Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Freedom and Confinement Quotes in Never Let Me Go
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
I thought about Hailsham closing, and how it was like someone coming along with a pair of shears and snipping the balloon strings just where they entwined above the man's fist. Once that happened, there'd be no real sense in which those balloons belonged with each other any more. (18.37)
If someone cuts these balloon strings, then the balloons will float away. Be free, balloons! But here, that level of freedom isn't a good thing. Kathy doesn't want to be completely untethered. It sounds like being completely free might also mean feeling pretty lonely.
Then we came to a barbed wire fence, which was tilted and rusted, the wire itself yanked all over the place. When Ruth saw it, she came to an abrupt halt.
"Oh no," she said, anxiously. Then she turned to me: "You didn't say anything about this. You didn't say we had to get past barbed wire!"
"It's not going to be difficult," I said. "We can go under it. We just have to hold it for each other." (19.18-20)
While trying to get to the stranded boat, our favorite trio comes across this fence. Ruth feels a lot of fear, even though in the end it's not difficult to get through. Why does this fence make her so afraid? Ultimately, all conquering the fence takes is a little teamwork.
"But do you see what we were up against? We were virtually attempting to square the circle. Here was the world, requiring students to donate. While that remained the case, there would always be a barrier against seeing you as properly human." (22.28)
Sometimes barriers are psychological rather than physical. Here, public opinion about the clones creates a fence that even superhuman Miss Emily can't plow through. People in the outside world don't want to see clones as real human beings. So they've set up a mental wall with proper humans on one side, and clones on the other. Sounds like it's going to be nearly impossible for the clones or their supporters to ever break out of this barrier. Here's hoping there's a sequel with a healthy dose of revolution.