In the novel Never Let Me Go, by the British author Kazuo Ishiguro, the author conveys a comfortable setting for the readers. Kathy H., the narrator of the story, remembers her challenges and troubles from when she was growing up. In the society she lives in, some people like herself are clones that care for each other and donate their organs to normal people. Ishiguro provides a sense of place to the readers by creating a bond between the readers and the book. The author does this so that the reader feels more connected with the book. Kazuo Ishiguro uses first-person narration, anecdotes, and the use of dialogue to convey a sense of place in the story.
The novel Never Let Me Go uses first-person narration to create a sense of place. On page 24, Kathy writes, ‘I accepted the invisible rein she was holding out, and then we were off, riding up and down the fence… I’d been correct in my decision to tell Ruth I didn’t have any horses of my own, because after a while with Bramble, she let me try her various other horses…’. The narrator is remembering one of her earliest memories of her with Ruth. Kathy doesn’t exactly tell us how she feels but with only the short comments she makes and with all that we have learned of her, we sense her emotions. In this example, with the help of the first-person narration, the viewer starts feeling this sentiment of companionship towards Ruth, just as if Ruth was talking to the reader, asking the reader to play with her horse. This limited point of view that Ishiguro has created, leads to the reader to subconsciously think in a very similar way to Kathy, and bond with the characters in the same way as her. The use of first-person narration by the author makes the viewer create a bond with the characters making the book a snug place.
All throughout the book, Kathy described anecdotes and memories of how she lived her life, from when she was a child to right before her first donation. On page 28, Kathy is remembering a childhood memory where she writes, ‘This might sound a pretty innocuous sort of response, but actually it was like she’d suddenly got up and hit me, … felt hot and chilly at the same time. I knew exactly what she’d meant by her answer and smile: she was claiming the pencil case was a gift from Miss Geraldine.’. There are a great number of flashbacks and anecdotes in this novel, but the reader can particularly relate to this one. Everyone has experienced jealousy throughout their lives, but especially during a young age. Because the reader has experienced a similar moment, they instantly feel attached to the scene. This makes the audience fit in and feel like the novel is a safe space. With the use of this technique, Ishiguro created a sense of place by adding anecdotes that would be similar to those that the reader would have experienced.
In the entire novel, dialogues have been present, this technique has helped emphasize a sense of place in the novel. On page 27, Kathy is talking to Moira when she exclaims, ‘ “What do you know about it? You just don’t know anything, because you’ve been out of it for ages now! If you knew everything we’d found out, you wouldn’t dare say anything so daft!” ‘. In this scene, Ruth had just kicked out Kathy from a club they had in which they were the secret guards of Ms. Geraldine, to protect her against the students who wanted to kidnap her. After this happened Moira, a friend, made a mean comment insulting Ruth’s club. Dialogue makes this, and all of Kathy’s memories more real, as if they were happening as the viewer read. Kathy’s reaction to her classmate’s comment irritated her subtly making the audience feel angry towards Moira. As dialogue enhances the flashbacks to make them seem more realistic, the reader feels a connection and a stronger relationship with the characters. The author of the book used dialogue to form a sense of place for the readers.
To conclude, in Kazuo Ishiguro’s 2005 novel, the author conveys a sense of place by forming bonds and relationships between the reader and the characters for the purpose of engaging the reader more with the novel. This is accomplished by the use of a variety of literary devices. These are; the first-person narration, giving us Kathy’s thoughts and point of view; anecdotes, in which Kathy explains her life experiences, some which are similar to those of the viewer; and dialogue, that ake the anecdotes seem that they are happening at the moment. These help the reader feel in place and taking a journey with the charcaters of the novel Never Let Me Go.