Why those students have to take art classes?
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The art itself is supposedly a window into their souls. It allows the administration to see things in the students that would otherwise not be noticed; love lust, anger, ect,.
Never Let Me Go
The students’ explanation for the art is explained in chapter 15:
‘…Madame’s got a gallery somewhere filled with stuff by students from when they were tiny. Suppose two people come up and say they’re in love. She can find the art they’ve done over years and years. She can see if they go. If they match. Don’t forget, Kath, what she’s got reveals our souls. She could decide for herself what’s a good match and what’s just a stupid crush.’ Of course, we find out later that this is not true at all.
The animals may be symbolic of the clones themselves. Kathy observes: ‘I was taken aback at how densely detailed each one was. In fact, it took a moment to see they were animals at all. The first impression was like one you’d get if you took the back off a radio set: tiny canals, weaving tendons, miniature screws and wheels were all drawn with obsessive precision, and only when you held the page away could you see it was some kind of armadillo, say, or a bird’.
That observation may be interpreted from an outsider’s point of view: e.g. Until I looked closely, I never thought of clones as real people. But if you take time to understand them, you realise how complex they are – just as complex as any other human being.
The progression of Tommy’s drawings reflects the state of his health. Later, after he has done two donations: ‘Tommy’s drawings weren’t as fresh now…something was definitely gone, and they looked laboured, almost like they’d been copied. [cloned] So that feeling came again, even though I tried to keep it out: that we were doing all of this too late; that there’d once been a time for it, but we’d let that go by, and there was something ridiculous, reprehensible even, about the way we were now thinking and planning.’