Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go and Ridley Scott’s film Blade Runner both explore a
dystopian world where the main characters are clones and replicants of “real humans”. The personalities
and relationships developed by the "clones", “replicants” and "normal humans" contribute in exploring
the idea of what it means to “be human”, the impact art has on the cloned humans’ social status, and the
unjust society we live in.
In the novel and the film, Ishiguro and Scott explore what it “means to be human” by comparing
normal human qualities to those of the replicants and clones. In the film, for example, Deckard is told he
has “done a man’s job” when he goes on a manhunt and kills the replicants. Despite the fact that Deckard
appears to be a normal human, he is actually a replicant and it is ironic how he kills his own people when
the “normal humans” are the ones that are supposed to hunt down these replicants. By making it his job, it
makes it easier for the police to get rid of the replicants and gives Deckard false hope that he is a real
human and not a replicant. Like Scott, Ishiguro in the novel tells us how normal people believe that the
clones are not able to possess any kind of human emotion, yet they are perfectly capable of this and we
see this in Kathy and Tommy’s relationship when they are at Norfolk and Tommy is “pleased” when
Kathy finds her record, but wishes “he’d found it”. Because of how the kids are raised in Hailsham, it
makes them intelligent and they develop long-lasting relationships which makes them more believable
and sympathetic than the “normal humans”. It is often difficult for the kids at Hailsham, however, to
know who they actually came from and can make them think they came from”Junkies, prostitutes, winos,
tramps, and convicts” (166). For the clones, it is difficult to live with the fact that they are “not human”
and have no idea where they came from, yet, they have to live with this fact and create their own
identities. In both the film and the novel, we see how these clones and replicants are often more relatable
and more sympathy is actually shown to them because of how “real” they actually act and how they are
no different from normal humans (see fig.1).
Fig. 1. “Blade Runner.” Courtesy Warner Bros.
When Deckard is chasing the prostitute it shows how the art of dancing in a pole is often viewed as bad
and it gives the replicates a lower social status than the rest of the world.
Throughout the novel and the film, we see how the human replicants and clones are expected to
not exhibit any kind of human emotions and creativity, and this often determines how other people view
them. In Hailsham, for example, creating art was viewed very highly by the guardians and how good you
were at "creating" had...