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Identify and Explain Key Characters and Their Development in 'Never Let Me Go'

In this worksheet, students will revise key ideas about each of the characters in 'Never Let Me Go'.

'Identify and Explain Key Characters and Their Development in 'Never Let Me Go'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   English Literature

GCSE Boards:   Eduqas, OCR, AQA

Curriculum topic:   Post-1914 Prose / Drama, Modern Prose or Drama, Modern Texts: Prose

Curriculum subtopic:   Never Let Me Go

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

 

        classroom

 

What do you know already about the characters in 'Never Let Me Go'?

 

The main characters are divided into

- guardians

- teachers

- staff

 

What do you know about Miss Emily, Miss Lucy and Madame?

 

 

students in a classroom

 

Students/clones

 

The main characters we follow are Kathy H, Tommy and Ruth.

 

Have a go at the following activity to revise the key ideas about these characters.

 

A narrator is the person telling the story.

 

Who is the narrator in 'Never Let Me Go'?

Kathy H is the narrator.

 

Complete the passage below to revise some key information about this character.

Kathy H forms a close friendship with Tommy and later has a romantic relationship with him.

 

What is the first thing Ishiguro shows us about Tommy's character?

 

children playing football

That he is not very good at art

That he is prone to temper tantrums and the other students tease him

That he is in a relationship with Ruth

At the beginning of the text, Kathy recounts how Tommy was known for not being very good at art.

 

paint brush and blue paint

 

He tells her that Miss Lucy said "If I didn't want to be creative, if I really didn't feel like it, that was perfectly all right."

 

What makes Tommy change his mind and start creating animal drawings?

Miss Lucy tells him that his art will show that he has a soul

Miss Lucy tells him that it will be used as evidence and he later begins to think this will help him get a deferral

The other boys tease him about his art

Ruth is one of Kathy's closest friends.

 

Click on all of the correct facts below about the character of Ruth in 'Never Let Me Go'.

Ruth and Kathy confide in each other but also fall out

Ruth is Tommy's carer

Ruth is one of the most caring characters in the novel

Ruth has a romantic relationship with Tommy

Ruth "completes" after her second donation

How does Ishiguro present Ruth as a student at Hailsham?

 

Match the quotations below to what they show us about Ruth.

Column A

Column B

Imaginative
"I'll let you be one of her secret guards"
Controlling
"Ruth led the way"
Manipulative
"Then she gave us all a knowing smile"

Madame is presented by Kathy as a mystery for the majority of the novel.

 

Complete the quotation below from Chapter 3 to show how Ishiguro presents Madame throughout the majority of the novel.

 

Column A

Column B

Imaginative
"I'll let you be one of her secret guards"
Controlling
"Ruth led the way"
Manipulative
"Then she gave us all a knowing smile"

 

Ishiguro reveals the full purpose of Hailsham and Madame's role in this at the end of the novel.

 

Which sentence below explains what Tommy and Kathy find out when they visit Madame?

Madame was working with Miss Emily to prove that the students at Hailsham could grow to be sensitive and intelligent humans, not just objects for medical science

The artwork was used to decide who would get a deferral from being a donor

Madame and Miss Emily had succeeded in changing people's opinions about donors

How does Ishiguro present Miss Lucy?

 

Click on all of the accurate sentences below.

The students do not like Miss Lucy

Miss Lucy loses her job at Hailsham

Miss Lucy wants to be honest with the students and tell them about their future

Miss Lucy is presented as a strict teacher

Miss Lucy is shown to rebel against the system

 Miss Emily is another key character in 'Never Let Me Go.'

 

Complete the passage below to revise a little bit more about Miss Emily. 

The students do not like Miss Lucy

Miss Lucy loses her job at Hailsham

Miss Lucy wants to be honest with the students and tell them about their future

Miss Lucy is presented as a strict teacher

Miss Lucy is shown to rebel against the system

  • Question 1

A narrator is the person telling the story.

 

Who is the narrator in 'Never Let Me Go'?

CORRECT ANSWER
Kathy
Kathy H
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? The narrator introduces herself at the very beginning of Chapter 1 with 'My name is Kathy H.' Ishiguro uses a first person narrative, that is, everything we are told is through the eyes of Kathy. We are reading Kathy's story.
  • Question 2

Kathy H is the narrator.

 

Complete the passage below to revise some key information about this character.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to fill all three spaces? As the text progress, we learn that students from Hailsham and other similar establishments, have been born with the sole purpose of donating their organs to adults who need them. Whilst Kathy is one of these students, we never see her become a donor. We learn that students become carers first and then donors at some point after this. The reader only sees the part of Kathy's life as a student, at the cottages as an adolescent and then as a carer.
  • Question 3

Kathy H forms a close friendship with Tommy and later has a romantic relationship with him.

 

What is the first thing Ishiguro shows us about Tommy's character?

 

children playing football

CORRECT ANSWER
That he is prone to temper tantrums and the other students tease him
EDDIE SAYS
Did you find the first thing we learn about Tommy? All of these facts about Tommy are correct but Ishiguro first presents him being teased by the other boys on the playing fields. Kathy tells us that "Tommy burst into thunderous bellowing". Shortly after this, we see Kathy approach Tommy and their friendship is established.
  • Question 4

At the beginning of the text, Kathy recounts how Tommy was known for not being very good at art.

 

paint brush and blue paint

 

He tells her that Miss Lucy said "If I didn't want to be creative, if I really didn't feel like it, that was perfectly all right."

 

What makes Tommy change his mind and start creating animal drawings?

CORRECT ANSWER
Miss Lucy tells him that it will be used as evidence and he later begins to think this will help him get a deferral
EDDIE SAYS
This is a tricky one! Miss Lucy doesn't actually tell Tommy why his artwork is important, just that it will be used as "evidence". Based on what Tomy hears from others, he concludes, that if he can show he is in love he may be able to secure a deferral from being a donor. He believes his artwork in Madame's gallery would help to "reveal" what he's "like inside" and help her decide if he really is in love. He starts drawing just in case. However, Ishiguro reveals at the end of the text that actually the artwork was used by Madame to "prove" the students had "souls".
  • Question 5

Ruth is one of Kathy's closest friends.

 

Click on all of the correct facts below about the character of Ruth in 'Never Let Me Go'.

CORRECT ANSWER
Ruth and Kathy confide in each other but also fall out
Ruth has a romantic relationship with Tommy
Ruth "completes" after her second donation
EDDIE SAYS
Did you spot all three? Ruth is a close friend to Kathy, however, we see that their relationship is a complex one. They often try to impress each other and they confide in each other but at the same time, we see some hostility in their relationship. Ruth has a romantic relationship with Tommy but this doesn't progress beyond their time at the cottages. Later Kathy becomes Ruth's carer, and she recounts how Ruth dies or "completes" after her second donation.
  • Question 6

How does Ishiguro present Ruth as a student at Hailsham?

 

Match the quotations below to what they show us about Ruth.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Imaginative
"I'll let you be one of her secre...
Controlling
"Ruth led the way"
Manipulative
"Then she gave us all a knowing s...
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to match all three? Ruth is a complex character who shows significant changes and development throughout the course of the novel. At school, Ruth is presented as the leader. Kathy's narrative reveals the way she looked up to Ruth at school and wanted to impress her. It also shows that at times, Kathy sometimes felt a little bit scared, and was worried about what Ruth might think or how she might react.
  • Question 7

Madame is presented by Kathy as a mystery for the majority of the novel.

 

Complete the quotation below from Chapter 3 to show how Ishiguro presents Madame throughout the majority of the novel.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you complete the quote? Kathy recounts how Madame seemed to show a real fear of the students at Hailsham. Just as this is a mystery to the students, it is a mystery to the reader, until the very end of the text when Ishiguro reveals Madame's role at Hailsham.
  • Question 8

 

Ishiguro reveals the full purpose of Hailsham and Madame's role in this at the end of the novel.

 

Which sentence below explains what Tommy and Kathy find out when they visit Madame?

CORRECT ANSWER
Madame was working with Miss Emily to prove that the students at Hailsham could grow to be sensitive and intelligent humans, not just objects for medical science
EDDIE SAYS
The first one is the most accurate! Kathy and Tommy found out that deferrals didn't actually exist and that their artwork was used to prove students had souls and should be treated like sensitive and intelligent humans. However, we learn that Hailsham was closed and that the society Ishiguro depicts would prefer to ignore this reality and not think about who the donors were. It is revealed that their intentions failed and the conditions that future donors face will be terrible.
  • Question 9

How does Ishiguro present Miss Lucy?

 

Click on all of the accurate sentences below.

CORRECT ANSWER
Miss Lucy loses her job at Hailsham
Miss Lucy wants to be honest with the students and tell them about their future
Miss Lucy is shown to rebel against the system
EDDIE SAYS
Did you find three? Miss Lucy is an important character because she helps reveal the students' purpose at Hailsham. The students appear to like her and trust her, but the way in which she rebels against the system potentially is the cause of her losing her job. This can be seen when Miss Lucy tells the students that "you have to know who you are".
  • Question 10

 Miss Emily is another key character in 'Never Let Me Go.'

 

Complete the passage below to revise a little bit more about Miss Emily. 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to get them all? Kathy recounts the long lectures that Miss Emily used to give and remembers her almost preaching to the students about the 'misuse of opportunity'. It is through Miss Emily, that we get a real sense of Hailsham being a privileged place to be. She is passionate about Hailsham, the students respect her and do not want to let her down. Her full role, however, is only revealed at the end when Kathy and Tommy find out about her working with Madame to fight on behalf of the students in their care. Well done, we hope you are feeling more confident about 'Never Let Me Go' now, try more activities to test your knowledge further!
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