Arts and Culture in Never Let Me Go
Arts and Culture in Never Let Me Go
Art is a very important aspect in Never Let Me Go
It is used by Miss Emily and Madame to prove that the clones (students) had souls and were indeed human and not just science creations.
""We took away your art because we thought it would reveal your souls. Or to put it more finely, we did it to prove you had souls at all.”"
When Tommy was younger, the artwork he did was poor and this was frowned upon by both his peers and the Guardians.
The other students felt that Tommy was incapable of drawing or being artistically creative in any way possible. As is was such an important and main aspect to their lives, poor artwork meant that one didn't really fit in with the others.
To the Guardians, the artwork Tommy did would be important exhibitions and the only reason they worry is because I think they feel that as he cannot be artistic, he doesn't have a soul
In the novel is something that the students at Hailsham referred to as the 'Gallery'. This is a collection of the finest art from the students at Hailsham
"“It's for the Gallery.”
“But what is her gallery? She keeps coming here and taking away our best work. She must have stacks of it by now. I asked Miss Geraldine once how long Madame's been coming here, and she said for as long as Hailsham's been here. What is this gallery? Why should she have a gallery of things done by us?”"
This Gallery was only created to be exhibited in various places around the country in order for people to see that clones truly were human and did have souls after all.
The Gallery was created by Madame and Miss Emily and is explained later on in the novel.
Art is also important to the students when they're younger
It provides them with something to do and lets them be creative. Many things are based around the art in Hailsham and shows just how important it all is to the students. Even after Hailsham, the art still carries some form of importance as it can provide a small bit of 'freedom' to those who are writing/drawing/painting
A lot of the culture in Never Let Me Go is revolved around the art
The Exchanges are an example of this...
The Exchanges were a place for students to exchange their 'tokens' which they earnt, with the artwork of other students. There was poetry, drawings, paintings, sculptures etc.
"Paintings, drawings, pottery; all sorts of “sculptures” made from whatever was the craze of the day–bashed-up cans, maybe, or bottle tops stuck onto cardboard. For each thing you put in, you were paid in Exchange Tokens–the guardians decided how many your particular masterpiece merited–and then on the day of the Exchange you went along with your tokens and “bought” the stuff you liked."
"I can see now, too, how the Exchanges had a more subtle effect on us all. If you think about it, being dependent on each other to produce the stuff that might become your private treasures–that's bound to do things to your relationships"
The Sales are an example of this...
"The Sales were important to us because that was how we got hold of things from outside. Tommy's polo shirt, for instance, came from a Sale. That's where we got our clothes, our toys, the special things that hadn't been made by another student."
The Sales (as mentioned here) were mainly so important to the students at Hailsham because the things there came from the outside.
Collections are an example of this...
"For a start, they were our only means, aside from the Sales–the Sales were something else, which I'll come to later–of building up a collection of personal possessions."
"You each had a wooden chest with your name on it, which you kept under your bed and filled with your possessions–the stuff you acquired from the Sales or the Exchanges."
"And of course, we had our “collections” to think of."