Analysis of structure and form in Never Let Me Go 3

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  • Structure and Form of NLMG
    • Ishiguro slowly reveals reality of student's lives
      • Expects readers to have same experience from chapter 1
        • "If you're one of them..."
      • Reality of their lives not made explicit until Miss Lucy's speech in ch. 7
      • Creates sustained suspense
      • What do the readers want revealed/ explained?
        • perversion of the meaning of "donation"
        • "completing"
        • role of "guardians"
        • concept of "deferrals"
        • concept of "possibles"
        • their infertility
        • role of "carers"
        • real function of Hailsham
        • how the characters spend their time
        • Characters likes and dislikes
        • How they are like and unlike us
      • Similar to how Miss Emily gradually reveals the truth to the students
      • Only reveals when the reader is ready to bare it, near the end of the novel
    • Regular use of foreshadowing
      • "I realise now just how much of what occurred later came out of our time at Hailsham" ch 4, pg 37
      • Looks in detail at past so what happens later seems more poignant
      • Foreshadows deaths of Ruth and Tommy
        • Intensifies themes of inevitability of fate
    • Non-linear/ discursive
      • Begins and ends with 31 year old K. Rest of novel in the middle like a disorganised sandwich
        • What makes the rest of the novel disorganised?
          • Complex storytelling, flashbacks and frequent time-shifts
            • Part of K's characterisation
              • K presented as frightened, sharing her past by drip feeding terrifying info instead of organising thoughts coherently
                • Doesn't have time or focus to organise thoughts coherently due to demand of being a carer or because it is a spoken narrative
              • Lost everything except memories and a terrifying future lies ahead of her
                • Dwelling on memories is a coping mechanism
            • Reflection on the nature of memory
        • I is aware that human minds digress and are unreliable; adds to K's humanity
      • e.g. Ch 2, pg 16: Mention of being Ruth's carer in Dover which sparks memories of T. Not until pg 45 where R is revisited
      • Fewer digressions into distant past in latter chapters as story comes closer to present
      • Only 3 linear episodes: Norfolk, Boat, Littlehampton
      • Adds to puzzle and suspense for reader
      • Reader has to thread together apparently disconnected fragments
        • Have to piece details of their fate together like children have to at Hailsham
        • Sense of exhaustion which K experiences as a carer
    • Presented as a spoken (not a written) narrative
      • Why Kathy is telling her story to an unnamed person is not explained
      • Intertextual reference to The Odyssey and One Thousand and One Nights on page 233 come from an oral heritage
      • Once K is gone, there will be no students left with memories of H to record
      • Full of colloquialisms and repetitions of spoken language
        • Doesn't obscure pace of the narrative


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