Never Let Me Go and the Necropolitics of Biomedical Engineering

Samuel Humy

Abstract


This article is a close inspection of Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go, zeroing in on how the novel's three major themes are to be applied within their larger context of the dystopian genre. With the premise concerning the goings-on of an alternate universe in which systematic human cloning is designed for organ harvestation, these themes are naturally deeply troubling. The first of these three discussed is the ontological shift in the fields of science and how problematic advancing science to this point would be. The article uses the work of Eugene Thacker for clarification of this idea, and his conclusion relies on rejecting popularly-held myths behind the science of regenerative medicine. The second, on a more personal level, involves the characters themselves and how their exploitation by this system may take its toll psychologically. The article is able to examine the psychology of an exploited woman living in this universe by bridging  the work of Frantz Fanon, which discusses at length the notion of the "racialized other." And the final dystopian theme discussed is Ishiguro's response to the political question of the novel: the nature and origins of the kind of system that enabled such exploitation. Here, Achille Mbembe's words on the dehumanization and industrialization of death form the framework for the article to analyze this final main theme. Together, these themes scream dystopian, and the article is able to properly dissect both their role and their effect within the novel.


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