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Miss Lucy is a guardian at Hailsham during Kathy’s childhood. Kathy remembers her as a stocky woman who comes across as gruff, but who cares deeply about the children. Miss Lucy gives Kathy her first clues that life outside of Hailsham is much harsher than the students know. As a child, Kathy does not readily understand Miss Lucy’s hints about the outside world, but Kathy connects the dots as she reminisces about her life. Miss Lucy believes Hailsham should teach the students a comprehensive understanding of why they exist and what their lives will look like when they go out to become donors. She thinks the students deserve to know the truth because it is their lives at stake. Although Miss Lucy and the students can do nothing to change their futures, Miss Lucy feels it is wrong they should have only a polite and polished impression of their own lives. She occasionally makes comments to the students about this belief, but Miss Emily does not allow her to say as much as she would like to. When Miss Lucy does talk to the students about their futures, she strategically chooses her moments so that Miss Emily and the other guardians are not present to interfere.
The speech Miss Lucy gives in the pavilion reflects her ongoing struggle with her role as a guardian. Her speech provides the students with an unusually straightforward account of the donation program, something that Kathy as a narrator has not provided her reader until now. In this way, Kathy makes the reader’s experience mirror her own: the novel’s first explicit description of the future occurs when young Kathy hears it from Miss Lucy. Years later, when Kathy and Tommy ask Miss Emily about her, Miss Emily explains Miss Lucy’s ideology was not welcome at Hailsham. She tells them Miss Lucy fought to give the students a more complete understanding of their situation, but that Miss Lucy’s method was too idealistic for the real world. Miss Emily claims Miss Lucy’s method would have left the children unmotivated to invest in and enjoy their childhoods. However, the reader sees that while Miss Emily’s approach sounded the best—shielding the students from their purposes as donors in order to give them chances to dream—it is actually far crueler than Miss Lucy’s approach. While Miss Lucy could have been more tactful in how she told the students the truth, she was really extending them a kindness in giving them a glimpse at organ donations and their ultimate destinies.