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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Friendship

The friendships in Never Let Me Go sure are complicated, but they're also very realistic. In the novel, just like in real life, friends fight, make up, have misunderstandings, support one another,...

Lies and Deceit

You know how sometimes your parents or teachers lie to you to shield you from something they don't think you're ready to know? Remember how much you hated that as a kid? There's a mighty fine line...

Identity

Ah, the dreaded question: who am I? We've all stared this one down in the wee small hours of the morning. But Kathy and her friends have another question to answer as well: what am I? Understanding...

Dreams, Hopes, and Plans

Dreams can be dangerous. In Never Let Me Go, Kathy and her friends have shorter life spans than regular humans, so they have less time to accomplish their goals. Plus, their futures have already be...

Freedom and Confinement

Some gates are designed to keep people in; others are designed to keep people out. In Never Let Me Go, sometimes it's hard to tell the difference. Fences pop up all over the novel, but it's not alw...

Memory and the Past

If one thing is clear in Never Let Me Go, it's that Kathy is obsessed with the past: with Hailsham, her erstwhile friends, her old cassette tape, all of it. In fact, she's so into her past experien...

Art and Culture

In Never Let Me Go, the equation goes like this: being creative = being human. You can't have one without the other. It might sound harsh, but not everyone believes that clones like Kathy count as...

Passivity

Were you as bummed as we were that Kathy and her friends never even thought about escaping? But, alas, the clone rebellion never happens. Instead, Kathy and her friends submit to their fate without...
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