Developmental Psychology: Never Let Me Go

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In Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, the main character, Kathy, and the rest of the characters are raised in Hailsham, a very special type of school. The kids who are raised at Hailsham do not have any parents because they are clones. Essentially, the teachers or the guardians, as they are called in the book, are their parents. Yet, the guardians raise the kids in a very particular way. The guardians are not affectionate towards the children, as most parents would be, and they raise them in an extremely structured setting. The guardians do not bond with the children because, although the guardians at Hailsham believe the kids are more than just clones, society still looks at them as creatures. The way the guardians raise the children at Hailsham is proved to us, as the story progresses, that this is beneficial because Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy end up having a much better quality of life than Chrissie, Rodney, and some of the other people they met at The Cottages. The way the children at Hailsham were raised is similar to how children at a good orphanage would be raised. The way the characters developed in the book can be explained by developmental psychology. The guardians at Hailsham made sure the children were good at art. Through art, the guardians were able to see whether clones were human or not. Madame says, “Because of course your art will reveal your inner selves! That’s it, isn’t it? Because your art will display your souls!”.

Since the guardians did not emotionally connect to the children, the art was the only way they could understand the children. By forcing the children to do art, the guardians were preparing the children to be as normal and intellectually equivalent as the rest of society. “Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork.” Although the children, technically, do not...
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