Friday, May 15, 2020

"Did someone think we didn't have souls?"

In Kazuo Ishiguro's "Never Let Me Go," the Hailsham teachers send the best art by the pupils to a mysterious "Gallery". Only as adults do Kathy H. and her friend Tommy D. find out why: "We took away your art [...] to prove you had souls at all." Kathy is puzzled: "Did someone think we didn't have souls?" – The Hailsham students are clones raised to be organ donors, and the "normal people" deny their humanity. And works of art created by the dehumanized will never be accepted as proof they have souls. Or in coronavirus terms, who is being dehumanized to justify the sacrifice of their lives for the community's survival? (Andrew Shields, #111words, 15 May)

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