This GCSE English Literature quiz takes a closer look at a particular extract from Kazuo Ishiguro’s book Never Let Me Go. This is the second of two extract questions for Never Let Me Go. It takes place during an English Literature lesson on poetry, perhaps poetry about the Second World War, since the topic arises during the lesson. The only dialogue in the passage is spoken by Miss Lucy and the entire event is filtered through Kathy’s watchful perception, related by her thirty-one-year-old self. Why does no one else speak? Why does no one else notice Miss Lucy? How would you explain the hysterical behaviour of the students? Read the passage through at least twice before answering the questions. When answering, pay very close attention to the details of this particular passage while considering how these details relate to the themes of the novel as a whole.
Be sure always to read the passage through more than once when preparing to answer an extract question. The first time you can aim for a broad understanding of the passage and how you might use it to answer the questions. On the second reading you can begin noting details and making annotations. Ask yourself why this passage has been chosen, why is it important? Pay attention to its place in the text. Does it introduce significant characters or significant themes? What happens afterwards? Does anything in the passage foreshadow later events? What changes? Think about the ending of the extract: why might it end where it does instead of somewhere else? What is significant about the final line?
In an exam, remember to consider exactly what the question asks. You might be asked to write about a particular character, or the mood and atmosphere of the passage. Perhaps you will be asked to discuss dialogue, behaviour or feelings. Always explain the passage’s immediate context: what events precede the extract? Pay close attention to the detail, to setting and characterisation. Think about how the passage relates to the themes of the text. Group related ideas together in your writing, but be sure to discuss the entire passage. Avoid writing about the first half of the passage in detail and then running out of time to write about the second half!
Read the extract from Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go below carefully before answering the questions.