Never Let me Go | Study Guide

Kazuo Ishiguru

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Course Hero. "Never Let me Go Study Guide." Course Hero. 10 May 2019. Web. 3 Aug. 2020. <>.

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Course Hero. (2019, May 10). Never Let me Go Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved August 3, 2020, from

In text

(Course Hero, 2019)



Course Hero. "Never Let me Go Study Guide." May 10, 2019. Accessed August 3, 2020.


Course Hero, "Never Let me Go Study Guide," May 10, 2019, accessed August 3, 2020,



Kazuo Ishiguru

Year Published





Dystopian, Science Fiction

Perspective and Narrator

Kathy is the 31-year-old first-person narrator of Never Let Me Go. She tells of her present life and, in flashbacks, of her life at Hailsham and the Cottages as a child and teenager. As a first-person narrator, she may be unreliable at times because she understands characters and interprets events from her viewpoint and admits that she doesn't remember everything.


In Never Let Me Go, Kathy tells of her present life as a carer (a person who attends to people in recovery centers) in the present tense and narrates flashbacks or past events in the past tense.

About the Title

The title "Never Let Me Go" is the name of Kathy's favorite song on a cassette tape called Songs After Dark by Judy Bridgewater. The song and the tape play an important part in Kathy's childhood as well as in her interactions with the characters Tommy, Ruth, and Madame. Within the text, the words of the chorus, "Oh baby, baby never let me go," refer specifically to Kathy's swaying to the music while holding a pillow and imagining she is holding a baby. On a larger scale, the lyrics refer to holding on to friends and memories.


This study guide for Kazuo Ishiguru's Never Let me Go offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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