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Never Let Me Go - Themes
Why does Ruth have such trouble with the barbed-wire fence?

Never Let Me Go - Themes

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Why does Ruth have such trouble with the barbed-wire fence when looking for the old boat?
Ruth likes to be the one to know everything first
Ruth despises getting dirty or being undignified
The fence represents her imprisoned life
Ruth likes to be in control of every situation
Although she is physically frail, she lacks the confidence, in Kathy's view, to tackle the fence. This might be because Ruth, like all the donors, has been imprisoned in the fate society has decided for her since birth
Seaside towns and villages appear frequently in Never Let Me Go. What might the sea represent to Kathy, Tommy, Ruth and the other clones?
Their terror of the outside world
Love and friendship
The past
The connection between the sea and freedom becomes clear when the rumored sighting of an old, decayed boat causes such excitement among the donors
After Tommy "completes", Kathy takes a drive to Norfolk. While there, she stops her car near a field where rubbish blown from the sea has been caught in a barbed wire fence and she imagines that she sees Tommy in the distance. This episode is most closely related to which of the following themes?
The ethics of cloning
Fear of others
For a moment, Kathy allows herself to grieve for all that she has lost: her friends, her future, her love, all of which matter to her even more than the loss of her physical self
Why is creativity so important to the guardians of Hailsham?
The sale of art makes money for Hailsham
Being artistic will save students from becoming donors
The guardians happen to like art
The creative work of students proves their humanity
If the school can prove the humanity of clones, they can more easily justify educating them and treating them with kindness while they grow up
"Tommy thought it possible the guardians had, throughout all our years at Hailsham, timed very carefully and deliberately everything they told us, so that we were always just too young to understand properly the latest piece of information." Tommy's theory relates to which of the following themes?
Fate and freedom
The impossibility of truly understanding others
The blurred distinction between truth and deception
The ineffective nature of education
The guardians attempt to simultaneously hide and tell the truth. The students are expected to know and understand their futures without fully comprehending the facts emotionally
The veterans at the Cottages pass on a rumor that couples who are truly in love might be granted a deferral. How do Kathy and Tommy believe love can be proved?
Through the testimony of friends
Through art
Through sex
All of the above
Kathy and Tommy intuitively understand that the ability to be creative is proof of their humanity, as is the ability to love. They are mistaken, however, about the purpose of the art, which is not to provide evidence for deferrals
What does Norfolk represent to the Hailsham students?
The possibility of recovering the lost
The power of art
The freedom of the outside world
The fear of death
The students joke about Norfolk as the ''Lost Corner'', but the idea also provides comfort to the students, who long to be able to recover all that they have lost
Each donor reaches a point when he or she loses hope, becomes tired of waiting, and volunteers for the donation program. What is the best explanation for their behavior?
Clones have had hope programmed out of them
They have been well-trained into obedience
The clones have no feelings or emotions
They will be terribly punished if they rebel against the donation program
Despite their reading and their cultural activities, the clones have been taught from an early age that their lives will take only one path. Although indulging in very small rebellious acts, such as unauthorized trips, the clones never seriously question the purpose for which they were created
Which one of the following is NOT a theme of this novel?
Social mobility
Humanity and inhumanity
While the lives of the clones are mapped out for them, meaning that they have no opportunity to choose their own employment, social mobility is not a concern of this text
Which of the following events relates most closely to the theme of hope in the novel?
The students decide to get a closer look at Madame
Kathy, Ruth and Tommy accompany the veterans to Norfolk
Kathy challenges Ruth over the pencil case
Ruth "completes"
The trip to Norfolk is motivated by the hope of finding Ruth's "possible" and results in Tommy and Kathy finding a copy of the tape which is bound up both with Tommy's past hopes of locating the missing tape and Kathy's past sorrow over her own infertility (an enforced acceptance of a situation beyond hope)
Author:  Sheri Smith

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