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Analysis of Key Quotes in 'Never Let Me Go'

In this worksheet, students will analyse key quotations by exploring Ishiguro's techniques and considering the effect.

'Analysis of Key Quotes in 'Never Let Me Go'' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

Curriculum topic:  

Curriculum subtopic:  

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

camera held in two hands

 

When you are analysing quotations in the exam, try to zoom in on individual words!

 

Think about:

 

- What technique has Ishiguro used? E.g. verb, simile, imagery, etc.

- What are the connotations of this word? What does it suggest about the character/theme?

- What effect does this have on the audience?

- How does it help to reflect something about the context in which Ishiguro was writing?

 

Have a go at the following questions which will help you to closely analyse quotations and think about what they suggest about particular characters, themes or ideas in 'Never Let Me Go'.

What does the following quotation taken from Chapter 2 show about Miss Lucy's feelings?

 

"Anyway, when she said all this, she was shaking."

She was excited

She was angry

She was scared

Which word would you zoom in on in the following quotation to show the fear that Madame feels towards the clones?

spider

 

Underline one word.

\"And I can still see it now, the shudder she seemed to be suppressing\"

What type of word is "steely" in the following quotation about Miss Emily?

 

"She'd rarely raise her voice, but there was something steely about her on these occasions and none of us, not even the Senior 5s, dared make a sound."

Match the following quotations about Ruth to the correct analytical comment.

Column A

Column B

"The field was filled with playing children, some ...
Ishiguro often depicts Ruth taking part in make be...
"This was the Ruth I wasn't pleased with, the one ...
Ruth is shown as remorseful before her completion....
"Put right what I messed up for you."
Ruth is presented as confident and as a leader in ...

How do Tommy's drawings represent his character and act as a metaphor for his attitude towards life?

 

detailed picture of a crab

 

"So I was taken aback at how densely detailed each one was."

 

Choose the most accurate analysis below.

The way in which Ishiguro highlights how "densely detailed" Tommy's drawings are shows that he has taken real effort over them

The way in which Ishiguro highlights that Tommy's drawings are "densely detailed" reflects more about Tommy's character - Tommy is shown as a character who deeply questions and theorises about the society he is living in. Tommy is shown to investigate and want answers

Tommy's drawings are show as a rebellion to the society that is controlling him

What literary technique is used by Ishiguro to depict Kathy's feelings of the loss of human connections after Hailsham closes in the quotation below?

 

balloons

 

"I thought about Hailsham closing, and how it was like someone coming along with a pair of sheers and snipping the balloon strings just where they entwined above the man's fist."

 

How do the following quotations reflect the ideas Ishiguro wants to explore? 

 Ishiguro explores the idea of lies and deception and how these are used to oppress the clones.Ishiguro explores the loss of humanity that has happened with the advancement of science.Ishiguro explores the hopes and dreams the characters have despite knowing that their fates are already determined.Ishiguro explores the importance of memory to Kathy but highlights the unreliability of memory.
"Or maybe I'm remembering it wrong"
"If you're to have decent lives you have to know who you are and what lies ahead of you"
"Now that would be a proper place to work"
"they tried to convince themselves you weren't really like us. That you were less than human so it didn't matter."

Which of the explanations below best analyse the use of boat imagery in the following quotation?

 

"Then we gazed at the beach boat. I could see how its paint was cracking, and how the timber frames of the little cabin were crumbling away."

 

 

Ishiguro depicts the boat with paint "cracking" and the timber frames "crumbling" away. This evokes a feeling of something broken and decaying, very much similar to the lives of the clones at this point, whose bodies are suffering from their work as donors

The boat imagery is used to highlight the importance of freedom to the clones who live in an oppressive society

The boat imagery is used to represent the lives of the clones as donors

Complete the passage below to analyse the following quotation:

 

 

"The current's too strong. They've got to let go, drift apart."

Ishiguro depicts the boat with paint "cracking" and the timber frames "crumbling" away. This evokes a feeling of something broken and decaying, very much similar to the lives of the clones at this point, whose bodies are suffering from their work as donors

The boat imagery is used to highlight the importance of freedom to the clones who live in an oppressive society

The boat imagery is used to represent the lives of the clones as donors

"The fantasy never got beyond that - I didn't let it - and though the tears rolled down my face, I wasn't sobbing or out of control."

 

Write a paragraph analysing the effect of this quotation taken from the last page of the novel.

 

Try to comment on the writer's craft and link back to the context in which Ishiguro was writing.

 

  • Question 1

What does the following quotation taken from Chapter 2 show about Miss Lucy's feelings?

 

"Anyway, when she said all this, she was shaking."

CORRECT ANSWER
She was angry
EDDIE SAYS
Did you zoom in on "shaking"? If you look at this quotation in context you will see that Miss Lucy is described as shaking with rage. The use of the verb "shaking" suggests that Miss Lucy's body is overcome with anger when she tells Tommy that it doesn't matter how creative he is. Although the reader is unsure about what Miss Lucy is angry about, Kathy's narrative later reveals that she doesn't agree with the full truth being withheld from the students. This gives the idea of "shaking" further meaning - Miss Lucy is holding in so much that she wants to tell Tommy at this point. Her anger at the system she is a part of is overcoming her body.
  • Question 2

Which word would you zoom in on in the following quotation to show the fear that Madame feels towards the clones?

spider

 

Underline one word.

CORRECT ANSWER
"And I can still see it now, the shudder she seemed to be suppressing"
EDDIE SAYS
Did you underline "shudder"? Towards the end of the novel, Miss Emily uses words such as "dread" and "revulsion" to describe how the clones are viewed as inhumane. The verb "shudder" being "suppressed" here shows that Madame is trying to hide how disgusted she feels when she looks at the clones but the fear of them almost overcomes her body.
  • Question 3

What type of word is "steely" in the following quotation about Miss Emily?

 

"She'd rarely raise her voice, but there was something steely about her on these occasions and none of us, not even the Senior 5s, dared make a sound."

CORRECT ANSWER
adjective
EDDIE SAYS
Did you see that it was an adjective? An adjective describes a noun - the noun being described here is "her", Miss Emily. For the highest marks in the exam, try to use as much technical terminology as possible to analyse language choices. What is the effect of this adjective? It helps to depict Miss Emily as quite a hard-hearted character here. We get the sense she demands respect from the students with the look she gives them.
  • Question 4

Match the following quotations about Ruth to the correct analytical comment.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

"The field was filled with playin...
Ruth is presented as confident an...
"This was the Ruth I wasn't pleas...
Ishiguro often depicts Ruth takin...
"Put right what I messed up for y...
Ruth is shown as remorseful befor...
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to match them all? For the highest marks in the exam, it is important to explore the different aspects of a character and look at how they change and develop throughout a text. Ruth changes a lot - at Hailsham, she is seen as controlling and manipulative; at the cottages, we see her need for acceptance from the veterans; and towards the end of her life, we see her recognise her faults and she shows regret for the way she has treated her friends.
  • Question 5

How do Tommy's drawings represent his character and act as a metaphor for his attitude towards life?

 

detailed picture of a crab

 

"So I was taken aback at how densely detailed each one was."

 

Choose the most accurate analysis below.

CORRECT ANSWER
The way in which Ishiguro highlights that Tommy's drawings are "densely detailed" reflects more about Tommy's character - Tommy is shown as a character who deeply questions and theorises about the society he is living in. Tommy is shown to investigate and want answers
EDDIE SAYS
Did you find the correct one? Whilst the first option might be true, it doesn't really explore how Tommy's drawings work as a metaphor for the way he approaches life. Kathy is surprised at how intricate Tommy's drawings are. Indeed these reveal so much about Tommy. At Hailsham, he is only known for his lack of creativity and his temper tantrums. However, we see him question and investigate throughout the novel and in a desperate search for answers. The way in which he scrutinises the society he is controlled by is very much represented by his "densely detailed" drawings.
  • Question 6

What literary technique is used by Ishiguro to depict Kathy's feelings of the loss of human connections after Hailsham closes in the quotation below?

 

balloons

 

"I thought about Hailsham closing, and how it was like someone coming along with a pair of sheers and snipping the balloon strings just where they entwined above the man's fist."

 

CORRECT ANSWER
simile
EDDIE SAYS
Did you get simile? The keyword here is "like" which indicates that a simile is being used. Remember that it is important to use technical terminology when analysing language choices in quotations. This is an important quotation - Hailsham represents Kathy's innocence and Kathy's connection to Ruth and Tommy. The closure of Hailsham unsettles her; Kathy feels that this will mean the connection between her and her friends will be destroyed. However, her connection to Tommy and Ruth goes beyond Hailsham. Ishiguro shows their connection as real and human. He creates a parallel between the clone's lives and human lives which helps him to raise his moral and ethical questions about medical and biological developments in a more powerful way.
  • Question 7

How do the following quotations reflect the ideas Ishiguro wants to explore? 

CORRECT ANSWER
 Ishiguro explores the idea of lies and deception and how these are used to oppress the clones.Ishiguro explores the loss of humanity that has happened with the advancement of science.Ishiguro explores the hopes and dreams the characters have despite knowing that their fates are already determined.Ishiguro explores the importance of memory to Kathy but highlights the unreliability of memory.
"Or maybe I'm remembering it wrong"
"If you're to have decent lives you have to know who you are and what lies ahead of you"
"Now that would be a proper place to work"
"they tried to convince themselves you weren't really like us. That you were less than human so it didn't matter."
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to match them all? Try to build a quotation bank for all of the themes in the novel and learn these quotations so that can use them readily in the exam. All of these themes help Ishiguro make a statement about the biological and medical advancements that were happening during the 1990s, just before the novel was published. He highlights the need to explore these scientific developments with a sense of humanity in mind. By presenting the clones as similar to humans with the need to hope and dream and feel human connections, Ishiguro explores the idea of the human condition - how we all cope with the inevitability of death.
  • Question 8

Which of the explanations below best analyse the use of boat imagery in the following quotation?

 

"Then we gazed at the beach boat. I could see how its paint was cracking, and how the timber frames of the little cabin were crumbling away."

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Ishiguro depicts the boat with paint "cracking" and the timber frames "crumbling" away. This evokes a feeling of something broken and decaying, very much similar to the lives of the clones at this point, whose bodies are suffering from their work as donors
EDDIE SAYS
The first one's the best analysis! It analyses the language used and considers the effect of this. Ishiguro uses boat imagery to represent the lives of clones. Notice how there's a sense that the boat once had a useful purpose but is now "beached" and broken. In a similar way, the clones' lives had the purpose of helping others but as they fulfil each donation their lives become lonelier and they become weaker. Through this dystopian society, Ishiguro explores the moral and ethical questions around cloning, showing what could happen if science developed one step further to allow this to happen.
  • Question 9

Complete the passage below to analyse the following quotation:

 

 

"The current's too strong. They've got to let go, drift apart."

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you fill all of the spaces? Notice how this analysis commented on the writer's techniques and explored how the quotation reflects something about the context in which Ishiguro was writing and his intentions. This is what you need to do in the exam! Ishiguro uses lots of imagery throughout the novel. This imagery often has multiple layers of meaning. However, remember that Ishiguro wanted to write about the human condition and how we deal with the inevitability of death. This context helps us to analyse imagery, in relation to the writer's intentions.
  • Question 10

"The fantasy never got beyond that - I didn't let it - and though the tears rolled down my face, I wasn't sobbing or out of control."

 

Write a paragraph analysing the effect of this quotation taken from the last page of the novel.

 

Try to comment on the writer's craft and link back to the context in which Ishiguro was writing.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Preview ---- OR ----

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