Never Let Me Go

by: Kazuo Ishiguro

Part Two, Chapters 12-13

Summary Part Two, Chapters 12-13

Chrissie, Rodney, and Ruth are all willing to hope on the basis of rumor and speculation. Just as Rodney and Chrissie feed Ruth’s hopes with their story of the “possible,” Ruth feeds their hopes with vague allusions to the deferral process. This mutual hopefulness draws the three of them together. Meanwhile, Kathy’s skepticism and Tommy’s confusion make them outliers in the group. Kathy suspects the veterans of lying about Ruth’s possible, and later sees through Ruth’s bluffing about deferrals. But she generally keeps her observations to herself, demonstrating her subtlety as well as her allegiance to Ruth. Although Tommy is also an outsider on the trip, his blunt responses contrast with Kathy’s restraint and awareness. Where Kathy supports Ruth’s claims, Tommy straightforwardly denies knowing anything about deferrals. These comments threaten the sense of possibility that drives Ruth and the veterans, provoking Ruth to label his cluelessness as a sign of his outsider status at Hailsham. Ruth’s attitude in the car reflects the growing divisions in the group, as she ignores Kathy and Tommy to speak only with the veterans. Ruth also remains a symbolic wedge between Kathy and Tommy. Although Ruth ignores Tommy on the drive, she also refuses to let Kathy take her place next to him.