Klara and the Sun

by

Kazuo Ishiguro

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Rick is Josie’s best friend and next-door neighbor. He and his mother, Miss Helen, are originally from Britain. Rick and Josie spend a lot of time together and have a plan to be together for the rest of their lives. Josie introduces Klara to Rick shortly after purchasing Klara. The problem with Josie and Rick’s plan to be together, however, is that Josie has been “lifted” (a special procedure that children undergo and that most colleges require) and Rick hasn’t, meaning that unless Rick gets into one very selective school, he and Josie won’t be able to go to college together. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that Rick is unlifted and that he doesn’t fit in with the other kids Josie knows, he is very intelligent and has a particular aptitude for building model drones. Sometimes, Rick and Josie fight, but they always make up. When Josie gets especially sick and seems likely to die, Klara asks the Sun for help, promising the Sun that the love between Rick and Josie is true and, therefore, that Josie is worth saving. Josie survives, but ultimately, she and Rick drift apart in the years right before college, as Josie spends more time with her college-bound friends. Rick demonstrates how sometimes intelligent people, particularly those who aren’t wealthy, can be held back because they lack arbitrary credentials. He also represents how people change, and how the things people value in childhood are not necessarily the same as what they value as adults.

Rick Quotes in Klara and the Sun

The Klara and the Sun quotes below are all either spoken by Rick or refer to Rick. 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:
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).
Part Two Quotes

She had by now both hands on Rick’s left shoulder, resting her weight there as if trying to make him less tall and the two of them the same height. But Rick seemed not to mind her nearness—in fact he seemed to think it normal—and the idea occurred to me that perhaps, in his own way, this boy was as important to Josie as was the Mother; and that his aims and mine might in some ways be almost parallel, and that I should observe him carefully to understand how he belonged within the strange pattern of Josie’s life.

Related Characters: Klara (speaker), Rick, Josie
Page Number: 62
Explanation and Analysis:

“I suppose they have a point though,” he said. “I don’t belong here. This is a meeting for lifted kids.”

Related Characters: Rick (speaker), Klara, Josie, The Mother
Page Number: 82
Explanation and Analysis:
Part Three Quotes

“These folks surrounding her. Am I to assume they’re aliens? It almost looks like instead of a head, they have, well, a giant eyeball. I’m sorry if I have this all wrong.”

Related Characters: Rick (speaker), Josie, Klara, The Mother, Mr. Capaldi
Page Number: 123
Explanation and Analysis:

“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:

“Please make Josie better. Just as you did Beggar Man.”

Related Characters: Klara (speaker), Josie, Rick, Beggar Man, Mr. McBain
Related Symbols: The Cootings Machine, The Sun
Page Number: 163
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

“You must tell me if the love between Rick and Josie is genuine, if it’s a true and lasting one. I must know this. Because if the answer is yes, then I’ll have something to bargain with, regardless of what occurred in the city. So please think carefully Rick, and tell me the truth.”

“I don’t need to think. Josie and I grew up together and we’re part of each other. And we’ve got our plan. So of course our love’s genuine and forever. And it won’t make any difference to us who’s been lifted and who hasn’t. That’s your answer, Klara, and there won’t be any other.”

Related Characters: Klara (speaker), Rick (speaker), Josie
Page Number: 266
Explanation and Analysis:

But I’m remembering how delighted you were on that day Coffee Cup Lady and Raincoat Man found each other again. You were so delighted and couldn’t help showing it. So I know just how much it matters to you that people who love one another are brought together, even after many years.

Related Characters: Klara (speaker), Josie, Rick, Beggar Man, Coffee Cup Lady and Raincoat Man
Related Symbols: The Sun
Page Number: 271
Explanation and Analysis:

“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:

The Sun was illuminating her, and the entire bed, in a ferocious half-disc of orange, and the Mother, standing closest to the bed, was having to raise her hands to her face.

Related Characters: Klara (speaker), Josie, The Mother, Melania Housekeeper, Rick
Page Number: 279
Explanation and Analysis:
Part Six Quotes

“But now we’re no longer kids, we have to wish each other the best and go our different ways. It couldn’t have worked out, me going to college, trying to compete with all those lifted kids. I’ve got my own plans now, and that’s how it should be. But that was no lie, Klara. And in a funny way, it still isn’t a lie now.”

Related Characters: Rick (speaker), Klara, Josie
Related Symbols: The Sun
Page Number: 288
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Klara and the Sun LitChart as a printable PDF.
Klara and the Sun PDF

Rick Character Timeline in Klara and the Sun

The timeline below shows where the character Rick appears in Klara and the Sun. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part Two
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...explains to Klara that she went to the barn one time, with her best friend Rick, back before she got sick. Klara is confused at first because she believes it’s her... (full context)
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The next week, Klara meets Rick and sees the outside of Josie’s house for the first time. Before that, Josie has... (full context)
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...her to let go so that she and Klara can go next door to see Rick. They climb a hill to meet Rick, and Josie gets short of breath. (full context)
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When Klara and Josie get to Rick, he is busy flying mechanical drones that look like birds with a remote control. Josie... (full context)
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Melania Housekeeper calls for Josie to come back. Before leaving, Josie makes Rick promise to come to a meeting at lunchtime next Tuesday, and Rick reluctantly agrees. Josie... (full context)
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Josie asks if Rick can come, and the Mother agrees after some hesitation. Josie asks if the Mother thinks... (full context)
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...anxious. She goes into a room filled with the parents of the other children, then Rick appears at the door, and she introduces him. The adults are polite, but Klara notices... (full context)
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Left with the adults, Klara hears them talking about how Rick “missed out,” but they nevertheless agree that Rick seems bright and that it’s good for... (full context)
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...that she should go in to be with Josie and the children, so Klara goes. Rick is standing alone, and some girls talk about how they should do something to welcome... (full context)
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...Klara doesn’t follow commands, a boy again suggests throwing Klara across the room. Just then, Rick intervenes by pointing out that the boy has a “pet object” on him (the sort... (full context)
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The children go outside. Klara thanks Rick for intervening. Rick explains that he doesn’t belong in the group because it’s a meeting... (full context)
Part Three
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A doctor visits Josie often, as does Rick. Josie stops taking remote school lessons. Melania Housekeeper makes Klara chaperone when Rick is there.... (full context)
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Josie and Rick discuss a man who is painting Josie’s portrait in the city. Rick finds him creepy,... (full context)
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Eventually, after more visits, the bubble game goes from fun to tense. Rick has a harder time writing the words. He is particularly stumped by what to write... (full context)
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...tidying up one day. Josie asks her what she thinks of it. Klara believes that Rick interpreted two of the figures in the drawing as himself and Josie. Josie doesn’t like... (full context)
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On another afternoon, Josie and Rick play the bubble game again. Rick is taking a while on a bubble, and they... (full context)
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...in an envelope in a drawer. Klara guesses correctly that the paper must be for Rick. But Rick has not come back since the bubble game incident. Klara volunteers to deliver... (full context)
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Klara takes the letter to Rick’s house. She notices Rick’s house is not as nice as Josie’s. Rick is excited about... (full context)
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Rick opens the envelope and finds that it contains a drawing that says “Rick and Josie... (full context)
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...about McBain’s barn. She believes it may be related to helping Josie with her illness. Rick is confused, but Klara doesn’t want to explain everything yet. Rick trusts Klara and tells... (full context)
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Just then, Rick’s mother (Miss Helen) interrupts. She doesn’t seem to notice Klara at first and talks a... (full context)
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...window and saw the Mother (whom she calls Chrissie) with a child who wasn’t Josie. Rick suggests maybe his mother wasn’t in the best condition that day, but Miss Helen asserts... (full context)
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Rick suggests Klara should leave, but Miss Helen says first they need to discuss Rick’s education.... (full context)
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Rick leaves. Miss Helen says that she’d like for Klara to help Rick study. Then she... (full context)
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...that Miss Helen would choose a path that might lead to her own loneliness. Then Rick comes back, and Klara says she must get back to Josie. Rick asks Klara to... (full context)
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Following Rick’s instructions, Klara makes the journey to Mr. McBain’s barn just before sunset. She stumbles, but... (full context)
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Rick and Klara make it to Mr. McBain’s barn, and Klara asks to be left alone.... (full context)
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As Klara heads back, she finds that Rick ignored her and waited for her to finish. Klara tells Rick that his mother, Miss... (full context)
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The next day, Rick comes to visit Josie again. They tease each other and reconcile. Rick suggests that maybe... (full context)
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...have her 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... (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... (full context)
Part Four
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...more, if she becomes Josie, Klara will get not only the mother’s love, but also Rick’s.  (full context)
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...wants to 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 connections to... (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 doesn’t think it... (full context)
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When they have a moment, Rick asks Klara what’s going on with Josie, whose behavior seems strange. Klara says she doesn’t... (full context)
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The Mother and Miss Helen talk while they wait for Vance to come out for Rick, which is taking a while. The Mother asks if Miss Helen regrets not lifting Rick,... (full context)
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Finally, Vance comes out. He and Rick greet each other politely. Meanwhile, a woman outside the theater gets angry because she thinks... (full context)
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...Klara’s ear to reassure her that it’s OK to go. As she walks away with Rick’s family, she begins to regain some of her orientation. (full context)
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Rick, Miss Helen, and Vance all get a booth at a restaurant, and Klara sits at... (full context)
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Rick shows Vance his notebook of drone schematics, some of which he has already created but... (full context)
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Vance says Rick has done well, but that because there are so many unlifted applicants to Atlas Brookings,... (full context)
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...both because Miss Helen has openly acknowledged the favoritism and because it’s her asking, not Rick. He says it’s also a problem that Helen didn’t communicate with him for 27 years.... (full context)
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Rick interrupts to say that maybe they should leave and that maybe he doesn’t actually want... (full context)
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Rick asks Klara to come sit with him and Miss Helen. Miss Helen wonders if that... (full context)
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...at the 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... (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... (full context)
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...more pollution than the first one. The Mother says there are probably other options for Rick if Atlas Brookings doesn’t work out, but Josie asks if she’ll be allowed to follow... (full context)
Part Five
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...has periods of strange breathing when she’s only partly awake. Meanwhile, Klara begins to help Rick with his studies. He comes and visits Josie, but she’s only able to stay awake... (full context)
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On one visit, Klara asks Rick if he’ll walk with her outside. Rick says Josie is worse than she’s ever been... (full context)
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Klara says she must go back to McBain’s barn right before the Sun goes down. Rick says he’ll help. Klara asks Rick to really think and tell the truth about something:... (full context)
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That evening, Rick again carries Klara to the barn. He allows her to go inside alone and says... (full context)
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...the Sun is happy when people love each other, and she says that Josie and Rick could be just as happy as Coffee Cup Lady and Rain Coat Man. (full context)
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Thinking back to the conversation between Vance and Rick, Klara tells the Sun that she knows favoritism isn’t a good thing. Still, she says... (full context)
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One day when Rick is visiting, the Mother pulls him aside to ask if he feels like he won.... (full context)
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Although Josie usually isn’t well enough to talk, Rick says that he spoke to her recently. He says that Josie gave him a message... (full context)
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...says that they have to go upstairs at once because the Sun is coming out. Rick and the Mother are worried, but they find that Josie is sleeping as normal. (full context)
Part Six
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...trips with other young adults, which are considered an important part of her college preparation. Rick still comes over, but less often, particularly as he gets involved with his own projects,... (full context)
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The last time Klara sees Rick is when she goes out to greet him after hearing his car. Rick says that,... (full context)
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Klara does mention, however, that she’s worried. She told the Sun that Josie and Rick’s love was real and forever, but it seems that they’re preparing for different futures. Rick... (full context)
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Rick asks about Melania Housekeeper, and Klara mentions she was trying to get accepted by a... (full context)
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Josie had hoped Rick would be there to say goodbye, but Rick is miles away with his drones and... (full context)
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...would’ve “continued” Josie if necessary but that things turned out for the best, even if Rick and Josie aren’t together. (full context)