Never Let Me Go
by Kazuo Ishiguro
Analysis: What's Up With the Title?
The phrase "Never Let Me Go" comes from Kathy's favorite Judy Bridgewater song. In the chorus to the song, Judy sings the line "Baby, baby, never let me go" (6.46). Whether this line is about a newborn baby (which is what Kathy thinks) or about a lover (probably what Judy Bridgewater thinks), it's definitely about keeping someone or something close, even in the face of great odds. It's all about, you know, not letting go. We might even go so far as to say that this title is a little clingy.
So right off the bat we know that some kind of intimacy is going to be important in the book. But who or what do you think this title refers to? In typical Never Let Me Go fashion, there's not just one easy answer. Could the title refer to Kathy holding her pillow-baby? Or is it about holding onto the past? Or maybe it's about close friendships? Might as well hang onto—and never let go of—all the possibilities as you read the novel.