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Sophia Robles
Professor Jorgenson
English 114B
1 April 2014
Our Physical, Emotional and Psychological Spaces
There are many spaces that surround our everyday life. Each space may mean something
to us, or it just may simply be a space with no actual meaning. When a certain space has meaning
to us, we seem to have a sort of passion for it. We may go to this space to think, to reminisce, to
study, to socialize; in whichever way we may use this space it have meaning and sentimental
value to an individual. Others may have a psychological and/or emotional space; where they just
go into deep thoughts about something concerning them. I believe that physical, psychological
and emotional space in various aspects is what makes us the human beings that we are. It allows
us to become in touch with ourselves, and gives us a sense of individuality, despite all the minor
setbacks amongst our society.
Psychological space is the space in your mind that allows us to consciously and
unconsciously rationalize an idea to inflict an emotion on someone or ones self. An example
from the novel where psychological space is presented is when Ruth lies to Kathy about where
she got the pencil case. She says she got it from Miss Geraldine, but in reality she got it at the
Sales. Lets just agree. Lets just agree I got it at the Sale. Then she gave us all a knowing
smile (Ishiguro, p. 57). She lied about this to inflict jealous emotions upon Kathy. Ruths tone
when she said this gave off that instant vibe and feeling that she was in fact lying. Kathy said it
herself, it was like shed suddenly got up and hit me, and for the next few moments I felt hot
and chilly at the same time (Ishiguro, p. 57). As human beings we are able to notice and capture
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when these tones are being given off, especially when they inflict a negative impression. There
was a certain smile, a certain voice Ruth would usesometimes accompanied by a finger to the
lips or a hand raised stage-whisper style (Lind, n.d.). It is that body language that Kathy
portrays in this particular quote that evoked her emotion towards Ruths lie. In most cases, these
are the type of hints we give off when we present these body languages. Its as if we are almost
giving away our lie by presenting ourselves with certain types of body languages without
intentionally doing so. It goes to show how human beings use our critical thinking capabilities to
bring about emotional feelings upon someone else.
Emotional space is the most important one of all. When people feel things they start to
think beyond the borders provided to them, and when this occurs, they become of aware. When
you are aware then you start to question your surroundings and demand change where you see
fit. In Never Let Me Go the teachers such as, Miss Lucy, Miss Geraldine, or Madame seem to
play this role. They dont want their students to feel certain types of emotions because it will
then cause them to question their future; which will one day be the life of a donor. If the children
fully become aware that one day they will become donors and not be able to fulfill their
biological need to reproduce, they will then demand change. This would potentially tear down
the society that has already been set in place by the higher authority. Miss Lucy believed that
the children should be informed of their origins and their futures as fully and honestly as
possible, while Miss Emily believes that doing so would have prevented them from having
happy childhoods (Lind, n.d.). This quote states that informing the students such as Kathy, Ruth
and Tommy about their set future, would have caused them to grow up in a completely different
manner. This leads them to then think and question the bigger picture, why do they need to be
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donors? Their views and aspects of life would have been altered to something that their
Guardians did not want to be.
Slavery is a real life example of manipulative emotional tactics those in power use to
control other people. Slaves were prohibited from being educated. Slave owners, or as they refer
to themselves, property owners, didnt want their slaves thinking because they didnt want to
incite emotion. Which this would have caused them to question their surroundings and the
situations that they were being put through. It is hard to believe that slavery still exist up to this
day, it just seems like its a thing of the past, but it is definitely not. Today include illegal
immigrants forced to work without pay under threat of violence and teenage girls coerced to sell
sex and hand all the money to their pimps (Kristof). This was an article published just a couple
months ago and it really shows us that slavery continues to exist in our country and many of us
Americans dont even realize it. This connects back to the exact issue that the guardians tried to
avoid from keeping their students well informed of their future to be. The students dont really
have a choice if they want to be a donor or not, it is just their way of life. But in the case of
actual real life slaves, they can control some of their actions but the ownership of their body
belongs to someone else. Another example of manipulative emotional tactics is the issue of
womens equality. Throughout history women have generally been considered the lesser sex.
Their capabilities have been put into a tiny box and men dont like to give them chances to prove
their status as equal. For example, at a marketing company a male team lead doesnt want to
listen to a womens ideas on how to design a campaign. The man doesnt want the women to
give her ideas because this would prove that she design a company just as good or better than her
male team mates, thus proving that she is equal to them as a worker. If a woman is equal to a
man in the work place then she should receive equal pay and benefits. Relating this example
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back to the novel, the men are the teachers and the students are the women. People in charge of
societies keep control over people by limiting their ability to create and communicate in order to
restrict emotions and thoughts that might cause an uprising.
Throughout the novel Never Let Me Go, sexuality is a topic of experimentation for some
of the students. Kathy in particular, experiments with a young boy named Harry because she is
curious biologically and wants to feel a biological need which is important to us as humans. But
she ultimately does it because she wants to practice having sex with someone that she shares
no emotional connection with so that she will know what she is doing when she eventually falls
in love with that right person. This topic connects a lot with the present day issue of young teens,
male or female, experimenting with one another. Kathy ultimately wants to connect her space,
which in this case is her physical body, to her emotional body. The two inflict upon each other,
because what you do physically incites emotion, which in this case would be pleasure.
Physical, psychological and emotional space all depend on each other; it is as if they are
all different levels. Your psychological space is at the bottom, it is what defines everything
above. Its the critical thinking aspect of it, it gets things going. Then, your emotional space is
what connects the psychological space to the physical space, in a way it is like a bridge. Without
your emotional space you would not be able to come in touch with your psychological needs.
Finally it is your physical needs, it is how you act out everything overall. An example of this
would be when a person is feeling happy or excited, they tend to give off positive emotions or
actions such as dance, smile, laugh or joke around. You are portraying those feelings through
actions. But in regards to the novel, all of this adds up to a more negative approach. The whole
idea of physical, emotional and psychological space or feelings is trying to be prevented, or
trying to be stopped because we do not want to the characters to be critically thinking about the
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situations that surround them. Doing so, they then would question their surroundings and
potentially feel the pain of knowing that one day they will become donors. They would
physically stand up for themselves and object those who have created this society. This also
relates to the dehumanization of the people because this is all put in place to keep them not as
normal human beings, but as objects to the way that their world is ran and operated.
I believe that physical, psychological and emotional space in various aspects is what
makes us the human beings that we are. It allows us to become in touch with ourselves, and give
us a sense of individuality to cope with all the minor setbacks amongst our society. I connected
real life aspects of physical, emotional and psychological spaces to the examples and issues that
were occurring in the novel of Never Let Me Go. They all have their different levels and ideas to
what ultimately leads to the actual concept of the idea. Without psychological space we dont
have emotional space, or at least we wouldnt be able to enter our emotional space without some
type of psychological experience. Without either of these then we would not be able to connect
to our physical space. We all find a sense of individuality, independence, identification and
freedom in each of these aspect. Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made
a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself (Fierstein). This quotes
takes me back to Never Let Me Go, though their way of living is to be donors and they dont
know any different, they should accept no ones definition of their life. The characters of Never
Let Me Go do not seem to have that sense of individuality. They live in a world where they are
being completely dehumanized by their higher authority. However, they do not realize this
because this is their way of life. Lastly, we identify ourselves in many ways but when we
become, or allow ourselves to be dehumanized we lose our identity and freedom without really
being aware of it occurring.
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Works Cited
Lind, Abigail. Wang, Bella ed. "Never Let Me Go Study Guide: Summary and Analysis of
Chapters 7-10". GradeSaver, 26 December 2011 Web. 3 April 2014.
Ishiguro, Kazuo. Never Let Me Go. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. Print
Lind, Abigail. Wang, Bella ed. "Never Let Me Go Summary". GradeSaver, 26 December 2011
Web. 3 April 2014.