Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Identity Quotes in Never Let Me Go
How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)
My name is Kathy H. I'm thirty-one years old, and I've been a carer now for over eleven years. (1.1)
Kathy tells us three things about herself here: her name, her age, and her job. Right off the bat, we're wondering what the deal is with this "H." Why doesn't Kathy have a last name—just an initial? Plus, it seems pretty important that Kathy mentions being a carer when she first describes herself. Sounds like her job might be a really important part of her identity.
Everything—the walls, the floor—has been done in gleaming white tiles, which the centre keeps so clean when you first go in it's almost like entering a hall of mirrors. Of course, you don't exactly see yourself reflected back loads of times, but you almost think you do. (2.26)
The recovery center at Dover sounds just like a fun house at a fair. Having your image reflected all over the walls might be a little off-putting, but it does point out how important mirrors are. Inside the tiled walls at the recovery center, Kathy can't really escape seeing herself everywhere, which is a constant reminder of her fate.
So you're waiting, even if you don't quite know it, waiting for the moment when you realize that you really are different to them; that there are people out there, like Madame, who don't hate you or wish you any harm, but who nevertheless shudder at the very thought of you—of how you were brought into this world and why—and who dread the idea of your hand brushing against theirs. The first time you glimpse yourself through the eyes of a person like that, it's a cold moment. It's like walking past a mirror you've walked past every day of your life, and suddenly it shows you something else, something troubling and strange. (3.73)
Kathy doesn't like seeing herself through Madame's eyes. It's no fun to realize that other people are disgusted by you. Plus, realizing what Madame thinks of her seems to change the way Kathy thinks about herself.