The Othering in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

Matava Vichiensing


In this article, I will investigate the concept of ‘othering’ originally as part of a post-colonial theory. This concept is interested in many academic areas, including a literary study. In Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel Never Let Me Go is about human clones raised for organs. The clones are excluded and discriminated to be ‘the other’ from the normal people. The manifestations of othering in Never Let Me Go can be presented in the forms of linguistic features, indoctrination, objectification, and assimilation. Although the othering phenomenon can be found in the reality, it can be appeared in literary texts as well. The findings show that the study of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go helps us to understand and aware of how the negative consequences of the othering process affect undesirable treatments in the society as a whole.


othering, exclusion, discrimination, post-colonial theory, Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

Full Text:



Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2002). The empire writes back: Theory and practice in post-colonial literatures (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Ashcroft, B., Griffiths, G., & Tiffin, H. (2009). The post-colonial studies: The key concepts (2nd ed.). London, U.K.: Routledge.

Beauvoir, S. (1972). The second sex (H. M. Parshley, Trans.). Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin.

Boréus, K. (2001). Discursive discrimination and its expressions. Nordicom Review, 22(2), 31–37.

Canales, M. K. (2000). Othering: Toward an understanding of difference. Advances in Nursing Science, 22(4), 16–31.

Carroll, R. (2010). Imitations of life: cloning, heterosexuality and the human in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never let me go. Journal Of Gender Studies, 19(1), 59–71.

Culea, M. (2014). Challenging ‘othering’ mechanisms. Replacing African darkness and absence with the light of presence and celebration in Chinua Achebe’s no longer at ease and the education of a British–protected child. Studia Universitatis Petru Maior – Philologia, (17), 93–109.

Fitzsimmons, S. R. (2015). Us, them, and others in management research. Academy of Management Review, 39(3), 73–5.

Golkowska, K. U. (2014). Empathy and Othering in Joseph Conrad’s Amy Foster. Arab World English Journal, (2), 60–68.

Halliday, L. E., Boughton, M. A., & Kerridge, I. (2014). Mothering and self–othering: The impact of uncertain reproductive capability in young women after hematological malignancy. Health Care for Women International, 35(3), 249–265.

Ioana, I., & Cracsner, C. (2016). Education vs. Indoctrination. Scientific Research and Education in the Air Force, 561–574.

Ishiguro, K. (2005). Never let me go. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.

Kata, G. (2012). The construction of otherness in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. Első Század Online, 11(2), 407–428.

Kitzinger, C., & Wilkinson, S. (1996). Theorizing representing the other. In S. Wilkinson & C. Kitzinger (Eds.), Representing the other: A feminism & psychology reader. London, U.K.: Sage Publications.

Littlewood, R., & Lipsedge, M. (1997). Aliens and alienists: Ethnic minorities and psychiatry. London, U.K.: Routledge.

Maccallum, E. J. (2002). Othering and psychiatric nursing. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 9(1), 87–94.

Ng’atigwa, F. X. (2014). “Othering” and “Others” in Religious Radio Broadcasts in Tanzania: Cases from Radio Maria Tanzania and Radio Imaan. Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, 26(2), 230–243.

Nussbaum, M. C. (1995). Objectification. Philosophy and Public Affairs, 24(4), 249–291.

Rothmann, J., & Simmonds, S. (2015). ‘Othering’ non–normative sexualities through objectification of ‘the homosexual’: Discursive discrimination by pre–service teachers. Agenda: Empowering Women for Gender Equity, 29(1), 116–126.

Said, E. W. (1977). Orientalism. London, U.K.: Penguin.

Stahl, N. (2010). "Not Being at One’s Home": Yoel Hoffmann and the Formal Representation of Otherness. Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History, 30(2), 217–237.

Tyson, L. (2015). Critical theory today: A user–friendly guide (3rd ed.). London, U.K.: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

Whitehead, A. (2011). Writing with Care: Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go. Contemporary Literature, 52(1), 54–83.

Zhang, H. (2016). August Wilson’s otherness in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Theory And Practice In Language Studies, 6(1), 171–175.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2020 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.