Klara and the Sun

by

Kazuo Ishiguro

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Miss Helen Character Analysis

Miss Helen is Rick’s mother. She is known for speaking her mind, arguably too much. Rick often worries about her, and it is strongly implied that she is often drunk or otherwise impaired. Though she is not as wealthy as the Mother, she used to be popular when she was younger and had many men who were interested in her. One of her former lovers was Vance, who ended up in an influential position at one of the only colleges in the world that will consider accepting Rick. Despite her and Rick’s attempts to charm Vance, Vance can’t let go of the past and wants to humiliate Miss Helen for revenge. Miss Helen provides a contrast to the Mother (who provides more traditional stability for Josie than Miss Helen does for Rick), showing how the lives of children are affected by their parents.

Miss Helen Quotes in Klara and the Sun

The Klara and the Sun quotes below are all either spoken by Miss Helen or refer to Miss Helen. 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:
The Meaning of Love Theme Icon
).
Part Three Quotes

“What I really wished to ask you, Klara. The real request, the deeper one. Would you ask Josie to try and persuade Rick? She’s the one person who might change his stance. He’s very stubborn, you see, and also—I suspect this—rather afraid. And who can blame him? He knows the world out there won’t be easy. But Josie’s the one capable of getting him to see this differently. Will you speak to her?”

Related Characters: Miss Helen (speaker), Klara, Rick, Josie, The Mother
Page Number: 151
Explanation and Analysis:
Part Four Quotes

“Now Rick. You said just now you’re not seeking favoritism. Then let me ask you this. If that is really the case, then why am I sitting in front of you now?

Related Characters: Vance (speaker), Rick, Miss Helen, Klara
Page Number: 246
Explanation and Analysis:
Part Five Quotes

“And there was more. On this question of being lifted. She wants you to know she wouldn’t wish it any other way. If she had the power to do it again, and this time it was up to her, she says she’d do exactly what you did and you’ll always be the best mother she could have.”

Related Characters: Rick (speaker), The Mother, Josie, Klara, Miss Helen, Vance
Page Number: 277
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Klara and the Sun LitChart as a printable PDF.
Klara and the Sun PDF

Miss Helen Character Timeline in Klara and the Sun

The timeline below shows where the character Miss Helen appears in Klara and the Sun. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part Three
The Meaning of Love Theme Icon
Costs and Benefits of Progress Theme Icon
Just then, Rick’s mother ( Miss Helen ) interrupts. She doesn’t seem to notice Klara at first and talks a lot. She... (full context)
The Meaning of Love Theme Icon
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Miss Helen begins telling Klara a story about how one time she looked out the window and... (full context)
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Rick suggests Klara should leave, but Miss Helen says first they need to discuss Rick’s education. She notices Josie’s drawing, but Rick takes... (full context)
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Rick leaves. Miss Helen says that she’d like for Klara to help Rick study. Then she says that the... (full context)
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Klara says she’s surprised that Miss Helen would choose a path that might lead to her own loneliness. Then Rick comes back,... (full context)
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...Rick ignored her and waited for her to finish. Klara tells Rick that his mother, Miss Helen , is stronger than he realizes and that he should consider going to college, but... (full context)
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...portrait done by Mr. Capaldi. Mr. Capaldi is also interested in meeting AFs. Rick and Miss Helen will also be coming because they have their own business in the city. (full context)
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Later in the week, Rick and Miss Helen visit the house. Everyone seems to be in a good mood. Rick tells Klara he’s... (full context)
Part Four
The Meaning of Love Theme Icon
Costs and Benefits of Progress Theme Icon
Faith and Hope Theme Icon
Environmentalism Theme Icon
...do it. They sabotage the Cootings Machine and then meet the Mother, Josie, Rick, and Miss Helen at a sushi café. Everyone seems happy, although Josie is quiet. (full context)
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Miss Helen gives Rick advice about what to do when he meets Vance, her old flame with... (full context)
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Miss Helen suggests that the Father and Vance might get along because they both have fascistic leanings.... (full context)
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The Father, Josie, Klara, Miss Helen , and Ricky all leave the sushi café. The Sun is nearly setting, and Klara... (full context)
The Meaning of Love Theme Icon
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The Mother and Miss Helen talk while they wait for Vance to come out for Rick, which is taking a... (full context)
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Miss Helen comes and announces that she’ll be taking Klara because the Mother has to go back... (full context)
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Rick, Miss Helen , and Vance all get a booth at a restaurant, and Klara sits at a... (full context)
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...with him if he doesn’t want favoritism, suddenly changing the mood. Rick is surprised, but Miss Helen intervenes to say that they are asking for favoritism, even as Rick tries to object. (full context)
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Vance says this is a problem, both because Miss Helen has openly acknowledged the favoritism and because it’s her asking, not Rick. He says it’s... (full context)
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Vance says Miss Helen used to be like a queen, and that he’s both sad and glad to see... (full context)
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...say that maybe they should leave and that maybe he doesn’t actually want Vance’s help. Miss Helen says Rick doesn’t know what he’s saying. Vance agrees maybe it’s best to leave. He... (full context)
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Rick asks Klara to come sit with him and Miss Helen . Miss Helen wonders if that was enough to satisfy Vance. Rick says he’d never... (full context)
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...apartment where they’re staying, and so she’s anxious to get back. She drives Rick and Miss Helen to their hotel and then goes back to the apartment, where Josie is asleep. Klara... (full context)
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The Mother, Josie, Klara, Rick, and Miss Helen all drive back from the city. Miss Helen says she’s more hopeful than before that... (full context)