Outer characterization

Tommy is one of the central characters in Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go. His full name is Tommy D (Chapter 21, 22%). He appears to be the same age as Kathy and Ruth. 

While he was at Hailsham, Tommy was good at playing football (Chapter 1, 51%), and he had a favorite polo shirt he got from one of the Sales. After leaving Hailsham, he starts making miniature animals. 

Tommy was not very good as a carer – he considers that he was “lousy” (Chapter 19, 50%) and did not even learn to drive, so he could not do the job properly. Tommy survives his first three donations and then undergoes his fourth.

Inner characterization

Tommy is usually passive and rarely takes initiative

One of the reasons why Tommy is considered an outsider at Hailsham is because he does not seem to try hard enough and is seen as “a layabout” (Chapter 1, 78%). Tommy’s lack of interest at Hailsham is a source of frustration for the other students.

Tommy’s passivity is noticed mainly in his relationship with Ruth and Kathy. Although people at Hailsham consider that, after he has broken up with Ruth, Tommy will start dating Kathy, he eventually gets back together with Ruth when Kathy tells him he should, even though he insists first that “ ‘We’ve got to think about our next move really carefully’ ” (Chapter 9, 91%). Tommy also seems to protest only rarely when Ruth puts him down, although he appears about to get angry several times. This could be...

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in