she doesn't explain, oh, anything.