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Speculating About Causes in Never Let Me Go

Prompt: We have read, heard and seen many strange things about life inside and outside Hailsham over the last nine weeks, but perhaps nothing is as surprising to readers as the revelations surrounding the outcome of every student’s life as first publically discussed by Miss Lucy.  As we follow the kids’ young lives and growth, we are also exposed to various social codings that, just as always, influence and even control their perceptions and actions.  How does this happen in the novel? Using at least two major examples from the story, speculate about how these students come to accept their roles as donors and carers. Indeed, what are the hegemonic [sic] values at Hailsham?  In other words, in what seems to be the complete absence of physical coercion during and after their time at the school, how do Kathy H., Ruth, Tommy and the other Hailsham “students” learn to accept their pre-programmed lives (and deaths) without complaint, and how can they can they see these lives as “just” or “fair”?

Essential Features:

– a focused presentation of the phenomenon noted in the prompt above that…

– uses concrete examples and/or dialog from NLMG

– clearly defines any key terms in the subject issue

– uses consistent labels to shorthand the proposed causes

– considers your intended audience

– a clearly defined position on the causes that …

– is clearly arguable

– uses a thesis statement to make your assessment of the causes that is…

– appropriately focused, qualified and unambiguous

– or uses a controlling idea statement or rhetorical question to direct the reader 

– a clearly defined structure

– Exposition/Narration (describe the phenomenon and establish its existence)

– Partition (establish thesis) (forecasting the essay is optional)

– Confirmation (of proposed causes, logically sequenced and defended)

– Refutation (consideration of questions, objections, alternative causes)

        (the alternatives may be considered before proposed causes)

– Conclusion (sums up, recaps your argument)

– plausible reasons for a causal analysis that…

– is logically and factually supported by textual examples

– targets fallacious reasoning, implausibility, thin support of alternatives

– follows MLA Internal Citation rules (SMG 709-738 )

– an effective conclusion must…

– answer any rhetorical or other questions remaining 

specify one specific or type or set of cause(s) as the strongest


– this essay is another form of critical analysis, not a review or summation of the text or story

– in other words remember that your audience has read the text and knows the plot

– be sure to establish your ethos before using any “slanted” language

– use transitions to guide the reader through the essay, especially any alternative causes