File - Keigher English

[Student Name]
Ms. Keigher
AS English II
3 September 2015
Summer Reading Essay
In Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go, the character of Ruth is first introduced as a
child. Ruth and her friends attend Hailsham, a school where children who have been cloned from
adults in lower society attend. The children at Hailsham are raised to grow older to eventually
donate all their vital organs. As Ruth grows, she continuously demonstrates her controlling
personality. Ruth’s insecurity motivates her craving for control and dominance over her friends
at Hailsham.
Beginning at a young age, Ruth exhibits her need for control and power over her friends
because of her insecurities. When Ruth and Kathy play together as children, Ruth always plays
the more dominant role. One day Ruth asks if Kathy has any imaginary horses; when she replies
that she does not, Ruth exclaims, “My best horse [...] is Thunder. I can’t let you ride him. He’s
much too dangerous. But you can ride Bramble” (Ishiguro 46). By indicating that Ruth’s “best”
horse is not available, Ruth makes it very clear to Kathy that she gets the second option. Ruth
implies that she is better and more deserving of the “best” horse. Having Ruth get the best horse
establishes the dominance that Ruth feels she has over Kathy in this situation. Ishiguro conveys
the power Ruth does have over Kathy and how she has full control over who gets what horse.
This is important because it brings out her need to be in control to hide her insecurities and boost
her self esteem. Ruth knows that the children at Hailsham are cloned from low society and raised
to be used and thrown out. Ruth feels that she is trash just waiting to be discarded. Having that
sense of being trash is where Ruth’s insecurities stem from. Ruth’s need for power leads her to
establish a sense of dominance over her peers in an attempt to boot her self esteem.
Ruth’s insecurities and lack of parental figures cause her to show off in front of friends so
that she feels more important than them. Ruth’s friends notice her pretty pencil case one day in
Room 5 and ask if she got it at the Sale; Ruth replies with pride, “Let’s just agree. Let’s agree I
got this at the sale” (Ishiguro 57). Ruth exclaims that she got the pencil case in a very deceiving
voice. When Ruth says “Let’s agree” she leads her friends on to think that she got the pencil case
elsewhere. Ruth’s desire to look better than her friends comes from her insecurities about herself.
The only person Ruth knows she comes from is her clone. Ruth knows that she was grown from
her clone so that she could be used as a donator later on in life. Ruth wants to feel special and
cared for because she does not have parents who do love and cherish her. Ruth makes it seem
that the guardians gave her the pencil case to show that she is being loved by the guardians. She
wants to make herself look better than her friends because guardians do not give gifts to the
children; guardians also are not parent figures to the kids and don’t treat them specially. Ruth
shows off in front of her friends because of her insecurity of craving to be loved.
Ruth’s need for dominance and control over her peers at school stem from her being very
insecure. Often during life people attempt to hide their insecurities by taking control over others.
People think that this will boot their self esteem. They either put others down or establish
dominance over them so that they can feel some power.
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