Personhood: Fukuyama’s Caveats and Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go

Kristine Brown

Abstract


Together, fiction and rhetoric not only illustrate grim possibilities, but also the processes and rationale by which they occur. Kazuo Ishiguro’s dystopian novel Never Let Me Go (2005) documents the lives of cloned children in twentieth century England whose sole purpose is to provide organs to keep their human predecessors alive. While the children mature to become donors or caregivers to peers undergoing donation, nothing exempts them from death following repeated organ harvesting. However unnerving, the novel tells of potential realities associated with genetic engineering, a trend bioconservative political scientist Francis Fukuyama addresses in his work Our Post Human Future. This article endeavors to present Never Let Me Go as a fictional, yet appropriate supplement to Fukuyama’s writing, incorporating new historicism and accentuating Fukuyama’s points of caution in Ishiguro’s novel. Through dissecting and discerning the complementary relationship of the two works, readers may garner enriched perspectives in debates on cloning and other forms of bioengineering.

 

Keywords: genetic engineering; cloning; eugenics; ethics; dystopia; speculation


Full Text:

PDF

References


Agar, Nicholas. "Whereto Transhumanism? The Literature Reaches a Critical Mass." Hastings

Center Report. 37.3 (2007): 12-17. Print. Project Muse. Web. 8 Apr. 2013.

Cohen, Eric. "Conservative Bioethics and the Search for Wisdom." Hastings Center Report. 36.1

(2006): 44-56. Print. Project Muse. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.

Fenton, Elizabeth. "Liberal Eugenics and Human Nature: Against Habermas." Hastings Center

Report. 36.6 (2006): 35-42. Print. Project Muse. Web. 8 Apr. 2013.

Fukuyama, Francis. Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution. London: Profile, 2003. Print.

Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go. London: Faber and Faber, 2005. Print.

Jerng, Mark. "Giving Form to Life: Cloning and Narrative Expectations of the Human." Partial

Answers: Journal of Literature and the History of Ideas 6.2 (2008): 369-93. The Johns Hopkins University Press. Web. 8 July 2015. http://my.fit.edu/~lperdiga/HUM 3905--Junior Seminar--Giving Form to Life.pdf.

Lauritzen, Paul. "Stem Cells, Biotechnology, and Human Rights: Implications for a Posthuman

Future." Hastings Center Report. 35.2 (2005): 25-33. Print. Project Muse. Web. 12 Apr.

McWilliam, David. "To Speak Without Being Heard: The Ethics of Ownership Surrounding the

Creation of Cloned Life in Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go." Kaleidoscope: The Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Journal of Durham University's Institute of Advanced Study 3.2: 57-69. Durham University. Web. 8 July 2015. http://community.dur.ac.uk/kaleidoscope/index.php/kaleidoscope/article/view/31.

Moss, Stephen. ‘Francis Fukuyama: “Americans are not very good at nation-building”.’

Guardian. 22 May 2011: n. page. Web. 29 Apr. 2013. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2011/may/23/francis-fukuyama-americans-not-good-nation-building.

Nuyen, A.T. ‘Confucian Ethics and "The Age of Biological Control".’ Philosophy East and

West. 57.1 (2007): 83-96. Print. Project Muse. Web. 8 Apr. 2013.

Sparrow, Robert. "A Not-So-New Eugenics: Harris and Savulescu on Human Enhancement."

Hastings Center Report. 41.1 (2011): 32-42. Print. Project Muse. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.

Tuhus-Dubrow, Rebecca. "Designer Babies and the Pro-Choice Movement." Dissent. 54.3

(2007): 37-43. Print. Project Muse. Web. 12 Apr. 2013.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.