“Never Let Me Go”(2005)

On BBC R4 this afternoon, Kazuo Ishiguro discussed his novel Never Let Me Go with James Naughtie and a group of invited readers. In response to a question from a reader, Ishiguro reflected:

“…I think the sad thing is that the fight back/ rebellion rate is much, much higher in stories and in movies than it is in life. When you look through history, people have actually accepted their fate to a startling degree. Generations upon generations of people lived under oppression, exploitation, slavery, and even in our kind of liberal, wealthy, free societies that we are fortunate enough to live in in the West today, many people actually don’t run away, they stay in bad marriages, bad jobs…Sometimes people fight back, but quite often they don’t, and that is one of the key characteristics about people. They – perhaps because of this enclosed perspective we’ve talked about before, or because they feel almost a kind of duty to accept the life that’s been given to them – and they try and find a kind of dignity and a sense of worth by just struggling on and doing what they’ve been given to do as well as they possibly can…”

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