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Notes to "Never Let Me Go"

Part One

Chapter 1

  • Main character Kathy is 31 years old who has to be a carer for twelve years in total.
  • Together with Tommy, Ruth and many other clones she lives in Hailsham and goes to boarding school
  • At the North Playing Field some boys are making fun of Tommy and he gets a tantrum. Kathy tries to stop him because his shirt gets muddy. By accident he hits her

Chapter 2

  • Every week the students get medication
  • Every season an Exchange happens at which prepared paintings, drawings, poetry and other self-made stuff is sold.
  • The bullying has started with a childish elephant painting by Tommy in art class which Miss Geraldine tried to point out good things in front of the class.

Chapter 3

  • Tommy tells Kathy about the talk between him and Miss Lucy, who said that his lack of creativity isn’t his fault. She also said, that the students aren’t told enough.
  • Madame comes up to four times a year to collect the art which goes to the Gallery
  • The girls find out, that Madame is scared of them

Chapter 4

  • Roy asks Miss Emily a very austere reserved guardian, if they would get tokens for things that get taken to the gallery. The students are getting some but not so much because it is the ‘most distinguished honour’ (p.48)
  • Every morning is a short assembly, but if Miss Emily had to talk it takes round about 20 to 30 minutes. She doesn’t need to raise her voice to be very strict
  • Every month a white van is coming, where the students can buy clothes and other “goodies” for tokens
  • The friendship between Ruth and Kathy has started in the time where you play in the sandpit and they played with invisible horses. Ruth was always very determinative.
  • From then on they ‘protected’ Miss Geraldine, because Ruth said she needs protection.

Chapter 5

  • The group already knew
  • Horror stories about the outside like the woods or behind the fence
  • Ruth is a liar. She pretended to be able to play chest but Kathy found out as she bought a board and figures.
  • Ruth keeps the “secret guard” play going e.g. with a special pencil case which she hinted that she got it from Miss Geraldine. Kathy says to Ruth that she got a look at the Sales-list at which every transaction is written. Kathy hates this hinting but keeps the secret.
  • Kathy shows compassion and asks herself, if not everybody wants a little bit attention from your favourite guardian.

Chapter 6

  • Kathy hints Ruth that she won’t leave the lie. Therefore Ruth is the next days especially friendly
  • The Norfolk joke: Miss Emily shows in the lessons pictures of their surroundings but she hasn’t a photograph of Norfolk, also called “a lost corner” (p. 74)
  • The guardians are warning before the consequences of smoking and that it is very important to be healthy.
  • Miss Lucy repeats that they are special students
  • Album “Songs After Dark” by Judy Bridgewater (1956)
  • Different from the other songs
  • Track 3 “Never let me go”
  • Hadn’t much opportunities to listen
  • Kathy imagines that the singer can’t have a baby and holds it while singing, “oh baby never let me go”
  • One time she plays this situation as she catches a sight of Miss Madame who is standing in the door frame and cries
  • As she tells Tommy his response is that she was said for her, because all Hailsham students aren’t able to have children. No one is really bothered that they can have sex without worrying about babies.
  • Two months later the cassette got lost and Kathy is upset. As a replacement and thanking for keeping the secret Ruth who doesn’t care much about music, gifts her another tape not knowing that the song is important to her not any music. But because Ruth really thought about it Kathy likes the new cassette also a lot.

Chapter 7

  • Talks about the time between 13 to 16 when they leave
  • At 15 in the sports pavilion
    • Miss Lucy hears a conservation and says that she can’t be quit anymore
    • The students’ lives are set out. They have to donate their vital organs
  • They are told and not told
  • Sex talk
    • They should avoid diseases, can’t have babies, sex affects emotions, out there sex means much more
  • Tommy has a gash on his elbow and was told from Christopher that it can unzip. Because health is extremely important he believes that foul
  • It evolved to the unzipping running joke

Chapter 8

  • Kathy hears a sound and follows him to Room 22 where she finds Miss Lucy crossing out hand written text with a black marker which has made the sound.
  • Tommy and Ruth were a couple and had six months an argument
  • One the one hand the guardians want them to have sex, but not in school or at their dorm so they had no opportunities.
  • Gay sex is called ‘umbrella sex’ and to be gay is called to be an umbrella
  • Kathy chooses Harry C. to have sex with him but in the end she doesn’t have sex with him.

Chapter 9

  • There is a rumour by Cynthia E. that Kathy is Ruth’s ‘natural successor’ this holds her back from having sex with Harry
  • Ruth requests from Kathy to talk with Tommy to help her to get with him together again
  • After she asks her if she means it serious she talks to Tommy.
  • He interrupts her and tells her about his talk with Miss Lucy who said, that she had made a mistake by telling him not to worry about not being creative and that it’s not too late and he should making up the lost time.
  • Tommy says that he has to think carefully about every step and can’t rush into it with Ruth.
  • Miss Lucy lefts Hailsham
  • Tommy and Ruth get back together that evening

Part Two

Chapter 10

  • essay topic: Victorian novels
  • Didn’t think much about it
  • eight move to the Cottages in summer
  • Are the remains of a farm
  • Farmhouse (heart), barns, outhouses, stables to live in, black barn
  • Keffers
    • Grumpy, old guy
    • Comes 2-3 times a week
    • Doesn’t talk much
    • Implied they don’t do enough but doesn’t says what they should do
  • ‘veterans’, students that were already there
  • It’s always cold there due to not enough heat sources
  • Cynthia to Dorset; Harry to Wales
  • Is two years at the Cottages
  • Ruth makes a big deal about their relationship e.g. snogging in public
  • Veteran couples copy behaviour from television
  • She adjusts their behaviour and copies goodbye gesture which is slapping your partner’s arm near the elbow with the back of your knuckles
  • Near autumn:
  • Ended by winter
  • Susie and Greg (oldest students) are ‘in charge’ of the place
  • TV at Hailsham and Cottages is restricted
  • Idea that more books you have read, more settling in you were
  • They imply by nodding that they read a book
  • Ruth takes it to far
  • Kathy confronts her about the gesture
  • Chrissie and Rodney are veterans

Chapter 11

  • Explains why Kathy got bothered by Ruth in the argument about the gesture
  • At the evening Kathy and Ruth exchange deepest feelings
  • In dispute Ruth crosses the line by referring about her and sex that she told her in trust
  • Sex is different at the Cottages, no gossip
  • Kathy has her first one-nighters
  • Tells her about her urge sometimes to really want sex
  • Ruth thinks it’s weird
  • The “two” Ruth’s mixed, the one who tries to impress the veterans and ignores her and Tommy and the other one Kathy could talk to at the evening ant trusts
  • Ruth threw her collection chest away and regrets it now
  • The things in the collection chests aren’t very worthy
  • At autumn notices things she missed
  • Unspoken rule not to mention trips you have made
  • Taboo: mentioning students who left, only if it was necessary
  • Tree stump outside the Black Barn called ‘Dave’s stump’
  • Porn magazines referred as a left-over from ‘Steve’s collection’
  • Keffers don’t like them. He takes them to his van but forgets they there
  • Kathy takes them inside the boiler
  • She goes through it pretty quickly
  • Tommy appears and recognizes that she doesn’t watches them for fun but she isn’t prepared to tell him why

Chapter 12

  • Want to find her possible
  • Rodney saw Ruth’s possible Model in an open-plan office
  • Chrissie
    • tall, beautiful
    • seems very friendly and welcoming
    • something odd about her mentioning that they come from Hailsham
    • Rodney is her boyfriend
  • Sceptical about the report of Ruth’s possible
    • Instinct not to trust Chrissie
    • Description to close to Ruth’s ‘dream future’
  • They fancy about their dream future
  • Ruth took it once again further than anybody
  • Her dream future in an open-plan office, she describes it copying from an advertisement magazine Kathy and Ruth saw
  • Veterans awestruck they being from Hailsham
  • Ruth is not denied certain things and implying others

Chapter 13

  • Few months after the magazines Chrissie, Rodney, Kathy and Tommy visit Norfolk (lost corner)
  • Rodney borrows a Rover car and has a driver licence
  • During the ride, Ruth leans forward to Chrissie and Rodney
  • Due to that Tommy and Ruth can’t talk to each other
  • After an hour: break
  • Kathy suggest to Ruth to change seats so Kathy could talk with Tommy but she gets outrages
  • In the second half Ruth keeps silent, not bending forward
  • Eat in a little café
  • Martin a carer lives in Norfolk, friend of Rodney
  • They aren’t allowed to visit carers
  • Chrissie tells the rumour about a girl in the clothes shop from Hailsham and that they can get under special circumstances their donation deferred for 3-4 years
  • She continues that if you are really in love with someone and can show it they at Hailsham organise that
  • Ruth lies about it, that it exists and heard about it at Hailsham
  • Kathy pays and they leave the café

Chapter 14

  • After shopping at Woolworth they go to the office lead by Rodney
  • They spot a woman in blue outfit in the office through a big window
  • As they were spotted they leave and wait for time to shift to watch again
  • But they don’t need to. The woman leaves the office with a cream-coloured overcoat
  • They follow her with distance in a small street to “The Portway Studios” where she talks to a silver hair woman and the other pretend to watch the paintings.
  • They all noticed by listening that she isn’t Ruth’s possible
  • The woman leaves
  • The silver hair woman asks them if they are art students then they leave too
  • Ruth is upset
  • Ruth says they are modelled after “trash” (junkies, prostitutes, winos, tramps)
  • Rodney suggests to visit Martin
  • Kathy and Tommy don’t follow them

Chapter 15

  • Tommy wants to find Kathy’s old tape by Judy Bridgewater
  • He thought many time about giving it her
  • Together they search in second hand shops until they find it
  • They are having fun
  • Tommy buys her it
  • She’s happy about having it again and the memories it connects
  • Tommy talks about his theory that the gallery is for these deferrals
  • Because they reveal what you were like inside. They reveal your soul
  • Kathy plays down his theory because he has no art in the gallery
  • They go back to the car
  • Tommy reveals he paints imaginary tiny animals
  • Tommy finds out that Kathy is looking through the porn magazines to find her possible. That would explain her urge to want sex
  • At the drive back Ruth was friendly that’s her type of showing she was wrong

Chapter 16

  • Spring: veterans leave to start their training
  • Barn called goosehouse
  • Over two months after Norfolk trip
  • Tommy shows her his drawings and she really likes them she thinks they are good for the gallery
  • Summer: one year from when they first arrived
  • Ruth pretends to forget things from Hailsham
  • Relationship with Lenny but he suddenly starts his training
  • Kathy talks about him with Ruth
  • She finds the cassette without discussing it much to Kathy’s surprise
  • Then eventually they laugh about Tommy’s animals and she doesn’t say she likes them
  • Churchyard: Kathy goes to Ruth and Tommy on the bench on the willow
  • Ruth says that she and Kathy laughed about the animals and Kathy wishes she would have said something. She only reacts with walking away

Chapter 17

  • Conservation with Ruth at the old bus shelter
  • Ruth says she knows how daft it was and that she apologized and that Kathy is right
  • Also she tells her that Tommy really likes her
  • But he doesn’t sees her as an girlfriend because she was together with “this person and that”
  • As they were juniors James B. should fetch cake to the pond where they had a picnic with Miss Geraldine
  • Kathy applied by Keffers for being a carerShe keeps a distance to Ruth and Tommy at the last days at the Cottages

Part Three

Chapter 18

  • Kathy is a good donor
  • Other can’t handle the death of their patient, even when they don’t do anything wrong
  • Many hours alone, driving from centre to centre, broken sleep
  • Stressful, nerve-racking job, many are relieved when they can donor
  • Has four bendable desk-lamps at home
  • Laura, close friend, can’t handle donations as a carer very well
  • Speaks to her 20 minutes in her car
  • Ruth was determined at the Cottages
  • Rumour: Ruth had a really bad first donation
  • Laura suggest that Kathy could get Ruth’s carer
  • Ruth is a difficult donor for cares
  • Hailsham closed
  • Once walked behind a clown with helium balloons with ears and faces
  • Ruth is in a modern recovery centre in Dover
  • After the first meeting with Ruth, as Kathy becomes her carer something grows between them
  • Then after an incident in which Kathy stood in Ruth’s room while she was coming out of the bath showering, the atmosphere got even worse. They realise that Ruth doesn’t trust her
  • Kathy wants to stop being her carer, but the situation changes because of the boat
  • Plan to visit a boat that stranded in the marshes and pick up Tommy who’s centre lies on the way
  • At the Cottages Ruth and Tommy drifted apart
  • Tommy is in Kingsfield

Chapter 19

  • Kingsfield is not a very beautiful place it falls way short of a place like Ruth’s centre
  • The old pool now called “the Square” is the place where they drive in when they first arrive
  • The encounter between Ruth and Tommy is a bit cold/serious
  • During the drive they talk and one time Kathy interrupts Ruth’s anecdotes and tommy laughs because he wanted to interrupt her himself
  • Ruth doesn’t strikes back, that wouldn’t happen in further times
  • She parks the car
  • They walk through the woods while Ruth’s breath is coming less and less easy.
  • They stop at a rusty fence with barbed wire, Ruth don’t want to get trough
  • Kathy and Tommy hold it up, it is more a confidence thing
  • They reach their goal and see the sky blue painted boat in the marsh
  • Chrissie completed after her second donation, says Ruth
  • Rodney is in the clinic up in North Wales
  • Tommy wasn’t a good carer, lousy carer
  • Ruth was 5 years a carer
  • They go back while Tommy and Ruth are comparing their centres
  • They see a huge advertisement and stop the car
  • They talk about the open-plan office, then Kathy asks if she wonders what might have happened if she had tried and mentions Madame
  • Ruth apologises
    • Lied about the urge to have sex and had it with at least with three others while being together with Tommy
    • For keeping Tommy and Kathy apart
  • Suggests they have to ask for deferral
  • Now Tommy made two donations
  • Ruth gives Tommy a note with Madame’s address
  • Brings Tommy back and drives to Dover
  • not much talking
  • the bad atmosphere evaporated
  • Ruth suggests that Kathy can become Tommy’s carer
  • After Ruth’s second donation she dies

Chapter 20

  • Almost after one year after the trip and his third donation Kathy becomes Tommy’s carer
  • L-shaped room
  • Tommy and She start having sex by sliding her hand down to his stuff after reading
  • He draws these small animals at his desk
  • One day he asks her for her honest opinion. His sign to put everything behind what happened at the cottages and on the other hand it shows he prepares for the talk to Madame about the deferrals
  • Kathy reports to him that she saw Madame in Littlehampton and Ruth was right.
  • Furthermore she tells him how she observed her house and then saw her.
  • They decide to take 15, 20 or more of his new drawings with them

Chapter 21

  • Due to some unluckiness about doing test they set of to Littlehampton towards the end of the afternoon
  • They arrive just before 6 o’clock
  • Buy food for Tommy
  • Follow Madame to her house
  • Scared that Tommy could say wrong things, says “excuse me”
  • Introduces them
  • Asks them to come inside
  • They sit in armchairs
  • They explain their theory about the gallery and the deferrals
  • Tells her Tommy hadn’t art for the gallery
  • There are tears in Madame’s eyes she says “poor creatures”
  • Madame’s name is Marie Claude
  • Miss Emily roles out of the dark behind them in a wheelchair

Chapter 22

  • Deferrals are a rumour
  • Hailsham was a kind of experiment to prove that the clones have souls too
  • Morningdale scandal
    • Scientist James Morningdale
    • in a remote part of Scotland
    • wanted to make children with enhanced characteristics
    • went far beyond legal boundaries
  • climate changed and they got fewer and fewer supporters and sponsors
  • Lucy Wainright thought the students should have been made more aware they were for
  • Miss Emily had to fight back her dread of the students almost every day
  • The men packed stuff and were shouted by Marie Claude
  • Tommy and Kathy thanked for talking to them and asked Madame if she could say goodbye to Miss Emily who was in the vehicle
  • Then they talk about the moment in the dorm with the song “Never Let Me Go”
  • Madame wasn’t sad that she couldn’t have a baby
  • She saw a girl holding an old kind world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain and that she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.
  • On the way back home they stop and Tommy gets out the car.
  • He screams and Kathy walks toward the sound in the dark
  • Then she holds him and they drive back

Chapter 23

  • Draws the animals
  • Identifies more with the other donors
  • Tommy’s fourth donation
  • Special respect for a fourth donators
  • Tommy wants to change his carer, they don’t fight and he gets one
  • Tells he imagined to splash trough water after he shot a goal at Hailsham
  • She lost Ruth, Tommy and Hailsham but not her memories
  • Were in Norfolk and thought about Tommy after she lost him.


13 Never Let Me Go Unterricht A Summary about cloning


13 Grammatik Zusammen­fassung Linking words (Connectors)
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