Never Let Me Go: Childhood Mythology

by allthingsace

Internet Wallpaper Image of Norfolk, England

Childhood mythology– stories we believe as children that help piece the world together, or better understand the world. On page 65 Kathy H. explains, “A lost corner. That’s what she called it and that was what started it. Because at Hailsham, we had our own “Lost Corner” up on the third floor, where lost property was kept; if you lost or found anything, that’s where you went. Someone– I can’t remember who it was– claimed after the lesson that what Miss Emily had said was that Norfolk was England’s “lost corner,” where all the lost property found in the country ended up. Somehow this idea caught on and soon had become accepted fact virtually throughout our entire year.”
When I was little there were more myths and stories that constructed my world than there are now. For example; as a little girl my sister and I spent lots of time exploring my mother’s amour. The amour, a large structure that was made up of four three-foot by six-foot closets, purchased no doubt from IKEA, is a staple of my childhood landscape. My sister and I used to go in there and search around my mother’s belongings, observe ourselves for hours in its mirrored doors, and stealthily dip into my mother’s make-up and perfume, which was loaded on a shelf on the far right of the amour. Interestingly enough, without making any connection between the fact that my mother may be on to our meddling, we were informed that a snapping turtle lived on that shelf. As a child I could believe something unknown might live on that shelf because the back of the shelf could not be seen without the help of a flashlight due to the fact that above the shelf hung a plethora of blouses and button down oxford shirts. And so, subsequent ventures into my mother’s closet, knowing that the snapping turtle was in there, was an opportunity to band together with my sister, trespass against my mother, and get a thrill riddled with excitement and fear.
Until one day, long after my sister and I had stopped rummaging through my mother’s closet and had started spending our pocket change on cheap eye-liner and nail polish, it clicked. There was no snapping turtle in the back of the amour. There never was. At that moment of realization the unreal became more real and the significance of this myth to my sentimental body was magnified.
SImilarly, Ishiguro cites the impact of mythology on childhood sentiments when Kathy H. and Ruth are recollecting on their idea of Norfolk as a lost corner; a place where all the lost things in the country go. Ruth remembers the effect of the myth, “…when we lost something precious, and we’d looked and looked and still couldn’t find it, then we didn’t have to be completely heartbroken. We still had that last bit of comfort, thinking one day when we were grown up, and we were free to travel around the country, we could always go and find it again in Norfolk.” (66)
Following up with my last entry, (where I was suggesting that these students may be of a different species, other than human) I would have to say that if theses students are not human, their childhood mythology, perhaps better described as a developmental strategy, strikes a fine tuned human chord.