84 pages 2 hours read

Kazuo Ishiguro

Klara and the Sun

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2021

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Themes

Fear of Loneliness

Nearly every character in Klara and the Sun is working to stave off loneliness. Preventing the loneliness of isolated children is the AF’s programmed purpose. Chrissy, Rick, Paul, and Josie are all motivated in different ways by a fear of loneliness. Paul avoids loneliness by joining a homogenous community. Manager wanders the junkyard in her retirement, hoping to come across old AFs she once knew. Vance still has feelings for Helen but humiliates her in retaliation for the loneliness she made him feel. Helen, on the other hand, has chosen loneliness, telling Klara “there are all kinds of other very good reasons why, in a life like mine, one might prefer loneliness. I’ve often made such a choice in the past” (152). She accepts loneliness because it might mean a better life for Rick and because it allows her to avoid her guilt and past mistakes.

Chrissy plans to replace her sick daughter with an android if she dies. She has felt grief and loneliness before, when Sal died, and desperately wants to avoid it a second time, telling Klara “I came through it with Sal, but I can’t do it again” (210).

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