Bloggers Banter- Klara and the Sun

Yay! It's that time again! Another Bloggers Banter with Julz
Julz: Ok, I have to start off with the fact that I just plain didn’t get it.  As I mentioned in my review, I failed to grasp whatever point Ishiguro was trying to make.  What was your take?

Christine: Preface- I have purposefully stayed away from reviews and articles since I didn’t want to be influenced by their interpretations, so this might be repetitive of what’s already out there. Anyway, I found the book to be pretty allegorical- the sun represented God, the Cootings Machine evil, her bargains to help Josie prayers, etc… I don’t think he was necessarily advocating for religion, but more the idea of having faith or hope, even in what might seem absurd. I think there was also this sort of commentary on purity in the natural- the sun, the barn, the rural landscape, Rick’s lack of “liftedness”, etc…

Julz:  Look at you with the symbolism!  Never crossed my mind, but now that you point it out, I totally see it.
It pisses me off when authors never reveal why the world they created is in its current state.  Like why is Josie’s dad a “fascist” and why do kids need to be genetically modified to have their intellects “lifted?”

Christine: It definitely leaves you wanting more, that’s for sure.  I remember feeling that way when I read Never Let Me Go. I couldn’t decide if her dad did have fascist tendencies, of if Helen was being hyperbolic, since his way of life was so much different from theirs. I also wanted to know more about the genetic modification- maybe it was just this way of further dividing people, the class divide we see now grossly transcending to an intellectual one. I guess instead of plastic surgery people start to enhance their brains (so should we be pleased at the idea of values shifting to intelligence away from looks, or just disgusted by it all?).

JulzAh, see you definitely gleaned WAY more meaning than I did.  So was a Cootings machine just an effing paver?

Christine: Ha! Yeah, one that symbolizes all that is evil and wrong in the world, I guess. The irony is that Klara is a machine herself and represents a reliance on technology and industry, just like it also does (although she’s not directly polluting as it is).

Julz: I was also thoroughly confused when Klara’s perception became fragmented.  What was the point of her sight becoming “spatially segmented?”

Christine: I think it was because they removed some of her fluid to ruin the Cootings Machine, so we see her willingness to sacrifice her mechanical efficiency for Josie. I think she was also super overwhelmed during that whole episode to the city, between there being so many people, human emotions, and stimulation.

Julz: But her segmented vision occurred even when she was in the store, long before she sacrificed her fluid.

Christine: I think it changed, or even got worse, for a bit after they removed the fluid. Before that, I got that feeling that her vision was sort of divided into boxes to help her process things- a sort of grid. I think if we were watching the movie version it would be like some weird neon blue lines with little numbers on the sides doing calculations- the “AF filter.” But then after the fluid removal what she saw seemed to be reduced to actual shapes. That whole episode was strange.

Klara is basically taken out to pasture at the end, when Josie goes to college, after helping to save the day. I was so mad! But then it also seemed like the “normal” thing to do, since she was “just” a machine. I guess that’s another whole issue in this text- can AI take the place of a human? Klara was so sophisticated and seemed to feel emotional- should that have earned her a permanent role in the family?

What did you think of the parents, both Josie’s and Rick’s?

Julz: I thought there was something cold and calculating about Josie’s mom, where Rick’s mom was Chrissie’s polar opposite, flaky and in-your-face.  I didn’t have any particular feelings towards Josie’s dad other than a bit of curiosity to want to know more about him (like we mentioned above).

Christine: I had a lot of emotions regarding the plan to turn Klara into Josie- first I was seriously creeped out, but then really sad, since it showed such devastation. But then also selfish? What about you?

Julz: Having lost one child already, I can see why Josie’s mom would have resorted to such desperate tactics.  I am relieved they never got to that point…

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