© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Never Let Me Go

Never Let Me Go


by Kazuo Ishiguro

Tommy D. Timeline & Summary

This timeline is in chronological order—not the order in which events occur in the book. Think of it as a mini Tommy biography.

  • Tommy is a student at Hailsham and has always been a bit of an outcast, poor guy.
  • One day in art class, Tommy's childish elephant drawing receives excessive praise from Miss Geraldine. So the other students begin to tease him incessantly. 
  • Tommy's position as a social pariah leads to temper tantrums, particular one on the soccer field where he accidentally hits Kathy. 
  • Tommy has a conversation with Miss Lucy and feels better about not being creative. The temper tantrums stop. He tells Kathy about his newfound inner peace down by the pond one day. 
  • As a teenager, Tommy dates Ruth for about six months. Then they break up for unknown reasons. 
  • In the interim, Tommy has another important chat with Miss Lucy, but this time she tells him that he should worry about being creative. 
  • When Miss Lucy gets kicked out of Hailsham, Tommy gets back together with Ruth. 
  • At the Cottages, Tommy keeps dating Ruth. He also gets into a creative groove and starts working on complex animal drawings. 
  • During the road trip to Norfolk, Tommy buys Kathy's re-discovered Judy Bridgewater tape for her. He also tells Kathy his theory about the Gallery, and how artwork can reveal if you are really in love. 
  • Back at the Cottages, Tommy becomes victim to Ruth's malicious teasing about his animal drawings. 
  • Tommy becomes a carer and then a donor at Kingsfield recovery center. Eventually, Kathy becomes his carer. 
  • Together, they visit Madame to ask for a deferral. When they learn that deferrals never existed, Tommy throws his final tantrum in the middle of a cow field.
  • When he gets the summons for his fourth donation, Tommy tells Kathy he wants a new carer, so they say good-bye. 
  • Tommy completes.