Never Let Me Go

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Tommy Character Analysis

Kathy and Ruth’s friend at Hailsham, Tommy is known there for his temper tantrums, his lack of creative skills, and his “dullness.” Tommy dates Ruth though he is in love with Kathy, and by the end of the novel, it is revealed that Tommy, more than the others, has perceived the difficult realities of the life of a clone from a young age. Kathy serves as Tommy’s carer until his fourth donation, after which Tommy passes away.

Tommy Quotes in Never Let Me Go

The Never Let Me Go quotes below are all either spoken by Tommy or refer to Tommy . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Maturation and “Growing Up” Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of Never Let Me Go published in 2006.
Chapter 1 Quotes

So I reached forward and put a hand on his arm. Afterwards, the others thought he’d meant to do it, but I was pretty sure it was unintentional. His arms were still flailing about, and he wasn’t to know I was about to put out my hand. Anyway, as he threw up his arm, he knocked my hand aside and hit the side of my face.

Related Characters: Kathy H. (speaker), Tommy
Related Symbols: Hailsham
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:

Tommy's "wild furies" are one of his defining features as a character. In the beginning of his time at Hailsham, these furies are viewed—by students and those in positions of authority—as part of his immature state. Tommy, by the administrators' logic, is an aberration, a student who needs to be normalized to behave more quietly like the other Hailsham students. 

Kathy, however, seems to understand that Tommy's anguish runs deeper. Tommy, in this instance, is not just mad that he has ruined his shirt, or that he has been made a fool of in the schoolyard. Kathy senses that Tommy's fits are in some way involuntary (particularly in their physical manifestations), and that he is actually upset by the constraints of the school itself—even if Tommy himself does not understand why Hailsham is such a hard place for him to live and study. This behavior of Tommy's, his willingness to test, without exactly knowing why, the norms of his life, will induce in Kathy a desire to question some of the rules she lives by—and that society places on her and the other donors.

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Chapter 2 Quotes

Well . . . . The thing is, it might sound strange. It did to me at first. What she said was that if I didn’t want to be creative, if I really didn’t feel like it, that was perfectly all right. Nothing wrong with it, she said.

Related Characters: Tommy (speaker), Kathy H. , Miss Lucy
Related Symbols: Hailsham
Page Number: 23
Explanation and Analysis:

At this point in the novel, Tommy has developed a willingness to discuss some of his more complex emotional states and problems with Kathy. Tommy's conversation with Miss Lucy—in which Lucy argues that Tommy doesn't have to be creative at Hailsham, despite an institutional emphasis on art classes—is one instance of an emotionally thorny and confusing episode.

What is especially odd about the conversation between Lucy and Tommy is the fact that, as revealed later, Tommy really is creative. He is a talented cartoonist, and his "animals," as he and Kathy call them, are intricately modeled and imaginative representations of his inner life. What Lucy appears to be telling Tommy, in a halting manner, is that Tommy, Kathy, and the other students have lives that are set out for them in advance. They do not have before them the kinds of choices that others must make as they mature. In some sense, this makes Hailsham a prep school that prepares its students for non-life—for organ donation and eventual death. It also means that Hailsham "classes" are, in a sense, just filler until the realities of the students' fates set in. 

Chapter 3 Quotes

The gallery Tommy and I were discussing was something we’d all of us grown up with. Everyone talked about it as though it existed, though in truth none of us knew for sure that it did.

Related Characters: Tommy (speaker), Kathy H.
Related Symbols: Hailsham
Page Number: 31
Explanation and Analysis:

The Gallery is an example of a persistent and convincing rumor that is maintained among the students of Hailsham. It claims that the Headmaster of the school selects the students' best art to adorn a Gallery, one that is then, presumably, shown to others in some capacity—although the students are not allowed to leave Hailsham, and therefore do not know exactly where this Gallery could be.

This passage is important for several reasons. It demonstrates the Hailsham students' desire to learn about the world beyond the school's walls. The myth of the Gallery generates among the students a real interest in creative work, not just for self-expression but for a way to become, in a sense, "famous," an exhibited artist showing work to others. It also shows the way that stories of the outside world are generated within Hailsham, and how they attempt to explain what is ultimately beyond the donors' control. The students' lives, even after Hailsham, are circumscribed by their institutionally-determined role as people who will give organs to non-clones. But the students also live a kind of gentle fantasy, in which their art might be shown to the world, and their creative efforts might be praised alongside those of non-cloned individuals.

Chapter 6 Quotes

It’s not good that I smoked. It wasn’t good for me so I stopped it. But what you must understand is that for you, all of you, it’s much, much worse to smoke than it ever was for me. You’ve been told about it. You’re students. You’re . . . special.

Related Characters: Miss Lucy (speaker), Kathy H. , Ruth, Tommy
Related Symbols: Hailsham
Page Number: 68
Explanation and Analysis:

Miss Lucy clearly wants to speak as forthrightly as possible to the students of Hailsham. She does not want to sugarcoat their futures. But Miss Lucy also most operate within the institutional structures of Hailsham—she cannot just yell out to the students, at least not at this point, what their violent fate must be. 

This passage is an example of Lucy splitting the difference, doing her best to be honest to the students without jeopardizing her own position within the Hailsham structure. Smoking is not permitted for any of the Hailsham students because their health is paramount—it is, in fact, their primary contribution to society. Their organs must be as "pristine" as possible, which is why, before they even reach early middle age, the students begin donating to others who might need them. Lucy thus does not disrupt the established order of Hailsham—she is still invested in making sure the students don't smoke. But she hopes to explain the policy in more detail as a way of relating more directly and honestly to the student population, whom she clearly cares about. 

Chapter 7 Quotes

The problem, as I see it, is that you’ve been told and not told. You’ve been told, but none of you really understand, and I dare say, some people are quite happy to leave it that way. But I’m not. If you’re going to have decent lives, then you’ve got to know and know properly. . . . Your lives are set out for you. You’ll become adults . . . and before you’re even middle-aged, you’ll start to donate your vital organs. That’s what each of you was created to do.

Related Characters: Miss Lucy (speaker), Kathy H. , Ruth, Tommy
Related Symbols: Hailsham
Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:

This is another very important passage in the novel, and a scene in which Miss Lucy's relationship to the students changes somewhat. Before, Lucy has been content in maintaining Hailsham policy while also engaging with the students more directly and openly, telling them that they are special, that their lives will be determined by rules that don't necessarily apply for non-clones. Lucy has not, till this point, used the term "clone," but she nevertheless feels that the "special" status of Hailsham students must be addressed and explained to them.

What changes in this section is the directness with which Lucy addresses the students. She has overhead some of them discussing possible careers they might like to entertain in later life, and some of them, just before Lucy begins to speak, have said they would like to be actors. This, for Lucy, is simply too much, and she has to speak. She notes that any career other than organ donation, or caring for other donors, is utterly impossible for Hailsham students. Here the reader learns just how serious and unchangeable the fate of Hailshamites is—they have no choice regarding their future, and their lives are wholly predetermined. 

Chapter 9 Quotes

Don’t you realize, we won’t be here together like this much longer?
I do realize that, Kath. That’s exactly why I can’t rush back into it with Ruth. We’ve got to think about the next move really carefully . . . . Like you say, Kath. We’re going to be leaving here soon. It’s not like a game any more. We’ve got to think carefully.

Related Characters: Kathy H. (speaker), Tommy (speaker), Ruth
Related Symbols: Hailsham
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:

One of the threads running throughout the novel is the love triangle between Tommy, Ruth, and Kathy. Ruth, who in many ways presents herself as someone who "knows the ropes" and is mature and world-wise, snags Tommy early on. They date for some time, and though their relationship seems largely happy, they break up toward the end of their time at Hailsham.

But Ruth quickly realizes that she wants Tommy back, and she enlists Kathy to help her do this. Kathy talks to Tommy, and when Tommy says he is weighing his options in getting back with Ruth, Kathy also seems to demonstrate real concern for Tommy, although she never tells him outright that she has romantic feelings for him. 

Kathy's inability to assert herself quite so strongly as Ruth is therefore a refrain in the novel. Ruth, in Kathy's eyes, gets "what she wants." Kathy is more passive, she tends to listen, to offer advice when asked—but she has a harder time maintaining a romance, or even identifying to herself what she wants. The reader often has the feeling that he or she knows more than Kathy about Kathy's own emotional state. 

Chapter 10 Quotes

For the first weeks after we arrived, she [Ruth] made a big deal of it, always putting her arm around Tommy . . . it wasn’t long before Ruth realized the way she’d been carrying on with Tommy was all wrong for the Cottages, and she set about changing how they did things in front of people.

Related Characters: Kathy H. (speaker), Ruth, Tommy
Page Number: 120
Explanation and Analysis:

What Kathy notes here, without offering her own opinion on the matter, is Ruth's ability to adapt her behavior quickly to her surroundings. Ruth is concerned, perhaps excessively so, with what other people think of her—she is always trying to seem "in the know," prepared for whatever the world will throw at her. Ruth enjoys showing Kathy that she, Ruth, acts like a grownup, while Kathy tends to follow behind, passively waiting for others to show her the way.

Thus Ruth felt at Hailsham that one demonstrated one's relationship status by openly embracing a partner in front of others—showing her possession of Tommy. When Ruth realizes that this is "uncool," that "the veterans" at the Cottages do not demonstrate their love in this way, she demurs, and instead touches Tommy in front of others in a more subtle or sly manner.

Kathy, for her part, announces these changes to the reader, sensing what they might tell him or her about Ruth. But Kathy refrains from saying too much on top of this—she does not blame Ruth openly for being so quick to court the favor of those around her. Only much later will Kathy speak with Ruth more honestly about the ways Ruth makes Kathy feel. 

Chapter 14 Quotes

We all know it. We’re modeled from trash. Junkies, prostitutes, winos, tramps. Convicts, maybe, just so long as they aren’t psychos. That’s what we come from. We all know it, so why don’t we say it?

Related Characters: Ruth (speaker), Kathy H. , Tommy , Chrissie
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:

Up till this point, Ruth has spoken to others as though she were not constrained by the cultural expectations of donors. For example, Ruth has made it seem that she might be able to work in an office, like her "possible." She has also asked some of the other couples at the Cottages whether it is in fact possible for donor couples who are in love to ask for a deferral of their donation duties, so that they might have more time together. All these utterances combined make it seem that Ruth really believes she has a life outside the predetermined course for all donors.

Here, however, Ruth blurts out what she really thinks. Ruth is aware not only that her clone life is unchangeable, but she knows, too, that she and the others are probably cloned from "undesirable" personages in society—that clones are at the absolute bottom of the social ladder, that they are used only to make sure that other, "normal" people can live. Ruth is devastated by this information, which is why she goes to such great lengths to make it seem that she is not concerned with it at all. 

Chapter 15 Quotes

Well . . . I really wanted to find it [the cassette tape] for you. And when it looked in the end like it wasn’t going to turn up, I just said to myself, one day I’ll go to Norfolk, and I’ll find it there for her.
The lost corner of England! And here we are!

Related Characters: Kathy H. (speaker), Tommy (speaker)
Related Symbols: The Judy Bridgewater Tape
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:

This joke between Tommy and Kathy about the "lost corner of England" is one that unites them. Tommy genuinely wishes to find another version of the Judy Bridgewater tape of "Never Let Me Go" for Kathy. He seems even to think that the version he finds in Norfolk will be the very same version that Kathy lost. Even though Kathy knows better, she is delighted to share in this caper with Tommy.

Tommy and Kathy's friendship is defined by this sort of reciprocal care and shared hopes. While Tommy is with Ruth, Kathy remains a good friend to them both, even making sure the couple gets back together before leaving Hailsham for the Cottages. Kathy's behavior toward Tommy and Ruth is thus an elaboration of her own selflessness. She is willing to put her friendship with each of them ahead of her underlying desire to be with Tommy in a romantic way. 

Chapter 16 Quotes

God, Tommy, these must take so much concentration. I’m surprised you can see well enough in here to do all this tiny stuff. I wonder what Madame would say if she saw these.
I suppose I’ll have to get a lot better before she gets to see any of it.

Related Characters: Kathy H. (speaker), Tommy (speaker), Madame
Page Number: 187
Explanation and Analysis:

Kathy deeply enjoys seeing Tommy's work. She believes that the animals Tommy creates are a genuine and eccentric expression of Tommy's creativity, and she believes that Tommy really has a chance, in showing the animals to the "powers that be" (namely the Madame), to prove that the clones are worthy of at least some input into the course of their lives. In other words, Kathy likes the animals because they are an expression of what makes Tommy Tommy. And she likes, too, that the animals might be a way of convincing people in positions of power that clone creativity is akin to "normal" non-clone creativity.

Ruth, for her part, will use Kathy's initial response to Tommy's animals—a kind of quiet awe and surprise—and warp it, to make it seem that Kathy believes Tommy's work to be crude and upsettingly strange. In other words, Ruth will distort Kathy's feelings toward Tommy for her own ends. Ruth does this later on because she is threatened by Kathy and Tommy's intimacy—because she worries that Tommy really loves Kathy, and not her. 

Chapter 17 Quotes

Well, Kathy, what you have to realize is that Tommy doesn’t see you like that. He really, really likes you, he thinks you’re really great. But I know he doesn’t see you like, you know, a proper girlfriend. Besides, you know how Tommy is. He can be fussy . . . . Tommy doesn’t like girls who’ve been with . . . well, you know, with this person and that.

Related Characters: Ruth (speaker), Kathy H. , Tommy
Page Number: 200-201
Explanation and Analysis:

This is another instance of Ruth's cruelty toward and manipulation of Kathy. Ruth makes this point about Tommy's lack of affection for Kathy because Ruth senses that Kathy and Tommy do in fact have a real intimacy. The two get along very well, they speak confidentially to one another, and Tommy has shown Kathy the nature of his artistic work—something that Ruth perhaps feels is too intimate to be shown to anyone other than herself.

Ruth thus combines several threads she has used before against Kathy. She argues that Kathy has been too promiscuous previously, and that this is something Tommy "wouldn't like." She makes it seem, too, that Tommy has always considered Kathy to be nothing more than a friend—a person in whom he can confide, but not an object of romantic interest. And Ruth makes it seem that only she is a "proper girlfriend" for Tommy—that she is the only person who can treat Tommy the way a boyfriend ought to be treated. 

Chapter 19 Quotes

I’d like you to forgive me, but I don’t expect you to. Anyway, that’s not the half of it, not even a small bit of it, actually. The main thing is, I kept you and Tommy apart. That was the worst thing I did. . . . What I want is for you to put it right. Put right what I messed up for you.

Related Characters: Ruth (speaker), Kathy H. , Tommy
Page Number: 232
Explanation and Analysis:

This outburst of Ruth's, which is designed as an apology to Kathy and to Tommy, is very similar to Ruth's outburst of several years before, when Ruth argues that they all know they are cloned from "undesirable" personages in society. In this case, Ruth again wishes to clear her conscience of something that has been weighing on her for some time, and that she has been trying to keep repressed or secret.

The primary difference, however, has to do with Ruth's relationship to other people. In her first outburst, Ruth argued against the existence of her own "possible" because she was so exasperated by her own lack of opportunity in the world. Her outburst was thus not so much directed toward others but toward her own despair. In this latter instance, however, Ruth realizes that her behaviors of the past have influenced the possibility of a relationship between Kathy and Tommy. Ruth wishes, in this case, to atone for something she has done wrong—to make it right while Kathy and Tommy are still alive and able to spend time together. 

Chapter 21 Quotes

Poor creatures. What did we do to you? With all our schemes and plans?

Related Characters: Madame (speaker), Kathy H. , Tommy
Related Symbols: Hailsham
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:

Here, Madame wonders aloud whether Hailsham was, after all, a good thing. The initial idea of Hailsham, as she goes on to explain, was to help clones to feel like members of society‚to make sure they had hobbies, friends, and fond memories—before becoming donors and caretakers. The idea undergirding the Hailsham system was thus a fundamentally humanist and benevolent one, even if the reality that that system supported was inhumane.

But as the Madame and Miss Emily go on to explain, the Hailsham system was something like a Band-Aid over a disturbed and upsetting system, wherein humans were used and "mined" to keep others alive. The enrichment that Hailsham therefore afforded the young donors came to seem, to many, like an ever-greater cruelty. Because, of course, neither Tommy nor Kathy could actually live the kind of "normal" life that was, in some sense, modeled for them at Hailsham. The Madame therefore reveals the ambivalence built into the institution of Hailsham: a desire to ready clones for their jobs without necessarily explaining directly what those jobs would be—to build up their hopes and dreams and then crush them.

Chapter 22 Quotes

I was thinking about back then, at Hailsham, when you used to go bonkers like that, and we couldn’t understand it. We couldn’t understand how you could ever get like that. . . . I was thinking maybe the reason you used to get like that was because at some level you always knew.
. . . That’s a funny idea. Maybe I did know, somewhere deep down. Something the rest of you didn’t.

Related Characters: Kathy H. (speaker), Tommy (speaker)
Related Symbols: Hailsham
Page Number: 275
Explanation and Analysis:

Kathy realizes at the end of the text just how deep and intuitive Tommy's sense of himself has always been. Tommy has known, and been frustrated by, the total impossibility of a "normal" life for the clones. Tommy knew this, and harbored this frustration, even in his early days at Hailsham, when he used to get angry when others would make fun of him. Tommy saw what was at the end of the road, beyond the Hailsham gates, and he saw this far more clearly than anyone else.

Kathy, too, has sensed that clone life did not really fit in with the mirage of a more normal life that was made apparent to the clones at Hailsham. But Kathy was not so openly angry about this. Instead, Kathy's tone throughout the book has been one of wistfulness, a nostalgia touched with sadness but never completely angry. This feeling of the loveliness of the past, and the fact that the past can never be reclaimed, is something that knits Tommy and Kathy together by the novel's end. 

Chapter 23 Quotes

. . . and if I waited long enough, a tiny figure would appear on the horizon across the field, and gradually get larger until I’d see it was Tommy, and he’d wave, maybe even call. . . . and though the tears rolled down my face, I wasn’t sobbing . . . I just waited a bit, then turned back to the car, to drive off to wherever it was I was supposed to be.

Related Characters: Kathy H. (speaker), Tommy
Related Symbols: Hailsham
Page Number: 288
Explanation and Analysis:

This is one of the most affecting and beautiful passages in the novel. What becomes painfully clear, by the end, is the depth of Kathy's love for Tommy. Their romance has been, and remains, impossible. Each must die, and before that, each must care for another donor. Their lives cannot be changed. Their love, powerful as it is, cannot alter their circumstances.

But this does not mean that Kathy and Tommy cannot love each other. That is one of the deep and affirming lessons of "Never Let Me Go." Tommy and Kathy remain attached to one another even after Tommy's death, because Kathy tries as hard as she can to remember her friend and lover as he was, to place him in her mind among the beautiful fields of Hailsham. It is a great sadness that this past cannot extend indefinitely into the future. But the past really did happen—it was real. And Kathy insists on this reality until the end of her own life. 

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Tommy Character Timeline in Never Let Me Go

The timeline below shows where the character Tommy appears in Never Let Me Go. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Maturation and “Growing Up” Theme Icon
Individual Goals vs. Social Expectations Theme Icon
Loving, Caring, and Donation Theme Icon
...and they are looking out at one of the football fields, where a boy named Tommy is playing. Tommy is wearing his “special blue polo shirt,” which he has recently bought... (full context)
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The other girls begin laughing, as they realize the boys with whom Tommy is preparing to play are ready to turn a practical joke on Tommy. Tommy is... (full context)
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Tommy then walks by, on his way back to his room, and Kathy intercepts him, telling... (full context)
Chapter 2
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Kathy tells the reader that, several days later, Tommy came up to her—in a line for “medical checkups,” which occur weekly for Hailsham students—to... (full context)
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One night, in their large bunk-bed room, Kathy begins talking to the other girls about Tommy and her concerns for his wellbeing. Ruth agrees that the other boys are cruel to... (full context)
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Kathy flashes forward again, this time to her period of caring for Tommy, who she reveals was also one of her donors. Tommy and Kathy discussed a meeting... (full context)
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Kathy then remembers how Tommy’s temper tantrums slowly began to disappear, even though his art, around age 13, never really... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Kathy remembers her meeting with Tommy later that day, near the school’s pond, which allows them a certain amount of privacy.... (full context)
Maturation and “Growing Up” Theme Icon
Individual Goals vs. Social Expectations Theme Icon
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Kathy hears Tommy and grows more excited and interested in his comments, as they appear to prompt her... (full context)
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Losing and Finding Theme Icon
Life, Death, and Humanity Theme Icon
...to another striking scene in her time at Hailsham—a scene that, like her conversation with Tommy about creativity, seemed to point to something interesting about their lives. The girls were all... (full context)
Chapter 6
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...and was therefore somewhat separate from the other counties, the students, including Kathy, Ruth, and Tommy, took this to mean that Norfolk was in fact a place in England where all... (full context)
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Years later, when they were adolescents, Kathy told Tommy, and only Tommy, this story, and said at the time that she knew, at that... (full context)
Chapter 7
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Kathy remarks to the reader that, in some way, she consider her conversation with Tommy by the pond, when they were thirteen, to be the “marker” between eras at Hailsham.... (full context)
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Kathy and Tommy discuss this even much later, when Kathy is Tommy’s carer, and Tommy offers a theory... (full context)
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Kathy remembers a particular story, again involving Tommy, who cuts his elbow in a small accident and goes to the Hailsham infirmary to... (full context)
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As the chapter ends, Kathy recalls that Tommy asked her, during the later period of his donation, why the students didn’t think more... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...obvious sex lives, and that Hailsham rules seemed rather ambiguous as regarded sex. Ruth and Tommy had become an “item,” although their relationship was somewhat tumultuous, and Tommy appeared more withdrawn... (full context)
Chapter 9
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...also realizes, now, that she delayed having sex with Henry because she had feelings for Tommy—whom Ruth had recently broken up with, after six months together. (full context)
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...the beginning of their last summer at Hailsham, that she had made a mistake with Tommy, and that she wanted to get back together with him. Ruth asked Kathy whether she... (full context)
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Kathy runs into Tommy, and the two begin talking about Ruth outside, near the playing fields. But Tommy appears... (full context)
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Nevertheless, Kathy brings the subject back to Tommy and Ruth, and Tommy agrees to consider getting back together with his old girlfriend. But... (full context)
Chapter 10
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...to occupy the students minds during their two-year stay at the Cottages, where Kathy, Ruth, Tommy, and several others from Hailsham are sent. The Cottages, like several other communities around the... (full context)
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...certain adjustments to her behavior since arriving at the Cottages. For one, although she and Tommy have only just restarted their relationship, the other “veteran” couples, including a pair named Chrissie... (full context)
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...has begun taking on the mannerisms of the older couples, and why Ruth occasionally ditches Tommy to hang out with veterans like Chrissie and Rodney. Ruth fires back, however, that Kathy... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...with her, Ruth says that she’s “in a couple” and “can always have sex with Tommy.” In fact, Ruth says that Kathy’s urges are a little “weird.” (full context)
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...takes a stack into an abandoned boiler room and leafs through them out of curiosity. Tommy chances inside and, seeing Kathy doing this, wonders why she is looking at the magazines... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Nevertheless, Chrissie, Rodney, Ruth, Tommy, and Kathy decide to take a day-long fieldtrip to Norfolk in order to track down... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...that Ruth spends much of the drive talking to the couple in the front, leaving Tommy and Kathy staring out their respective windows—but when Kathy asks Ruth if she’d like to... (full context)
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...in assent, as though she knew all about this possibility from Hailsham, but Kathy and Tommy are confused, and Kathy realizes that Ruth is pretending to know about this supposed special... (full context)
Chapter 14
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The group loiters down the street for a time, then Tommy spots Ruth’s possible walking away down the High Street, and the group decides to follow... (full context)
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Outside the gallery, Tommy tries to lighten the mood, saying it was only “a bit of fun,” but Ruth... (full context)
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...are supposed to visit working carers, and since Kathy also wants some time to herself. Tommy volunteers to walk with Kathy, and Ruth, Chrissie, and Rodney as they go to hang... (full context)
Chapter 15
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After the other three leave, Tommy tells Kathy that he never cared much about the “possible” idea, since he figures it... (full context)
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...used, old cassettes. She understands that this isn’t the actual lost tape from Hailsham, and Tommy is upset with himself that he didn’t spot it first, but he nevertheless offers to... (full context)
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As they are walking outside the shop, and waiting for the others, Tommy tells Ruth that he has another theory about Hailsham, one he’s been thinking about since... (full context)
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Kathy listens to Tommy’s theory in a kind of stunned silence, and thinks also, unrelatedly, of her own small... (full context)
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Kathy tells Tommy that his idea is interesting, but appears too flummoxed by the enormity of his theory... (full context)
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But Tommy tells Kathy that this is a silly idea, and anyway, if it were true, it... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...and troubling experience. One day, in late spring of their first year at the Cottages, Tommy does show Kathy his drawings of small creatures—which have parts that look like metal or... (full context)
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...Kathy’s new copy of the Bridgewater tape, and when Kathy tells Ruth that she and Tommy found it together in Norfolk, Ruth seems slightly miffed and suspicious, although they don’t fight... (full context)
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Soon thereafter, Kathy runs into Ruth and Tommy around the Cottages—the two of them are having a heated discussion, and Kathy feels she’s... (full context)
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...from their previous conversation—Kathy knows that there is nothing she can do now to convince Tommy that this is a lie. Kathy is desperately angry at Ruth for her bitter retort... (full context)
Chapter 17
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Kathy realizes that, after this conversation with Ruth and Tommy, and its abrupt ending, it will be difficult to patch things over and continue friends... (full context)
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...also has a conversation with Ruth, several weeks after the confrontation in the field with Tommy. Kathy learns that Ruth has apologized to Tommy for making fun of his animal drawings.... (full context)
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...Cottages and begin her job as a carer, without discussing the matter with Ruth and Tommy. (full context)
Chapter 18
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...Ruth in her (Kathy’s) car to see the boat, and after a brief conversation regarding Tommy, who is also working as a donor now, Kathy and Ruth decide to pick him... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Ruth and Kathy drive several days later to Kingsfield, to pick up Tommy at his treatment center—a run-down place, with a dilapidated concrete “square” at its center, where... (full context)
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...car-ride to the boat, about a particular woman at her treatment center, but Kathy and Tommy finally complain to her—saying they don’t understand the point of her story—and Ruth seems shocked... (full context)
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Ruth, Tommy, and Kathy begin talking about people they knew. Chrissie has completed, or died, during her... (full context)
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...Ruth once saw on the ground—of the office on which she based her dream future. Tommy recognizes the ad as similar, too, to the office in Norfolk where they tried to... (full context)
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...change in Ruth’s tone, and she wonders what else Ruth is going to say. With Tommy still listening, Ruth admits to Kathy in the car that she “lied” to Kathy about... (full context)
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Kathy begins to “sob” as Ruth goes on, saying that Tommy and Kathy ought to be together, and that the two of them should try to... (full context)
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Kathy stops crying and realizes that she must drop off Tommy in Kingsfield and then Ruth in Dover. The three drive back quietly, and when Tommy... (full context)
Chapter 20
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One year after the trip to see the boat, Kathy does become Tommy’s carer. Tommy has now had three donations, and his condition is stable, though he is... (full context)
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They generally avoid the subject of speaking to Madame, and one day, Tommy asks Kathy to look again at some of the new animals he’s been drawing. Kathy... (full context)
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...reader that, despite all the emotional complexities of this time, Kathy enjoyed her romance with Tommy. One day, Kathy returns to Kingsfield after a week away—she still has to care for... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Tommy and Kathy have a hard time getting to the seaside town where Madame lives—Tommy has... (full context)
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Tommy and Kathy sit in a dark room and look at the decorations while Madame goes... (full context)
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...asking how they know they are deeply in love, and begins crying a small amount. Tommy joins in, talking about their art and the gallery, and the idea that the art... (full context)
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...fourth person, enshrouded in the darkness, whom Madame wheels out to speak to Kathy and Tommy—it’s Miss Emily, the former head of Hailsham. Madame defers to Miss Emily, and says “it’s... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Miss Emily begins speaking to Kathy and Tommy, telling them that Madame, or “Marie-Claude” as she calls her, is now somewhat disillusioned with... (full context)
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...appear to live in a domestic partnership, have been collecting the art for years. When Tommy asks why—since the art is not used to determine whether people are truly in love—Emily... (full context)
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...must go, since her assistant is arranging for the sale of a piece of furniture. Tommy and Kathy say that this is all difficult and disappointing news to hear, and that... (full context)
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When Tommy brings up Miss Lucy, Emily dimly remembers her, and states that Lucy opposed the way... (full context)
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Emily says, however, that she “really must go” outside, and so Kathy and Tommy walk out and watch Emily's assistant help Emily into her car. Madame and Kathy have... (full context)
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...for others (the clones themselves). This is what made her weep. At this, Madame calls Tommy and Kathy “poor creatures,” gets choked up again, and touches Kathy on the cheek, saying... (full context)
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...them spoke little. But soon, after it gets dark and they are on back roads, Tommy asks Kathy to stop the car near a cow-field. Tommy gets out into the dark,... (full context)
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But this time, Kathy’s response to Tommy and his tantrum is different. Kathy tells Tommy that, “back at Hailsham,” when Tommy would... (full context)
Chapter 23
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Kathy notes that things between herself and Tommy become strained after the meeting with Emily and Madame, perhaps because they know there is... (full context)
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One day, when Kathy is visiting and tending to Tommy, the two go outside for a walk, and Tommy tells her that he thinks he... (full context)
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Tommy notes that “he and Kathy have loved each other all their lives,” but that, at... (full context)
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Tommy and Kathy have their last several meetings, and at their last one, they talk briefly... (full context)
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...also feels that there is a “mean-spirited” part of her that wishes Ruth knew that Tommy and Kathy couldn’t get a deferral—perhaps so Ruth could feel even worse for “keeping them... (full context)
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Kathy says a final goodbye to Tommy, but since they have been saying “goodbye” to each other for a long time now,... (full context)
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Kathy also tells the reader that she allowed herself an “indulgence” after hearing of Tommy’s death. She drove back to Norfolk, and saw nearby a long stretch of trees designed... (full context)