Both between the text and the reader to mirror

Both texts present a protagonist who is oppressed by a group
which are higher than themselves as these groups have full control over the
characters and their respective societies, the characters arc are displayed to
the reader through a first person narrator within “Never Let Me Go” by Ishiguro
to allow the reader to have a personal connection with Kathy; on the other hand
Orwell uses a narrator to show the protagonist Winston’s journey at the same time
creating a separation between the text and the reader to mirror Winston’s
disconnection to the party. The authors use a range of formats to present the
oppression in the novels some of which are: friendships, the role of women
within the texts and how the characters deal with the oppression they face
within their respective societies. These dystopian parallel worlds are
displayed differently in the texts due to the different time periods they are
both written and set in and the personal views of the authors.

In the texts the authors have displayed a variety of
relationships in which the protagonist themselves and other characters are
involved in, these of which are restricted by the systems controlling their lives.
These relationships are of varying degrees, from physical to deceitful and
friendships among others. In “Never Let Me Go” Ishiguro has split the text into
three parts creating separation and to show the different stages of Kathy’s
life of which she is reflecting upon. The same structure is used in “1984”
however it isn’t used to show a life time but to show different events, stages
of emotion and rebellion within Winston with part two being where he’s most
fulfilled with Julia but also ready to rebel and then this peak disintegrates
when he is tortured in part 3. In “1984” Winston develops only a singular
friendship throughout the book thus showing the control the party has this
reiterated by O’Brien as he states “The real power we have the right to fight
for night and day, is not power things, but over men” (p234). This mirrors that
of the times of when Orwell wrote the novel as he had witnessed the danger of
the Soviet Union first hand in Spain which he projects into the book through
the party. As for “Never Let Me Go” friendships are a key part of the text, as
at the beginning of the text Kathy states “just how lucky we’d been – Tommy, Ruth,
me, all the rest of us.”  By putting them
before herself shows the significance of their relationships with her. These
friendships are tested throughout the novel, in part one Ruth is questioned on
a pencil case to which she says “Let’s just agree. Let’s agree I got it in the Sale” to which this after causes some tension
between the girls but Kathy backs Ruth up saying “a big mystery” this argument shows how their friendship is just like
that of other “normal” girls of their age but this also established the
hierarchy in their friendship as the use of italics in Ruth’s statement shows
the manipulation she has over the other girls, along with the statement being
repeated shows how serious this statement is and the fact Kathy backs her up
later showing Ruth has enough power over Kathy to make her feel bad. In part 2
Kathy states “Those early months at the cottages had been a strange time in our
friendship.” This shows them growing up and developing more as individuals
rather than as a group, however they still showed unity after disappointment of
Ruth’s possible as “Tommy and I were silent – a sort of resentment on Ruth’s
behalf” Ishiguro does this to show that though everything they are more than
just a friendship they are the only family and group they’ve ever known and
that their friendship is the one thing they have had control on whilst the
futures are controlled by the guardians. Kathy and Tommy’s relationship
develops over the course of the novel, however the core of their friendship
remains as they confided in each other throughout their lives and Kathy
refrained from telling him certain things in fear of upsetting him. The most
poignant part of their friendship is when the find they tape as Tommy says ” I
wish I’d found it”, then he goes on to says ” I used to think about it, in my
head, what it would be like, if I found it and brought it to you. What you’d
say.” Showing how the fundamental value of caring for each other always
remained.

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In regards to romantic relationships in both texts the
protagonists ultimately can never be with whom they are in love with. As in “Never
Let Me Go” Tommy and Kathy go to Miss Emily to see if that can get a deferral
they learn “There’s no truth in the rumour” with this information, they both knew
this meant their lives were always just for the “donations” and that regards
for their lives and “souls” of which the guardians talked about never really
mattered. They continued their relationship as Kathy being Tommy’s carer but as
well as a physical relationship by “having sex every now and then.” Then Kathy
stops being Tommy’s carer and “it was the last time” they speak of Ruth stating
“are you glad Ruth completed before finding out everything” by talking about
her is symbolic of them all being together one last time as through their
oppression of being controlled by the guardians their donations they can never
truly live full lives together romantically or as friends. Then Kathy states to
herself “I lost Ruth, then I lost Tommy to” showing Tommy had completed and
that they couldn’t ever fully be together. In “1984” fascism is clearly being
used on Winston and Julia as they are manipulated by their deceitful “friend”
Mr Charrington as he confides in him as he gets a room from him “for the
purpose of a love affair” However he betrays them as they are caught ( He used
the room as a form of entrapment as they felt someone was actually helping
them) and a voice says ” you may as well say goodbye” this is done as their
relationship is seen as the ultimate transgression and O’Brien deceives them as
when together the state cannot control them and have them devoted to the
relationship which the party accepts which is that of their allegiance to it.

In both texts women and their role roles within the texts is
another way the authors have displayed oppression. I share the view with one of
my secondary sources1
that Orwell understood that rape was violence and he did this long before the
feminism movement themselves brought this topic to light, however Julia’s
sexual acts are her form of empowerment and her way of rebelling as it is seen
as a digression from the state by planning and having sex with many members of
the party she is also increasing the personal rebellion within the party’s
regiment and it allows her to free herself from her otherwise constricted
lifestyle. Ishiguro presents oppression in the text as a psychological thing as
Kathy she looks through the magazine “focusing on their faces” and then later
on Ruth says “We all know it. We’re modelled from trash” ironically they will never know and this not knowing will
leave them emotionally unfulfilled which my secondary source2
also stated. This is a basic need when we grow up to know who we are and where
we come from and this lack of knowing he how much they have been oppressed form
themselves which is why Ishiguro made Kathy like Julia (in “1984”) have many
sexual encounters to fill the void of the unknown. Another character how
struggles with their existence in “Never Let Me Go” is Ruth as she lives vicariously
through the thought that her “possible” is a businesswomen as she feels that her
own existence after donations if worthless which is due to the manipulation of
the guardians.

Another way the authors represented oppression in the novels
is through the way the protagonist themselves view and see how and why they’ve
been oppressed. In “Never Let Me Go” throughout their lives they’re “told and
not told” of why they exist however they know from an early age “none of them
could have babies” to which Kathy says “none of us were practically bothered”
I found this quite disconcerting and how throughout the whole novel no one
rebelled against the “Donations” and how they all accepted it as this wouldn’t
been something that usually people would be okay, this unnerving tone allowed
for the dystopian theme to come through but also for the oppression to be seen
as something that was inevitable and not to be questioned and just like in
“1984” and how the state/party shouldn’t be questioned, however in the book the
protagonist Winston and his love interest Julia do as she hugs Winston’s as it
states “in the ramifications of the party doctrine she has not the faintest
interest” showing they she didn’t care for the party or it views. By them both
simply consenting and partaking in their sexual encounters they were the
biggest rebels to the states as if their love/lust surpassed theirs for the
state it meant that the state lost full control of them and their beings. When
asked by O’Brien before his betrayal “Are you ready to give your lives? To
commit suicide they replied “yes” showing just how willing the were to fight
the oppressions set by the state on them, however when asked “You are prepared,
the two of you, to separate and never see one another again” Julia replied
“No!” this changed in expression and the exclamation mark show that she loves
Winston and that they have already surpassed the party in committing the
biggest act of rebellion and how much the despised the oppression forced upon
them in its extreme form. Also this lack of disregard for their own lives and
not caring about the implications of the action on the world could also mirror
how Orwell felt when writing 1984 as he was fighting tuberculosis which he
later died from two years after the publication of “1984” this could be why the
text has such a dark and political themes running throughout as Orwell himself
was very political having a dislike towards the labour party and their views to
which he projects onto the state within the text.

In Never Let Me Go a first person narrative is used from
Kathy’s perspective which Jo Walton expresses the view in3
that “It’s Kathy’s cheerful acceptance of
everything that makes this so brilliant and unbearable.” I share with this view that Kathy and her friends
accept their fate this leaves the reader unfulfilled with a want for a
rebellion as they have had their freedom taken away with them and restrictions
and the fact this is never explored in the book gives the reader an unnerving
feeling as it is assumed by the current society whom read the text that they
would as that is what is seen in society today and the reader has a hard time
with their acceptance as whilst we must accept this and watch as oppression integrates
into every aspect of their loives., as humans we have a hard time comprehending
death and our morality. Conversely Winston rejects the view of the majority whom
accept their fate to which Winston’s rebellion is a relief to reader as he
symbolises some form of hope and normality to the dystopian world which are in
contrast to the real world. In a system where individuality is being eradicated
a person can only be powerful if he fully embodies the part as O’Brien says “if
he can merge himself in the Party so that he is the Party, then he is all
powerful.” As the structure of the book Winston’s does this in three stages as
this is explained to him in part 3 chapter 3 of the book4  and O’Brien
says “There are three stages to reintegration” “There is learning, there is
understanding, and there is acceptance” and Winston’s fulfils all three and
shows full acceptance of the Party and Big Brother when he says “Do it to
Julia! Do not it Julia! Not me! Julia!” The use of exclamation marks shows the
anger in the statement whilst signifying the end of his rebellion and ultimately
accepting his fate like the rest of the society.

Alongside
the narrative the language is key in both texts as in “Never Let Me Go” euphemisms
are used throughout the novel such as “Donations” and “Completions”. This use
of soft tones takes away from the bleak reality that these children have no
other purpose that to give their organs and then die, this shows the manipulation
the guardians have over them as their naivety is shown through both Kathy’s narrative
and her language as her skewed perspective5 of her life is due to
the lack of understanding about her own future. My secondary source4  speaks of how the murders are deemed acceptable
as long as “deemed necessary in a given ideology”4 which Miss Emily reiterates
when she says “do
you think will go back to a world without cancer.” Another restriction placed on the children by the “guardians”
is what they are taught and the fact “The Gallery” is emphasised as a place of importance
to distract them from science in an attempt to not question their existence. A key
manipulation of language through the novel is “guardians” suggesting they are
saving them or helping them with connotations to holy beings. To an extent is true
as they are being humane to them and trying to prove they have souls however they
still make the children carry out this role and put psychical restrictions on
them such as “the fence” and the main restriction
on their life span. All of the language manipulation across both texts uses depersonalisation
which stripes anyone of guilt or responsibility by using “the guardians” and “the
party” by grouping everyone it means every is equal meaning no one will stand
up to the system as they are held equally responsibility, it also retracts from
what they are actually doing and the use of flowery soft language is used to
allow the society to accept what is happening and not take responsibility for
their actions.

In
both texts there is a falsity of hope to which the protagonists and their
companions find comfort in and hold in high regard this hope for the future. In
1984 O’Brien tells Winston he “made
it all up” in regards to the future. As readers we know there
is no future which Winston hopes for in 1984 as if the party is able to erase
the pasts though the use of things such as word speak and “doublethink”. That’s
they have the same if not more control to manipulate the future and that of the
individuals of whom they control in order to make all those under their control
become “the Party” and not individuals. Within “Never Let Me go” the characters
are met with the same dismay as Winston’s when they find out from Miss Emily’s that
referrals never existed in the film after the fact this is met by silence and
this is unnerving the reader, but this shows how they accept the fate and ultimately
accept their mortality and the fact the now this and their acceptance of it
highlights the importance of their friendship.

Both authors used their texts are warnings to society.
Orwell probably wanted his warning to be more significant due to his limited
time left, and Ishiguro unintentionally placed his warning throughout the
novel.  Orwell shows that if we oppress
or restrict humans it will lead to another war or Soviet Union state where
those deemed viable are the only ones who can survive which is then decided by
an over ruling political state. Ishiguro didn’t start out to have an underlying
aim within the text, however through the acceptance of the characters and their
fate and their creation he showed that if there are no rules and too much
freedom is giving again a state or a party will overrule and exploit their
power which has been done within both texts and the fact that we should treat each
other with humanity and dignity. By combing both warnings oppression is
represented as something that shouldn’t be forced upon others by on overruling
states however rules should be placed so that a no ruling party or group take
over and cause their views to shape those of others i.e.  indoctrination.

In conclusion oppression is presented and viewed by the
authors as a negative thing as is something which in “Never Let Me Go” we must
accept and watch as it is permeates every aspect of their lives. Which is shown
throughout the novel through structure and the relationships presented along
with how the characters themselves deal with their situations and through the
narrative techniques with the undertone the authors themselves have depicted to
display their dystopian societies and their views.

1 https://slutocracy.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/feminism-in-george-orwells-1984/

2 https://schoolworkhelper.net/loss-oppression-in-ishiguros-never-let-me-go/

3 https://www.tor.com/2009/05/05/the-upspoken-and-the-unspeakable-kazuo-ishiguros-never-let-me-go/

4 http://www.englishworks.com.au/1984-individual-takes-state/

5 https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/iusburj/article/viewFile/19653/25737

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