One of the most disturbing things about "Never Let Me Go" to me is the fact that the three friends never actually try to escape their fate or rebel against the “system” (in the absence of a better word) that created them to be used as human spare parts. Even Kathy and Tommy’s request for a deferral does not really count as a rebellion, because they only try to alter their fate within the boundaries and possibilities of the system; they do not consider other ways to get away when their plan fails. On page 244 Kathy and Tommy think about what they want to do with their extra years together, if they get the deferral:
“What do we do exactly? See what I mean, Kath? Where do we go? We can’t stay here, this is a centre.”
“I don’t know, Tommy. Maybe she’ll tell us to go back to the Cottages. But it’d be better somewhere else. The White Mansion, maybe. Or perhaps they’ve got some other place. Somewhere separate for people like us. We’ll just have to see what she says.”
This passage shows that their plans for the future do not involve living in the “free” or “normal” world (which at least Kathy must be familiar with due to her status as carer, which apparently involves a lot of travelling), but that they again only wait for what the system (in this case Madame) tells them to do.
The only (at least halfway plausible) explanation for this passive and fatalistic behavior seems to be the brainwashing at Hailsham and consequently the clones’ deep conviction that their donating is “what [they]’re supposed to be doing […]”(227). I wonder, though, what Ishiguro is trying to tell us with this depiction of his protagonists. Is it meant to be a criticism that we often do as we are told without questioning the system that makes the rules? Or does he rather want to show us that there is no running away from death and that we all have to face our own mortality? Whatever it may be that the author wants to convey, this part of the story leaves the reader in a very melancholic mood.
PS: I chose the German adjective "schicksalsergeben" as title for the post, because it seems to describe the protagonists best. The Englisch translation would be "fatalistic" or better "being resigned to one's fate".