Never Let Me Go

by: Kazuo Ishiguro

Part Two, Chapters 14-15

Summary Part Two, Chapters 14-15

While Ruth and the veterans turn towards their future as carers, Tommy and Kathy revisit their Hailsham past. Their search for Kathy’s lost tape mirrors the search for Ruth’s possible, although Kathy finds a copy of the tape while Ruth fails to find the “copy” that is her model. Kathy and Tommy’s search is in many ways an effort to recover the past. The tape carries memories of their childhood at Hailsham, which they revisit as they wander through Norfolk. Moreover, they also revisit their childhood theories about Madame’s Gallery. After the art gallery in Norfolk becomes a disappointing dead-end in the search for Ruth’s possible, Madame’s Gallery offers a new source of hope. Tommy’s theory about deferrals also extends the students’ belief in the power of looking. The students believe that insight will come from looking at their models, and scrutinize Ruth’s possible like a work of art in the Norfolk gallery. Echoing this process, Tommy suggests that Madame scrutinizes the students’ artwork to see into their souls.

Tommy’s confessions about his deferral theory and his imaginary animals both reflect the unique confidence that he places in Kathy. As they did at Hailsham, Tommy and Kathy keep their theories about Madame’s Gallery and creativity from Ruth. Tommy also displays keen insight into Kathy, correctly interpreting her interest in the pornographic magazines as a search for possibles. Kathy’s search for possibles is characteristically private, contrasting with Ruth’s more ostentatious search in Norfolk. It is also far less hopeful. The pornographic magazines darkly echo the magazine where Ruth sees her glossy dream office. Kathy’s conversation with Tommy about her sexual urges echoes a similar talk that she had with Ruth at the Cottages. But while Ruth encouraged Kathy to see her urges as strange, Tommy comforts her by admitting that he often feels the same way. As Kathy narrates these confessions, she continues to omit any direct reference to her romantic feelings for Tommy. Just as she controls her tears in front of Tommy, Kathy obscures and controls the emotion in her narration. Her decision not to tell Ruth about the tape also reflects this secrecy, offsetting Ruth’s attempts at inclusiveness on the car ride home.