How Being a Donor Changed Tommy throughout His Life

“Never let me go” is a book by Kazuo Ishiguro focusing on the memories of a woman named Kathy. Kathy is a caregiver for human clones that are created solely to donate their organs to humans. The book explores her and a few of her friends’ Tommy and Ruth lives from childhood to adulthood. Particularly how donating their organs, accepting their meaning in life and how waiting for the “end” had affected their lives. In the story, the protagonist, Kathy, has difficulty in coming into terms  with her too being a donor and what she is really doing. In the story, she encounters happiness, love, loss, sadness and ultimately learns how to accept her role as a donor. Kathy narrates how being a donor affected one of her close friends, Tommy, and how from childhood to adulthood it changed him (Guo, 34). This paper aims to discuss hoe Tommy’s life changed throughout his life as for being a donor. To accomplish the task, the paper focuses on conflict.

Conflict is central to any literary work, and this masterpiece by Ishiguro is no exception. There are multiple conflicts in this work, and they all help to convey themes of life and death, acceptance, maturing and growing up. For instance, Tommy is in love with Kathy. However, none of them wants to commit and admit that they are in love. The interpersonal conflict is so intense that he wonders what he stands to gain even if he confesses his love to Kathy. He is a clone purposed to donate organs to the humans hence does not see purpose in living. He is sure that in the end he is going to be dead.He reveals his suffering from interpersonal conflict when he finally opens up to Kathy for the first time while inquiring of her opinion of the job as a caregiver. Tommy is quoted saying ‘I mean don’t you get tired of being a carer.’(Robbins, 281-282).

Tommy in being a clone doomed for organ donation in his end time is living a life full of temperament and anger. After Ruth is taken away and Kathy finally decides to have a piece of himself left after her friend’s Ruth engagement with Tommy. She tells Tommy that he of late looks happier. Tommy understands what she means and affirms her statement by saying that Kathy was talking about him not getting so angry (Robbins, 23).

Finally, the life of Tommy as donor made him loose sense of direction. The conflict between his beliefs  and identify depicts the real picture of whom he had become. Miss Lucy is protecting Tommy of his actions of cruelty by encouraging him to be inspired. However, he seems to be decided and nothing said or done can change his life. Miss Lucy thus decides to leave him to suffer from anger and perhaps self disillusioned (Jervis, 22). Tommy furthermore, becomes so cruel even to Kathy whom he had claimed his love. The surprising bit of such actions makes one wonder what had become of Tommy. The revelation hence is that he had become selfless and lost interest in living.


Concisely, it is evident from the story that being a donor and living a life of uncertainty can drive an individual fight wars within themselves that they know they will never win. Living a life of no purpose is full of regrets such that no form of inspiration can inspire and change a person for the part of himself.