Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Never Let Me Go, Section 4; Ruth's Conversion

After reading section four of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, Never Let Me Go, one event that stood out to me was the conversion of Ruth. Throughout the entire novel, Ruth would constantly antagonize Kathy and Tommy, often mocking or lying to them. However, as Ruth has now donated and Kathy is her carer, the roles reverse. It almost seemed as though Kathy finally took power in the relationship, and she turned that newfound power against Ruth to get back at her. Tommy also fed Kathy’s attitude, either agreeing with her and supporting her opinions or discrediting Ruth’s. After being manipulated and treaded upon for years, Tommy and Kathy chose to not let Ruth manipulate and control them any longer. Furthermore, the most important part of Ruth’s conversion is her request for forgiveness from Kathy. While she had lied to her, Ruth especially wanted forgiveness for keeping Kathy from Tommy for so long. This request really proves Ruth’s true desire to be forgiven. Tommy was a sort of pet to her for so long, something she would not give up, and by finally letting go, it shows how truly sorry she really is. Ruth also went through the trouble to find Madame’s address so that Tommy and Kathy could try and get a deferral. In the end, I believe that this was Ruth’s way of trying to make things right. She was obviously near death, and oftentimes people try and tie up loose ends or repair relationships before the cannot anymore. By giving her blessing to Tommy and Kathy, Ruth tried to repair their relationship.

Something so important in this novel related to Ruth’s conversion is Kathy’s reaction to it. She and Tommy eventually discover that deferrals do not exist and are unattainable, which one would imagine would bring back ugly feelings towards Ruth. However, while Kathy seems to wish that Ruth died knowing the deferrals were not real, her wish is not mean spirited. Kathy states, “When I say I wish she’d found out the whole score, it’s more because I feel sad at the idea of her finishing up different from me and Tommy,” (Ishiguro, 285). It was not the anger over the non-existence of deferrals that upset Kathy; it was the fact that Ruth lost part of her connection to Kathy and Tommy. It was always the three of them together, and in death, Ruth lost some knowledge, some information that connected her to the other two students. Because of her conversion, the relationship between Ruth, Kathy, and Tommy was healed.

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