The Problem of Human Rights Violation and its Systematic Legitimization through Multi-pronged Strategies in Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go


  • Indrajit Patra Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Institute of Technology, Durgapur (NITD), India


The study focuses on the novel ‘Never Let Me Go’ (2009) by Kazuo Ishiguro and attempts to show how in various ways a group or an individual’s basic human rights can be violated by surpassing numerous obstacles associated with the problem of providing  a final and fundamental definition of  humanity.  Once a group or a class of people is otherized, ostracized and dehumanized to the level of subhuman the ruling authority then can easily employ a plethora of measures in the name of serving the interest of the majority, all of which are actually aimed at keeping the ‘others’ at bay and these measures end up depriving the ‘others’ of their individual or collective rights and freedoms. This attempt of deliberate marginalization and exclusion can lead to the destruction of the fundamental idea of humanity according to which peaceful cooperation, mutual tolerance, appreciation of differences and sympathetic outlook are what that actually capture the definition of a true human being. The double acts of denial of human rights to a certain group of people and the society’s insensitivity towards such act can and does indeed end up making the oppressed and exploited ones seem more human than the self-proclaimed champions of unity, integrity and moral righteousness of masses in general. The novel portrays the hapless lives of the clones in a dystopian British society in the 90s where clones of certain individuals are brought up only to help the normal human beings prolong their life by means of compulsory extraction of the vital organs from the clones once they reach a age which is mostly when they are at the prime of their youth. The paper systematically analyzes the various ways in which the clones are robbed of their basic human rights and it also suggests how in some indirect ways these processes often parallel to those of ours too and we ourselves in the real world are often subject to myriads of ways in which we tend to put up with numerous acts of injustice and cruelty. Here the study employs Foucault’s ideas of government, power, authority and discipline etc. as its essential theoretical framework for an analysis of the ways in which the subjects, i.e., the clones are reduced to mere passive, docile receivers of violence upon their body and soul.


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