Scott Sandoval Reader Response #1 LAE 6467 Ishiguro K. Never Let Me Go / Kazuo Ishiguro [e-book]. New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2005.; 2005. Available from: University of South Florida Libraries Catalog, Ipswich, MA. Accessed July 1, 2013. Japanese 1. “My guess is that from some time before he did that elephant, Tommy had had the feeling he wasn’t keeping up- that his painting in particular was like that of students much younger than him-and he’d been covering up the best he could by doing deliberately childish pictures. But after the elephant painting, the whole thing had been brought into the open, and now everyone was watching to see what he did next. It seemed he did make an effort for a while, but he’d no sooner have started on something, there’d be sneers and giggles all around him. In fact, the harder he tried, the more laughable his efforts turned out. So before long, Tommy had gone back to his original defence, producing work that seemed deliberately childish, work that said he couldn’t care less” (20). The quote has me recall the issue of what keeps students motivated in the classroom. Tommy is unable to produce work that is suitable for his age limit, and is openly mocked when he tries his hardest. In response to the negative stimulus Tommy gives up and produces only childish work. By the end of the story Tommy ends up needing to spend the latter part of his life creating images, which were up to par with everyone else. The theme I find in both the novel and in reality is that if there is not a certain level of confidence instilled in children, they end up creating “work that said he couldn’t care less.” Most students are lost in the education system, because they are not properly motivated in a positive manner. The teachers in the story end up telling Tommy that he does not have to be creative. What the audience learns is that being creative is the most important aspect of his life, and is necessary for his success. I found that the teacher tried her best to remedy the situation, but in a way that is not conducive towards Tommy’s learning. In my Teaching the Adolescent Learner class I have found a number of ways that the teacher could have gone about positively instructing Tommy. The topic reminds me of
my sophomore year in college. I remember for my 20th Century Literature class I had spent a month on a paper, but when it was returned to me the response killed my morale. The teacher on my paper wrote that he would not read it, because of the grammatical mistakes within it. I remember I had taken the feedback so hard, that I did only my worse from then on in the class. I have no confidence in myself, and my work reflected the state. 2. “Your lives are set out for you. You’ll become adults, then before you’re old, before you’re even middle aged, you’ll start to donate your vital organs. That’s what each of you were created to do. You’re not like the actors you watch on your videos, you’re not even like me. You were brought into this world for a purpose, and your futures, all of them, have been decided” (81). The quote has me think of the text Hunger Games, because of the way the dystopian world is outlined. In Never Let me Go, the students are raised to donate their vital organs and that is their purpose in life. In Hunger Games, the adolescents must be placed in a lottery system where the result is them fighting to the death. The quote shows how people can be subdued, when they are forced to partake in an activity. Furthermore Hunger Games along with this novel have both of the lives of the adolescents set out for them. Both the Hunger Games and Never Let Me Go remind me of my childhood’s path. My mother knew that each of her children would attend college, thus she bought Florida Pre Paid for college tuition. From the moment I entered into the public school system I had been embedded with an idea that I would be attending college and then getting a career. I remember when I had finished college and had been accepted into the Master’s program for English Education, my mom fought with me every day. She did not believe in furthering your education past a four year degree, and thought that I should go right into the work force. The end of the quote, “You were brought into this world for a purpose, and your futures, all of them, have been decided,” is very familiar to my life and the plan my mother has had for me since I was born.
3. “I don’t know how it was where you were, but at Hailsham we definitely weren’t at all kind towards any signs of gay stuff” (96). I selected this quote, because of all the controversy that is going on regarding DOMA. DOMA stands for the Defense to Marriage Act, and allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriage performed under the laws of other states. Over the past week the Supreme Court struck down section three in a 5-4 vote. I felt that the quote represents a kind of abuse that a group of people have gone through, and can now move forward with. The novel outlines gay members of the school who are abused, because of their open sexual orientation. I felt a personal connection to this quote, because my best friend/running mate is openly gay. Before running in the Student Body election with him, I remember certain individuals acting in a nasty way towards him, because of his sexuality. They would say we would not win, because no openly gay person could be president. Both on a national level as well as something I deal with every day, people aren’t “at all kind towards any signs of gay stuff.” 4 “Once I’d spotted this, I began to notice all kinds of other things the veteran couples had taken from TV programmes: the way they gestured to each other, sat together on sofas, even the way they argued and stormed out of rooms” (121). The quote had me think of how people develop trends which are exchanged over time. The quote represents the people in this camp who act in certain manner based on the type of information they are bombarded with. The characters in the story have no real interaction except for what is shown to them on television. As a child I remember saying, “Are you looking at me, well shut up” from the movie Weekend at Bernie’s. The saying got me into a lot of trouble, but whenever someone stared at me I would give them this response. The characters in this novel had the same gesture development as I did, because television raised me the better half of my childhood. Up until the age of five or six I didn’t really have any interaction except with my
family and the media technologies. I did not know any better, and until I was scolded in class several times, did I ultimately break my habit. 5. “When someone wanted sex with you, that too was much more straightforward. A boy would come up and ask if you wanted to spend the night in his room ‘for a change,’ something like that, it was no big deal. Sometimes it was because he was interested in becoming a couple with you; other times it was just for a one-nighter” (127). The quote shows a world, which does not put a personal connection to sex. When reading through this part of the novel I felt there was a direct connection between this text and the one I read from my country, No One Will See Me Cry. In No One Will See Me Cry, the author details Matilda Burgos’s sexual escapades with politicians, clergymen, and students. The view in No One Will See Me Cry is of a world where there are two types of people. The two people are those who want a relationship such as the main character or the people who are just looking for a one night stand such as Matilda. I found the quote to paint the same type of world, where the main character is looking for one night stands, whereas her counterpart is looking for love in a meaningful relationship. Even here at USF the quote and the novels are reminiscent of the Fraternity life. Most of the people are looking for one night stands, whereas a select few are looking for love. The quote is laughable when it says, “A boy would come up and ask if you wanted to spend the night in his room ‘for a change,’ something like that, it was no big deal.” Yet in reality and in a Fraternity, I have seen this time and time again. I am one of few people who is not straight forward when it comes to sex, but many people especially those at USF are. 6. “So I thought if I find her picture, in one of those magazine, it’ll at least explain it. I wouldn’t want to go and find her or anything. It would just, you know, kind of explain why I am the way I am” (181). The quote describes the main character as she tries to figure out why she enjoys sexual intercourse so much. By this point in the novel the main character has found out that she is a
clone of another human being. She feels that the person she has been cloned from works in the porn industry. Ultimately each of the characters is trying to figure out who they are, and where they come from. I felt that same way when I selected the country Mexico. I felt I had no idea what my heritage was, and what made up Scott Sandoval. I wanted to learn more about my father and why I do some of the things that I do. I feel that the culture that I had no idea about has impacted me, without me even realizing it. When I was six years old my father passed away, but he imparted a level of influence on my family. After examining some of the cultural similarities between my family and Mexico, I have found that my brother and sister have some of the beliefs of the traditional Mexican family. An example of my family sharing the same values and beliefs of a Mexican family is the close extended family relationship. Everyone stemming out from my family meets three to four times a year for a big fiesta. Another example of a superstition that my family has is that we do not pass the salt. It is said that when you pass the salt you give the bad luck unto another person. So my family places the sale down before the person, and then they pick it up and utilize it. 7. “So for a long time you were kept in the shadows, and people did their best not to think about you. And if they did, they tried to convince themselves you weren’t really like us. That you were less than human, so it didn’t matter” (263). I picked this quote from the end of the novel, because I believe it is the reason for having World Literature as a class. The quote stuck out in my mind, because what the culture in this novel has done is lessen a people by placing them out of their mind. By studying literature primarily from the western culture, we remove the emphasis on those that are not included. Last week we talked about Vietnam and the Germans in the holocaust. In our discussion we stated that these people were given names so that they are seen as less. In the story that same is being practiced, because they are given the names “Carers & Donors” to make them less human.
An example of people being less is the Mexican people who are seen as illegal immigrants. A couple of my uncles work as illegal immigrants, and are persecuted because they are seen as outcasts. People see illegal immigrants in a negative view, but when they make that connection of a face to an idea they try and place them in the “shadows.” A story my mother always tells me is when I was in kindergarten, I had my race listed as Hispanic. The school one day decided to move me into another class based on my race. My mother got in a fury and decided to list me as white, all the way until I graduated from high school. I had to surrender my racial identity out of fear of being clumped into a classroom of specific people. 8. “I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be” (288). The ending of the story shows the type of life these groups of people have to live within. The story gives a detailed life of the protagonist from six until she is at the point of becoming a donor. The latter part of her life is spent predetermined running around setting up organ donations for people that are similar to her. I related with this quote because people seem to be on a track from the point they are created until they pass away. People can deviate away from the plan, but for the most part Americans are born, given some form of education, and given some form of career or job. The people then work or find some means of survival until they pass away. I believe that the quote is similar to my life because straight from birth I have been working towards an education and ultimately a career at the end of the path. I had a strong set plan given to me by my mother of what was going to happen by this time. My life at this point has become almost mechanical because of all the mechanisms I try and balance. Being the Student Body Vice President, the president of my Fraternity, and finding time to succeed in school, I spend most of my time in motion or between the different tasks of my day. The last part of the quote is,
“Wherever it was I was supposed to be.” I believe that I have the same language when trying to maneuver through my days. I unfortunately don’t have so much “me” time anymore.