Humans, Androids, Gods. Kazuo Ishiguro's Simulacra
This paper discusses Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel Klara and the Sun, which tells the story of the eponymous Klara, an android who becomes the companion to a sickly child. The novel tackles the politics and ethics of human enhancement through technology while simultaneously challenging the anthropocentric view of the world. The latter point is discernible in the decision to narrate the story through the eyes and vocabulary of a human simulacrum, that is through Klara’s naïve yet attentive perspective. This paper argues that Ishiguro concocts a moral and oblique apologue on the supposed uniqueness of humans through a clever manipulation of generic tropes and rhetorical devices, both of which go into constructing Klara’s peculiar gaze. The analysis will also benefit from a recontextualization of the novel’s themes and forms within the author’s body of work: if The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go are evidence of an interest in the perspective of subsidiary and inhuman figures like, respectively, butlers and clones, Klara represents both a continuation and a revolution on said themes: initially moving in between the same subdued territories, but ultimately upending the very same narrative tropes on which much of Ishiguro’s fiction is built.
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