“And so we stood together like that, at the top of that field, for what seemed like ages, not saying anything, just holding each other, while the wind kept blowing and blowing at us, tugging our clothes, and for a moment, it seemed like we were holding onto each other because that was the only way to stop us being swept away into the night.”
This quotation occurs in Chapter 22, after Tommy and Kathy visit Madame’s house. As they are driving back to his recovery center, Tommy asks Kathy to pull the car over, walks into the woods at the side of the road, and starts screaming. Kathy finds him raging wildly in a muddy field, and embraces him. This scene recalls Tommy’s temper tantrum on the muddy Hailsham football field, when Kathy also approached him and attempted to calm him down. Just as Tommy expressed his childhood frustrations and anxieties through tantrums, he displays his devastation after their visit to Madame through a wild rage. In holding one another, Kathy and Tommy also evoke the novel’s title, and Kathy’s favorite song, “Never Let Me Go.” The winds tugging at their clothes suggest the force of the future that threatens to pull them apart, while their embrace expresses a deeply human impulse to hold on in the face of this future. Holding onto one another is all that they can do, much like the woman Kathy once imagined holding tightly to her child in the song.