Every work of literature, regardless of genre, is composed of a character going through their heroic journey. They are called to this journey, aided with outside forces, compelled into the unknown abyss of desperation, and ultimately face death. The death can often symbolize the ending of a specific trait but can also be seen as a new beginning for the character to endure with a distinct fate. With this, it is often sought that the character dying will complete their journey intended or pass it to someone that’s meant to complete it for them. In the novel, Never Let Me Go written by Kazuo Ishiguro, we learn that our own demise is inevitable whether we accept that fate or not, through the death of Tommy. Leading up to the death scene of Tommy, Ruth apologizes for keeping Kathy and Tommy apart all those years and she tells them to go to Madame’s and apply for deferrals before he has his fourth organ donation so they can spend a few more years together. When they get there, they learn that it doesn’t exist and never has, but then they receive the news that Ruth has “completed”. The relationship between the two of them becomes slightly distant. Kathy becomes the carer and girlfriend of Tommy because Ruth urged her to. Tommy and Kathy have to learn to accept their fate as donors and complete the cycle.
Tommy dies after his fourth donation which means he has completed and the relationship between them comes to an end. This scene in the novel is significant as a whole for the reason that it rounds off the events that have happened during Kathy’s lifetime and portrays the passivity of death and loss. Death can cause loved ones to feel sorrowful after their biggest fears of losing someone happens right before their eyes. Throughout the scene in the novel, Kathy is full of sadness and anger towards the world when she realizes that all of them will eventually complete because it is their inevitable fate. She offers him a farewell with “a small kiss” as he goes to his fourth and final donation which shows that they did not want to accept what was happening. After Tommy’s completion, Kathy realizes that her memories are the only thing she can never let go of. A few weeks later, she takes another trip to Norfolk and remembers all that she has lost including Tommy. While standing there she imagines Tommy coming from water, standing there waving at her. At that moment, she loses it and begins to cry, but tries to hold it together because she is aware that her time will come and she will be with him after she completes. She sees it as a positive thing and mediates that even people that are not treasured as much as they should be will be, sooner or later because they will be captured by nature. No matter the difficulties Kathy must face moving forward, she will remember the memory of Tommy and Ruth and hold them in her heart. Despite the difficulties we must face, we overcome our inevitable fate and learn to make the best out of the worst situations. We, as humans, can relate to the students when we see how they have to cope with all of the different emotions.
However, the fact that the characters did not lose control when one completed indicates that the students at Hailsham were taught to deal with this common concept of completion. On the other hand, we see death as this scary, bizarre idea that we fear more than anything else. The characters just move on with this life that they have set out for them and do what they think they are supposed to. They don’t show much emotion or at least try not to but they do feel the same feelings that we do. That really just reiterates the idea that we all have to accept what has happened and what is going to happen. It is about growing up and having this universal understanding of moral truth, everyone will die no matter what and that is unavoidable. It is a fate that cannot be changed. The loss of a loved one can take quite a toll on you, but you will get back up when you are knocked down and you will eventually be okay no matter how rough the circumstances in the situation are. Ultimately, the novel depicts the reality of losing someone in the face of death. Many people must learn to deal or cope with this concept because it will challenge them and test their strengths.
There is definitely truth to the idea that many people have this sealed fate that they cannot alter no matter what and for us, it is known as the concept of death whereas in the novel it is known as “ completion”. We can relate to all of the emotions and feelings of the characters in the novel, especially Kathy. We get the deepest insight into what she is experienceing because it is coming from her point of view. Ignoring the concept of death can lead you to an unexpected loss of someone you may hold close to your heart. With that being conveyed, Ishiguro helps us understand that death is something normal and we will never let go of a person completely because we have various memories to connect them to.