Humanity has always sought meaning through various philosophies, romantic appeals, and religious divinity in attempt to help us understand our purpose amongst one another. This universal idea is expressed in the novel Never Let Me Go through characters who seem to understand they are not entirely human, but are hesitant to accept their fate. The novel Never Let Me Go is better than the film because Kathy’s narration is able to give more insight on her complex feelings, constant flashbacks bring more depth to the story, and the theme of struggling to prove what makes you human is more appealing than the depictions of the relationships between Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy in the film. In other words, by being in first person point of view the readers are able to understand the unpredictable feelings between every character and Kathy H. In the narrative Kathy never states the truth of her feelings for Tommy; however, her love becomes clearer as the story unfolds.
The relationship between Kathy and Ruth is quite complex because they repeatedly hurt one another’s feelings, and try to find some indirect gesture to make amends due to the fact that their friendship is what keeps them connected to Hailsham. Kathy admits “the instant I saw her again, at that recovery centre in Dover, all our differences—while they didn’t exactly vanish—seemed not nearly as important as all the other things: like the fact that we’d grown up together at Hailsham, the fact that we knew and remembered things no one else did” (Ishiguro). These accounts from the book define Kathy’s character as being very opiniated, a careful observer, and someone who avoids confrontation. Kathy connects differently to every character and requires us to think hard about the importance of friendship in life is. In addition, the sudden actions of looking back to the past makes it easier for Kathy and other characters to recognize the odd side of Hailsham.
Kathy continuously interferes a memory to share another one from a different time period. She recalls the time when Tommy and her were going over Miss Lucy’s “told and not told” idea. She advocates “it feels like I always knew about donations in some vague way, even as early as six or seven. And it’s curious, when we were older and the guardians were giving us those talks, nothing came as a complete surprise. It was like we’d heard everything somewhere before.” These memories help them realize that in a scary way, the fate they own never had to be directly stated, for they already knew. Nevertheless, in the novel, the idea of proving oneself to be human and not just a clone happens to be more interesting than the relationships shared between Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy shown in the film. All three characters are exposed to the fact that they were produced to only be vital organ donors. When Tommy and Kathy go visit Madame about deferrals, Tommy believes that “the gallery” was a way to see their personality and determine whether a couple really loves one another. The deferrals turn out to be a lie, but the gallery is not. Miss Emily admitted, “we took away your art because we thought it would reveal your souls. Or to put it more finely, we did it to prove you had souls at all” (Ishiguro). This brings clarity to the characters that the world they lived in had doubt in their ability to relate to a human. Towards the end of the book, every character sees the reality of being a clone and express the emotions about it in different ways; however, the truth is that both humans and clones “complete.”
In closing, the narrative Never Let Me Go is overall more engaging and detailed about objects that are not presented in the film. Kathy H., as the protagonist, allows the readers to understand her subjective account towards Hailsham, friendships with Tommy and Ruth, and the life both a donor or carer is set on. Our mind is required to think about the unstated romance between Kathy and Tommy, or the volatile friendship Kathy and Ruth have, meaning we must place the pieces together as we read. The fundamental issue in the novel and main reason to support why the novel is superior to the book is that both humanity and cloning see the reality of death, and being able to understand one’s true identity.