A Postmodernist/Posthumanist Reading of Kazuo Ishiguro’s, Never Let Me Go Using Fredric Jameson’s Theory of Postmodernism and Late Capitalism.

4659 Words Jun 12th, 2013 19 Pages
A Postmodernist/Posthumanist reading of Kazuo Ishiguro’s, Never Let Me Go using Fredric Jameson’s theory of Postmodernism and Late Capitalism.
Posthumanism neologism is used to describe what comes after humanism and the question of what it means to be human. It is often and most frequently used to describe a dystopian life form that is created and crafted by humans themselves. Posthumanism is not to be confused with postmodernism, although their paths do cross intrinsically throughout this essay. The concept of posthumanism is not as modern as one may think and is displayed in Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel Frankenstein as a window into the advanced discoveries of nineteenth century science, and what can result from trying to play the role of
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The idea of them being so human, so perfect juxtaposes the fact that they are copies of humans, meaning they are not simulacrum, making it all the more difficult for bonding as they are so nearly human. This confusion can be highlighted when the character of Ruth declares “She’s scared of us” when referring to a higher and human power within their school. By being so radically human like, the clones in turn become de-humanised. Alongside this similarity, Ishiguro’s novel actually reiterates Jameson’s point about Edvard Munch’s painting, ‘The Scream’. He states that “it seems evident that The Scream subtly but elaborately disconnects its own aesthetic of expression, all the while remaining imprisoned within it.” This idea of perfection in terms of the clones being ‘perfect’ examples or more so, replicas of humans comes with how at the very beginning of the story, the children are given an assembly on no smoking, amongst other perceivable harms that may prevent them from fulfilling their desired ultimate duty of ‘donations’.
As previously mentioned, the hypothesis of the clones in Never Let Me Go being a form of Plato’s ‘Simulacrum’ is discarded due to the clones being from an original copy. In the utopian view of the concept of the medical marvel in the novel, it would be perceived to be the route in which to take regarding

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