Freedom and Confinement in Never Let Me Go

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  • Freedom and Confinement in Never Let Me Go
    • Freedom
      • The Cottages
        • Sexual Freedom
          • At Hailsham the students were given mixed messages about sex from their guardians but upon arriving at the 'cottages' they realised they no longer had guardians and could make their own choices
          • “I get these really strong feelings when I want to have sex. Sometimes it just comes over me and for an hour or two it’s scary. […] That’s why I started thinking, well, it has to come from somewhere. It must be to do with the way I am”
            • Kathy H started experiencing these feelings when she was at the cottages.
              • This was potentially because Kathy was living around people who were exploring sexually - this allowed her to think more freely about sex especially when around others
          • The Magazines
            • The sexual magazines are constantly moving around the cottages and lots of people pretend they arent interested when they are
              • So are they still sexually repressed if they feel that they need to pretend to be uninterested?
          • “It was like there was some parallel universe we all vanished off to where we had all this sex.”
        • Travel and Exploration
          • "That summer we arrived we were constantly seeing veterans packing their bags and rucksacks and going off for two or three days at a time with what seemed to us scary nonchalance. We'd watched them with astonishment, wondering if by the following summer we'd be doing the same."
            • The fact that the veterans can just leave the cottages terrified the new arrivals
              • "You have to remember that until that point we'd never been beyond the grounds of Hailsham, and we were just bewildered."
              • They are used to the walls of Hailsham and have never been beyond that so having this freedom to venture outside into the unknown would be intimidating.
          • "If you'd told me that within a year, i'd not only develop a habit of taking long, solitary walks but that i'd start learning to drive a car, id have thought you were mad."
            • She never expected to have this freedom a she is used to the restrictions of Hailsham.
          • Driving allows the clones to experience freedom
            • They are able to travel to Norfolk or The Missing Corner to try and look for Ruth's possible.
            • Driving allows Kathy to think
            • They get to the boat using a car
            • "The only indulgent thing I did, was a couple weeks after Tommy completed, when I drove up to Norfolk, even though I had no real need to. [...] The fantasy never got beyond that--I didn't let it--and though the tears rolled down my face, I wasn't sobbing or out of control. I just waited a bit, then turned my back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be."
          • "But I do like the feeling of getting into my little car, knowing for the next couple of hours I'll have only the roads, the big grey sky and my daydreams for company."
        • At Hailsham the students had very little freedom so when they arrived at the 'cottages' they feel free
      • At Hailsham, the students have the freedom to create art, write poetry and stories. However, is this really freedom when they are doing it because the guardians at Hailsham insist and so that they can be observed and analysed
      • Symbols of freedom:
        • Driving
        • The Boat
        • Norfolk
    • Confinement
      • Hailsham
        • The students of Hailsham are very isolated and confined within the school
          • This is because they are too 'valuable' to be harmed. Initially it seems that this is because they care about the students well being but later in the book we learn that its for medical reasons
            • "You've been told about it. You're students, You're... special. So keeping yourselves well, keeping yourselves very healthy inside, that's much more important for each of you than it is for me."
              • Seen as commodities
        • They wish for freedom but in the back of their minds they know that there is no way they can have it. This causes them to give up hope and accept their fates.
        • "The woods were at the top of the hill that rose behind Hailsham House. All we could see really was a dark fringe of trees, but I certainly wasn't the only one of my age to feel their presence day and night."
          • They know that they are confined within Hailsham
            • Even nature is confining the students - separating them from the rest of the world.
        • Rumors were created in order to keep the children inside Hailsham and to get rid of any consideration they had of leaving. There were rumors of a boy who ran and was found tied to a tree with his hands and feet cut off and another boy starved to death outside the gates.
      • Confinement exists because:
        • The clones need to be kept fit for donation
        • Others are scared of the clones existence and they fear what they are capable of
    • The reader is able to see, in both Hailsham and at The Cottages, the clones freedom dwindling - their lives are set out before them, they have no control of their freedom.


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