Never Let Me Go

Comparing 'Venus' and 'Never Let Me Go': Sexuality, Reproduction, and the Inhuman College

Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and Suzan-Lori Parks's Venus explore characters who are, due to scientific engineering or physical appearance, deemed inhuman by outside society. Their othering bars them from ordinary human experiences, but perhaps most notable is the ways in which the inhuman are prevented from engaging in traditional sexual and romantic relationships and from reproducing. Both Never Let Me Go and Venus display characters who, due to the ministrations of society and their categorization as “other”, experience a deeply skewed version of sexuality and reproduction because their lack of acceptance into traditional human society prevents them from engaging in traditional human experiences, instead engaging in relationships that are a flawed imitation of the norm.

Ishiguro’s clones were “copied at some point from a normal person” (Ishiguro, pg. 139) and exist solely to donate their organs to medical patients once they reach adulthood. Due to their unconventional origins and the strange conditions in which they are raised (in a boarding school in the middle of nowhere, with little exposure to the outside world), society deems them inhuman: when Kathy and Tommy confront Madame about the artwork she collected from...

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