Language

Style of writing

The language in the novel Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro is mostly neutral and conversational. Kathy H., the narrator, seems to be addressing a specific audience and telling them her life story. Therefore, there are plenty of elements you may find in an oral account, for example, “Okay, it did niggle (…). But, as I say…” (Chapter 23, 25%). 

The dialogue between the characters flows naturally, and reflects the characters’ personalities and the relationships between them: 

‘It’s not a bad theory,’ I said. ‘It might be right, I don’t know. What do you think, Ruth?’

‘I had to really dig it out of Sweet Boy, here. Not very keen on letting me in on it, were you, Sweety Gums? It was only when I kept on pressing him to tell me what was behind all his art.’ (Chapter 16, 82%)

This exchange reflects Kathy’s usually submissive attitude towards Ruth as well as Ruth’s anger and contempt towards Tommy, with her mocking use of terms of endearment such as “ ‘Sweety Gums’ ”.

A particular characteristic of the novel is the invented jargon used by Kathy and her peers. For one thing, although it becomes clear that Kathy and her friends are all clones, the word “clone” is used only twice in the text. The first time Ruth uses it is when she gets angry and disappointed after the encounter with the woman who she thought might be her possible (Chapter 14, 91%). Then, Miss Emily uses it during her final talk with Tommy and Kathy (Chapter 22, 28%)...

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