A Figura of Authenticity: Redefining Authentic Living in Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me
McKelvey, Stacy Marie
The Graduate School, Stony Brook University: Stony Brook, NY.
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.