Both texts present a protagonist who is oppressed by a groupwhich are higher than themselves as these groups have full control over thecharacters and their respective societies, the characters arc are displayed tothe reader through a first person narrator within “Never Let Me Go” by Ishiguroto allow the reader to have a personal connection with Kathy; on the other handOrwell uses a narrator to show the protagonist Winston’s journey to create aseparation between the text and the reader to mirror Winston’s disconnection tothe party. The authors use a range of formats to present the oppression in thenovels some of which are: friendships, the role of women within the texts andhow the characters deal with the oppression they face within their respectivesocieties. These dystopian parallel worlds are displayed differently in thetexts due to the different time periods they are both written and set in andthe personal views of the authors.In the texts the authors have displayed a variety ofrelationships in which the protagonist themselves and other characters areinvolved in, these of which are restricted by the systems controlling their lives.
These relationships are of varying degrees, from physical to deceitful andfriendships among others. In “Never Let Me Go” Ishiguro has split the text intothree parts creating separation and to show the different stages of Kathy’slife of which she is reflecting upon. The same structure is used in “1984”however it isn’t used to show a life time but to show different events, stagesof emotion and rebellion within Winston with part two being where he’s mostfulfilled with Julia but also ready to rebel and then this peak disintegrateswhen he is tortured in part 3.
In “1984” Winston develops only a singularfriendship throughout the book thus showing the control the party has thisreiterated by O’Brien as he states “The real power we have the right to fightfor night and day, is not power things, but over men”. This mirrors that of thetimes of when Orwell wrote the novel as he had witnessed the danger of theSoviet Union first hand in Spain which he projects into the book through theparty. As for “Never Let Me Go” friendships are a key part of the text, as atthe beginning of the text Kathy states “just how lucky we’d been – Tommy, Ruth,me, all the rest of us.
” By putting thembefore herself shows the significance of their relationships with her. Thesefriendships are tested throughout the novel, in part one Ruth is questioned ona pencil case to which she says “Let’s just agree. Let’s agree I got it in the Sale” to which this after causes some tensionbetween the girls but Kathy backs Ruth up saying “a big mystery” this argument shows how their friendship is just likethat of other “normal” girls of their age but this also established thehierarchy in their friendship as the use of italics in Ruth’s statement showsthe manipulation she has over the other girls, along with the statement beingrepeated shows how serious this statement is and the fact Kathy backs her uplater showing Ruth has enough power over Kathy to make her feel bad. In part 2Kathy states “Those early months at the cottages had been a strange time in ourfriendship.” This shows them growing up and developing more as individualsrather than as a group, however they still showed unity after disappointment ofRuth’s possible as “Tommy and I were silent – a sort of resentment on Ruth’sbehalf” Ishiguro does this to show that though everything they are more thanjust a friendship they are the only family and group they’ve ever known andthat their friendship is the one thing they have had control on whilst thefutures are controlled by the guardians. Kathy and Tommy’s relationshipdevelops over the course of the novel, however the core of their friendshipremains as they confided in each other throughout their lives and Kathyrefrained from telling him certain things in fear of upsetting him. The mostpoignant part of their friendship is when the find they tape as Tommy says ” Iwish I’d found it”, then he goes on to says ” I used to think about it, in myhead, what it would be like, if I found it and brought it to you.
What you’dsay.” Showing how the fundamental value of caring for each other alwaysremained.In regards to romantic relationships in both texts theprotagonists ultimately can never be with whom they are in love with. As in “NeverLet Me Go” Tommy and Kathy go to Miss Emily to see if that can get a deferralthey learn “There’s no truth in the rumour” with this information, they bothknew it meant they didn’t have as long together as once they had hoped. They continuedtheir relationship as Kathy being Tommy’s carer but as well as a physicalrelationship by “having sex every now and then.” Then Kathy stops being Tommy’scarer and “it was the last time” they speak of Ruth stating “are you glad Ruthcompleted before finding out everything” by talking about her is symbolic ofthem all being together one last time as through their oppression of beingcontrolled by the guardians their donations they can never truly live fulllives together romantically or as friends. Then Kathy states to herself “I lostRuth, then I lost Tommy to” showing Tommy had completed and that they couldn’tever fully be together.
In “1984” fascism is clearly being used on Winston andJulia as they are manipulated by their deceitful “friend” Mr Charrington as heconfides in him as he gets a room from him “for the purpose of a love affair”However he betrays them as they are caught and a voice says ” you may as wellsay goodbye” this is done as their relationship is seen as the ultimatetransgression and O’Brien deceives them as when together the state cannotcontrol them and have them devoted to the relationship which the party acceptswhich is that of their allegiance to it.In both texts women and their role roles within the texts isanother way the author have represented oppression. I share the view with oneof my secondary sources sutocracy.wordpress.com that Orwell understood thatrape was violence and he did this long before the feminism movement themselvesbrought this topic to light, however Julia’s sexual acts are her empowermentand her way of rebelling as it is seen as a digression from the state byplanning and having sex with many members of the party she is also increasingthe personal rebellion within the party’s regiment and it allows her to freeherself from her otherwise constricted lifestyle. Ishiguro presents oppressionin the text as a psychological thing as Kathy she looks through the magazine”focusing on their faces” and then later on Ruth says “We all know it.
We’remodelled from trash” ironically theywill never know and this not knowing will leave them emotionally unfulfilledwhich my secondary source schoolworkhelper.net also stated. This is a basic needwhen we grow up to know who we are and where we come from and this lack ofknowing he how much they have been oppressed form themselves which is whyIshiguro made Kathy like Julia (in “1984”) have many sexual encounters to fillthe void of the unknown.Another way the authors represented oppression in the novelsis through the way the protagonist themselves view and see how and why they’vebeen oppressed. In “Never Let Me Go” throughout their lives they’re “told andnot told” of why they exist however they know from an early age “none of themcould have babies” to which Kathy says “none of us were practically bothered”I found this quite unnerving and how throughout the whole novel no one rebelledagainst the “Donations” and how they all accepted it as this wouldn’t beensomething that usually people would be okay, this unnerving tone allowed forthe dystopian theme to come through but also for the oppression to be seen assomething that was inevitable and not to be questioned and just like in “1984”and how the state/party shouldn’t be questioned, however in the book theprotagonist Winston and his love interest Julia do as she hugs Winston’s as itstates “in the ramifications of the party doctrine she has not the faintestinterest” showing they she didn’t care for the party or it views. By them bothsimply consenting and partaking in their sexual encounters they were thebiggest rebels to the states as if their love/lust surpassed theirs for thestate it meant that the state lost full control of them and their beings. Whenasked by O’Brien before his betrayal “Are you ready to give your lives? Tocommit suicide they replied “yes” showing just how willing the were to fightthe oppressions set by the state on them, however when asked “You are prepared,the two of you, to separate and never see one another again” Julia replied”No!” this changed in expression and the exclamation mark show that she lovesWinston and that they have already surpassed the party in committing thebiggest act of rebellion and how much the despised the oppression forced uponthem in its extreme form. Also this lack of disregard for their own lives andnot caring about the implications of the action on the world could also mirrorhow Orwell felt when writing 1984 as he was fighting tuberculosis which helater died from two years after the publication of “1984” this could be why thetext has such a dark and political themes running throughout as Orwell himselfwas very political having a dislike towards the labour party and their views towhich he projects onto the state within the text.
In Never Let Me Go a first person narrative is used fromKathy’s perspective which Jo Walton expresses the view in the essay “the unspoken and unspeakable : Kazuo Ishigurio’s Never Let Me Go” that “It’s Kathy’s cheerfulacceptance of everything that makes this so brilliant and unbearable.” I share with this view that Kathy and her friendsaccept their fate this leaves the reader unfulfilled want for a rebellion asthey have had their freedom taken away with them and restrictions and the factthis is never explored in the book gives the reader an unnerving feeling as itis assumed by the current society whom read the text that they would as that iswhat is seen in society today. Whereas Winston rejects the view of the viewthat the majority accepts their fate to which Winston’s rebellion is a reliefto reader as he symbolises some form of hope and normality to the dystopianworld which are a contrast to the real world. In a system where individualityis being eradicated a person can only be powerful if he fully embodies the partas O’Brien says “if he can merge himself in the Party so that he is the Party,then he is all powerful.” As the structure of the book Winston’s does this inthree stages as this is explained to him in part 3 chapter 3 of the book1 and O’Briensays “There are three stages to reintegration” “There is learning, there isunderstanding, and there is acceptance” and Winston’s fulfils all three andshows full acceptance of the Party and Big Brother when he says “Do it toJulia! Do not it Julia! Not me! Julia!” The use of exclamation marks shows theanger in the statement whilst signifying the end of his rebellion and ultimatelyaccepting his fate like the rest of the society.Both authors used their texts are warnings to society.Orwell probably wanted his warning to be more significant due to his limitedtime left, and Ishiguro unintentionally placed his warning throughout thenovel. Orwell shows that if we oppressor restrict humans it will lead to another war or Nazi like state where thosedeemed viable are the only ones who can survive which is then decided by anover ruling political state.
Ishiguro didn’t start out to have an underlyingaim within the text, however through the acceptance of the characters and theirfate and their creation he showed that if there are no rules and too muchfreedom is giving again a state or a party will overrule and exploit theirpower which has been done within both texts. By combing both warningsoppression is represented as something that shouldn’t be forced upon others byon overruling states however rules should be placed so that a no ruling partyor group take over and cause their views to shape those of others i.e. indoctrination.In conclusion oppression is presented and viewed by theauthors as a negative thing which is shown throughout the novel throughstructure and the relationships presented along with how the charactersthemselves deal with their situations and through the narrative techniques withthe undertone the authors themselves have depicted to display their dystopiansocieties and their views.1 http://www.englishworks.com.au/1984-individual-takes-state/