A Figura of Authenticity: Redefining Authentic Living in Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me
McKelvey, Stacy Marie
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This essay explores the concept of authenticity in Kazuo Ishiguro's novel Never Let Me Go in relation to the ontologies presented in Martin Heidegger's Being and Time and Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness. Through a comparison of the three central characters, I argue that Kathy H. reveals an image of authentic living that reflects Heidegger's and Sartre's philosophies, yet also transcends them. Ishiguro, I argue, reconceives the exigencies of authentic self-creation by creating a protagonist who is able to establish her own existential projects, recognize the relationship between the factical and transcendental aspects of her identity, and accept her death as her own-most possibility despite the limiting circumstances of her environment. I argue that Ishiguro reveals authenticity as a viable possibility by creating a protagonist who is able to be both authentic and ethical.