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Evaluate Key Quotes and Their Impact in 'Never Let Me Go'

In this worksheet, students will evaluate the impact of key quotations by analysing the effect of Ishiguro's use of language and structure and considering how quotations reflect the context in which the novel was written and set.

'Evaluate Key Quotes and Their Impact 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

"The current's too strong"                   arrow           Metaphor          arrow     The "current" represents society which has determined the clone's fate and is shown to be more powerful than the individual's free will.    arrow       Ishiguro's intention was to write about social determinism.

 

 

The diagram above shows how we can analyse quotations for the highest marks in the exam.

 

For each quotation you use, think about:

What language and structural techniques has the writer used and what effect do these have?

How do the quotations reflect something about the key contextual factors surrounding the novel?

 

In this activity, we will practise evaluating the impact of quotations in this way.

How does the following quotation spoken by Miss Emily reflect something about the context in which the novel was written?

 

"Most importantly, we demonstrated to the world that if students were reared in humane, cultivated environments, it was possible for them to grow to be as sensitive and intelligent as any ordinary human being."

 

Choose the most effective evaluative comment below.

Miss Emily is employed by Ishiguro to show the importance of human rights

Ishiguro uses Miss Emily to show that the status quo can be challenged

Ishiguro employs Miss Emily to raise moral questions about scientific advancements such as cloning that began at the end of the 20th century, just before the novel was published. The focus on "humane" environments and a comparison to "normal human beings" forces the reader to think about the issues of humanity around cloning

To what extent is Madame presented as an unlikeable character?

 

Complete the evaluative passage below.

Miss Emily is employed by Ishiguro to show the importance of human rights

Ishiguro uses Miss Emily to show that the status quo can be challenged

Ishiguro employs Miss Emily to raise moral questions about scientific advancements such as cloning that began at the end of the 20th century, just before the novel was published. The focus on "humane" environments and a comparison to "normal human beings" forces the reader to think about the issues of humanity around cloning

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 ...

Complete the passage below to analyse the following quotation in relation to the context of the novel.

 

 

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

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 ...

Underline the word in the following quotation that highlights the idea of social determinism in Ishiguro's novel.

\"I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be.\"

To what extent does Tommy accept his fate calmly and willingly?

 

Match each quotation to what they suggest about Tommy's attitude to life.

 

Column A

Column B

Ishiguro's violent verbs to describe Tommy's anger...
"I think Miss Lucy was right. Not Miss Emily"
Ishiguro shows that Tommy accepts his fate towards...
"Tommy's figure, raging, shouting, flinging his fi...
Tommy starts drawing when he learns about the idea...
"It's a shame, Kath, because we've loved each othe...
Ishiguro shows that Tommy values truth and honesty...
"I have been doing some stuff. Just in case."

Evaluate Kathy's attitude to her life as a carer and then a donor by matching the following quotations to the correct analytical comment.

 Kathy accepts that her fate is determined and doesn't try to go against thisKathy feels lonely from her life as a carerKathy accepts the inevitability of death and is shown to cope with loss by reminiscing about the pastKathy shows a lack of hope that she can change the course of destinyKathy values her role as a carer
"I lost Ruth then I lost Tommy but I won't lose my memories of them."
"You could even say it's brought the best out of me."
"to drive off wherever it was I was supposed to be."
"It's too late for all that now."
"Then there's the solitude."

For the highest marks in the exam, you need to choose short quotations to support your ideas and embed these within your sentences.

 

In the example below, a long quotation has been used and it is not embedded in a sentence.

 

Ishiguro uses pathetic fallacy in the quotation: "for the first time in ages the sun started to shine weakly through the greyness". Ishiguro uses this to show that Ruth's mood changes when she visits the boat with Tommy and Kathy. She is shown to be happier and more hopeful.

 

This could be improved by just picking out a word or few words from the sentence that best illustrate a point. Complete the passage below to show which words could be picked out as shorter, more specific quotations to embed within the sentences.

 

You do not need to use quotation marks in the answer boxes.

 Kathy accepts that her fate is determined and doesn't try to go against thisKathy feels lonely from her life as a carerKathy accepts the inevitability of death and is shown to cope with loss by reminiscing about the pastKathy shows a lack of hope that she can change the course of destinyKathy values her role as a carer
"I lost Ruth then I lost Tommy but I won't lose my memories of them."
"You could even say it's brought the best out of me."
"to drive off wherever it was I was supposed to be."
"It's too late for all that now."
"Then there's the solitude."

It is now time to have a go at some extended writing, practising analysing quotations.

 

Try to zoom in on key parts of a quotation and explore the connotations of words.

 

Remember for the highest marks, you should try to explore the techniques used by Ishiguro and evaluate their impact in presenting a character or theme and in reflecting something about the context in which she was writing.

 

 

The following question is worded to encourage you to write about the techniques used by Ishiguro.

 

Task: How does Ishiguro present the idea of fate in 'Never Let Me Go'?

 

Try to write two paragraphs.

Now have a go at a mini essay question.

 

Remember for the highest marks, you should try to explore the techniques used by Ishiguro and evaluate their impact in presenting a character or theme and in reflecting something about the context in which he was writing.

 

Task: Write about ideas of confinement and freedom in 'Never Let Me Go'.

 

 

  • Question 1

How does the following quotation spoken by Miss Emily reflect something about the context in which the novel was written?

 

"Most importantly, we demonstrated to the world that if students were reared in humane, cultivated environments, it was possible for them to grow to be as sensitive and intelligent as any ordinary human being."

 

Choose the most effective evaluative comment below.

CORRECT ANSWER
Ishiguro employs Miss Emily to raise moral questions about scientific advancements such as cloning that began at the end of the 20th century, just before the novel was published. The focus on "humane" environments and a comparison to "normal human beings" forces the reader to think about the issues of humanity around cloning
EDDIE SAYS
The last one is the most effective. Whilst all of the responses are accurate, the last response links the quotation to the context. Remember that the characters are tools to carry out Ishiguro's intentions - Miss Emily raises the important question about the ethical and moral considerations around cloning and the other scientific advancements at the time Ishiguro was writing.
  • Question 2

To what extent is Madame presented as an unlikeable character?

 

Complete the evaluative passage below.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? When you are evaluating characters in the exam, try to look at the diffferent aspects of the character and how the reader's perspective of them changes/develops as the novel progresses. By using quotations from different parts of the novel, we can show that we have a more thorough understanding of the text. The passage above looks at the presentation of Madame at the beginning and at the end of the novel.
  • Question 3

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 4

Complete the passage below to analyse the following quotation in relation to the context of the novel.

 

 

"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, concerning the writer's intentions.
  • Question 5

Underline the word in the following quotation that highlights the idea of social determinism in Ishiguro's novel.

CORRECT ANSWER
"I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be."
EDDIE SAYS
Did you underline "supposed"? This choice of word highlights Kathy's lack of free will in her journey - she's driving to where she is "supposed" to be, not where she necessarily wants to be. In fact, much of the novel focuses on the symbolism of roads and driving, without a real sense of students having any choice over where they are going. Here Ishiguro explores the idea of social determinism - the idea that people's lives are determined by the society in which they live. In addition to this, he highlights the way in which people accept the inevitability of death, without question or argument and continue with their lives as normal. In this way, Ishiguro draws parallels between the lives of the clones and those of normal human beings.
  • Question 6

To what extent does Tommy accept his fate calmly and willingly?

 

Match each quotation to what they suggest about Tommy's attitude to life.

 

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Ishiguro's violent verbs to descr...
"Tommy's figure, raging, shouting...
Ishiguro shows that Tommy accepts...
"It's a shame, Kath, because we'v...
Tommy starts drawing when he lear...
"I have been doing some stuff. Ju...
Ishiguro shows that Tommy values ...
"I think Miss Lucy was right. Not...
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to match them all? By considering all of these quotations about Tommy, we can make an evaluation of his character. Ishiguro clearly shows that Tommy has some hope that he change the fate that has been set out for him. However, when Tommy learns the full truth, he is angry at the empty hope he has been given and suggests that it would have been easier to have had no hope and to have known his eventual fate from the beginning. Tommy is used by Ishiguro to explore the idea of the human condition - how we deal with the inevitability of death. Tommy might present the argument that knowing our fate allows us to live our lives more happily, without false hope.
  • Question 7

Evaluate Kathy's attitude to her life as a carer and then a donor by matching the following quotations to the correct analytical comment.

CORRECT ANSWER
 Kathy accepts that her fate is determined and doesn't try to go against thisKathy feels lonely from her life as a carerKathy accepts the inevitability of death and is shown to cope with loss by reminiscing about the pastKathy shows a lack of hope that she can change the course of destinyKathy values her role as a carer
"I lost Ruth then I lost Tommy but I won't lose my memories of them."
"You could even say it's brought the best out of me."
"to drive off wherever it was I was supposed to be."
"It's too late for all that now."
"Then there's the solitude."
EDDIE SAYS
Did you manage to match them all? Remember that it is important to consider all of the different aspects of a character. One of the most interesting aspects of Kathy's character is that she shows such acceptance of her fate and doesn't show any signs of rebelling. We can link this to context by considering Ishiguro's intention to write about the human condition. Kathy is presented very realistically so that we very much read her narrative as a human narrative. Kathy's acceptance of her fate is mirrored in human life - we don't rebel against the idea of death; we accept that it is something that makes us human. Just like Kathy as well, our connections to other people is what makes life meaningful. Kathy's memories help her to keep these connections alive.
  • Question 8

For the highest marks in the exam, you need to choose short quotations to support your ideas and embed these within your sentences.

 

In the example below, a long quotation has been used and it is not embedded in a sentence.

 

Ishiguro uses pathetic fallacy in the quotation: "for the first time in ages the sun started to shine weakly through the greyness". Ishiguro uses this to show that Ruth's mood changes when she visits the boat with Tommy and Kathy. She is shown to be happier and more hopeful.

 

This could be improved by just picking out a word or few words from the sentence that best illustrate a point. Complete the passage below to show which words could be picked out as shorter, more specific quotations to embed within the sentences.

 

You do not need to use quotation marks in the answer boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? This is a higher level skill and if you can master this, your exam responses will achieve much higher marks. Remember to zoom in on the parts of the quotations that really matter and leave the unnecessary parts out - your points will then be much better evidenced. Embedding these shorter quotations within your sentences will also create a more fluent and sophisticated writing style that will impress the examiners for the higher marks!
  • Question 9

It is now time to have a go at some extended writing, practising analysing quotations.

 

Try to zoom in on key parts of a quotation and explore the connotations of words.

 

Remember for the highest marks, you should try to explore the techniques used by Ishiguro and evaluate their impact in presenting a character or theme and in reflecting something about the context in which she was writing.

 

 

The following question is worded to encourage you to write about the techniques used by Ishiguro.

 

Task: How does Ishiguro present the idea of fate in 'Never Let Me Go'?

 

Try to write two paragraphs.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A paragraph might look something like this: At the end of his life, despite his earlier hope, Tommy shows an acceptance of his fate. Ishiguro's use of water imagery creates a powerful image of people having no power over their predetermined destiny. The "current" appears to be a metaphor for a society which is much stronger than the individual's attempts to "hold onto each other". Tommy says that in the end "They've got to let go, drift apart" which shows his final acceptance that life will pull people apart in the end through death. He doesn't fight this at this point, he shows acceptance. Ishiguro intended to write his novel about the human condition. Here he explores how humans cope with the inevitability of death. We do not fight it, we accept that it is part of life.
  • Question 10

Now have a go at a mini essay question.

 

Remember for the highest marks, you should try to explore the techniques used by Ishiguro and evaluate their impact in presenting a character or theme and in reflecting something about the context in which he was writing.

 

Task: Write about ideas of confinement and freedom in 'Never Let Me Go'.

 

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
A paragraph might look something like this: Ishiguro uses imagery evocative of World War 2 concentration camps to depict Hailsham as confining the clones and preventing freedom. Kathy recounts "horrible stories" where students had "run off beyond the Hailsham boundaries". The rumours of violent consequences such as "hands and feet chopped off" emphasise the fear instilled in the clones, a kind of psychological barrier, that prevented them from seeing beyond the boundaries of Hailsham. Whilst Ishiguro uses the genre of dystopia to present the confinement of these clones, his use of psychological realism through Kathy's first person narrative also employs the uncanny to show their lives as parallel to human life. This makes this kind of confinement all the more disturbing. Ishiguro explores what could happen if science moved one step further to allow human cloning. He asks whether it is right for freedom to be taken away by someone playing God.
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