Ruth

Outer characterization

Ruth is a central character in the novel Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. She is Kathy’s best friend and is the same age as her (Chapter 4, 82%). When Kathy describes Ruth’s possible, we also get an insight into what Ruth looks like: Ruth has light hair which she wears in a ponytail, and she usually shakes her head when she laughs (Chapter 15, 40%). 

After leaving the cottages, Ruth was a carer for five years (Chapter 19, 50%). Her first donation went badly and left her weak (Chapter 18, 70%). Ruth dies after her second donation (Chapter 19, 100%).

Inner characterization

Ruth lies to impress other people

Just as Kathy feels a strong need to belong to a community, Ruth seems to have a strong need to impress other people and always be the center of attention. She frequently interferes in conversations to make herself look better than the others and appears to believe herself the unchallenged leader of any group she is in. 

Ruth never wants to make herself look bad, even in situations that are relatively minor. When Kathy assumes Ruth can play chess, Ruth does not correct Kathy and instead invents some rules on the spot, adding to them when it appears that Kathy might win (Chapter 5, 36%). She also heavily implies that Miss Geraldine gave her a pencil case (Chapter 5, 64%) hinting at the same time that she is somehow special. 

Another example of Ruth not wanting to admit to ignorance is during the conversation with Chrissie and Rodney about the possibility of Hailsham couples getting deferrals to have more time together (Chapter 13, 67%). Even though she has clearly heard nothing about something like this, Ruth still nods “with authority” (Chapter 13, 78%). She is sure to keep her answers about the rumor vague, so she is not caught in the lie, but still convincing enough to keep the attention on herself and on what she supposedly knows. She even...

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