"Shadowy objects in test tubes": The ethics of grievance in Kazuo Ishiguro's never let me go

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Abstract

Every community demands sacrifices from individuals within it, and sometimes such sacrifices can be extreme. To experience harm related to this sort of sacrifice is to be in a state of grievance. Kazuo Ishiguro's 2005 novel Never Let Me Go offers readers a compelling fictional account of severe grievance experienced by its narrator-protagonist and other clones destined to die young when donating their organs to non-clone, or "normal," members of their community. By presenting radically aggrieved clones as visibly indistinguishable from the "normals," Ishiguro dramatically challenges traditional understandings of the state of grievance and compels readers to re-examine their own reactions when confronting the spectacle of grievance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-440
Number of pages20
JournalInterdisciplinary Literary Studies
Volume19
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2017 The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

Keywords

  • Class
  • Ethics
  • Grievance
  • Ishiguro
  • Monstrosity

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