GCSE English Literature Quiz - Never Let Me Go - Understanding the Text (Questions)

This GCSE English Literature quiz is about understanding the text and looks at Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go.

Understanding a text is not always easy! Authors convey meaning in many ways and very rarely state what they mean directly. Instead, they use character, setting, plot, theme and dialogue to show the reader what they want to convey. Readers must pay close attention and try to understand a text as they go along. Sometimes it’s necessary to reread certain sections, especially if a later turn of events shows that you might have missed something. If so, don’t worry. This shows how thoroughly engaged in the text you actually are!

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Comprehension works on many different levels simultaneously. Ensure you understand how the context and setting relates to events and how events are related to each other. It can be helpful to create a timeline of events. Remember, though, that events are not always revealed in the order in which they occur chronologically.

Think about the motivation behind characters’ actions. Are there clues in the text which explain their behaviour? Should their words be trusted at face value, or should you look more closely at the subtext? Do characters’ words always match their actions and their beliefs? In light of the evidence, consider why or why not.

It can also be very productive to analyse beginnings and endings. Why does the text begin where it does? How do you know about previous events? Is there a distance between the narrator and the time when the events he or she relates took place? Are future events foreshadowed? How? Individual chapters can be analysed in the same way: think about the significance of their beginnings and endings. All of this analysis will really improve your knowledge and understanding of the text!

Read the questions below on Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and test your knowledge and understanding of the text.

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1. Who are the donors?
[ ] Wealthy benefactors
[ ] Clones who have been created for the purposes of providing organs
[ ] The guardians of Hailsham
[ ] The models from which people were cloned
2. Who are the guardians?
[ ] Gallery owners
[ ] Those who do the work at the Cottages
[ ] Adults who care for and teach the clones
[ ] Those who care for the donors while they are in recovery
3. Where do the students believe their best creative work goes?
[ ] To the homes of carers
[ ] To decorate the walls of recovery centres
[ ] They believe it is destroyed
[ ] Madame's gallery
4. What is a "possible"?
[ ] One of the jobs open to the students after leaving Hailsham
[ ] The model from which a clone was made
[ ] Another name for the fourth donation
[ ] A school which only exists in rumour
5. Do the guardians lie directly to the students about their futures?
[ ] Yes, the guardians give the students false hope about their futures
[ ] Yes, but only by never discussing their futures
[ ] No, the guardians do not lie and are careful not to mislead the students
[ ] No, but the guardians do not encourage the students to understand fully what their futures hold
6. When does a carer become a donor?
[ ] Carers automatically become donors at the age of thirty
[ ] Carers are completely free to choose to become donors
[ ] Carers are completely free to choose when to become donors
[ ] Carers sometimes choose when to become donors, but can also be ordered to become donors
7. To what does the title of the novel refer?
[ ] It is the title of a song from one of Kathy's most prized possessions, a cassette tape
[ ] These are the words Kathy says to Tommy at the end of the novel
[ ] These are the words with which Miss Lucy takes leave of Hailsham
[ ] These are the words with which Ruth says goodbye to Kathy
8. Why can the clones not have children?
[ ] They are forbidden by law
[ ] They are sterile
[ ] They do not wish to bring children into the world
[ ] Male and female clones are kept in separate compounds
9. ''Completion" usually is expected to occur after which donation?
[ ] The first
[ ] The second
[ ] The third
[ ] The fourth
10. What happens after the end of the novel?
[ ] Kathy continues as a carer for the foreseeable future
[ ] Kathy finds Hailsham
[ ] Kathy begins the donation process
[ ] Kathy runs away
GCSE English Literature Quiz - Never Let Me Go - Understanding the Text (Answers)
1. Who are the donors?
[ ] Wealthy benefactors
[x] Clones who have been created for the purposes of providing organs
[ ] The guardians of Hailsham
[ ] The models from which people were cloned
The clones move through the stages of being students, veterans, carers and then donors
2. Who are the guardians?
[ ] Gallery owners
[ ] Those who do the work at the Cottages
[x] Adults who care for and teach the clones
[ ] Those who care for the donors while they are in recovery
The guardians at Hailsham try to give the students a normal childhood, caring for them, keeping them healthy and giving them a well-rounded education
3. Where do the students believe their best creative work goes?
[ ] To the homes of carers
[ ] To decorate the walls of recovery centres
[ ] They believe it is destroyed
[x] Madame's gallery
Much of the information at Hailsham is spread by rumour. The students believe Madame keeps a gallery of their best work because she regularly appears at Hailsham in order to select examples of their creativity
4. What is a "possible"?
[ ] One of the jobs open to the students after leaving Hailsham
[x] The model from which a clone was made
[ ] Another name for the fourth donation
[ ] A school which only exists in rumour
Kathy, Ruth, Tommy, Crissie and Rodney go to Norfolk in search of Ruth's ''possible''
5. Do the guardians lie directly to the students about their futures?
[ ] Yes, the guardians give the students false hope about their futures
[ ] Yes, but only by never discussing their futures
[ ] No, the guardians do not lie and are careful not to mislead the students
[x] No, but the guardians do not encourage the students to understand fully what their futures hold
Their behaviour does not consist of direct lies, but, by presenting information before the students can comprehend it emotionally, the guardians are guilty of deception
6. When does a carer become a donor?
[ ] Carers automatically become donors at the age of thirty
[ ] Carers are completely free to choose to become donors
[ ] Carers are completely free to choose when to become donors
[x] Carers sometimes choose when to become donors, but can also be ordered to become donors
Kathy has chosen to be a carer for a long time, but says that some good carers have been told to stop (implying that they have been told when it is time to donate)
7. To what does the title of the novel refer?
[x] It is the title of a song from one of Kathy's most prized possessions, a cassette tape
[ ] These are the words Kathy says to Tommy at the end of the novel
[ ] These are the words with which Miss Lucy takes leave of Hailsham
[ ] These are the words with which Ruth says goodbye to Kathy
The title is rich with meanings. One of these is the sense of treasuring another and being treasured, feelings which society does not believe the clones are capable of holding, as well as feelings society does not hold for the clones
8. Why can the clones not have children?
[ ] They are forbidden by law
[x] They are sterile
[ ] They do not wish to bring children into the world
[ ] Male and female clones are kept in separate compounds
When Kathy is surprised by Madame, she has been imagining holding a baby she knows she will never have
9. ''Completion" usually is expected to occur after which donation?
[ ] The first
[ ] The second
[ ] The third
[x] The fourth
Some donors ''complete'' early. The use of the word ''complete'' euphemistically refers to death, while leaving open the possibility that death does not occur immediately after the fourth donation. The word also suggests that the donors have fulfilled their function in life
10. What happens after the end of the novel?
[ ] Kathy continues as a carer for the foreseeable future
[ ] Kathy finds Hailsham
[x] Kathy begins the donation process
[ ] Kathy runs away
At the beginning of the novel, Kathy tells the reader that she has eight months left of being a carer. Although she could potentially escape, we know at the end of the novel that she will be compliant