Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day"

1465 Words6 Pages
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro is a fictional novel about regrets and lost chances. This book is Ishiguro’s third published novel and has received the Man Booker Prize for fiction in 1989. The Remains of the Day uses several literary techniques such as tone, flashbacks, symbolism, and foreshadowing to emphasize the core themes of dignity, regret, and loyalty. The plot mainly revolves around human weaknesses and misjudgments. The Remains of the Day is a first person narrative of an English butler named Stevens on 6-day trip to the English countryside. Stevens could be considered as the “perfect” butler due to his serious personality, exemplary work ethic, and strong sense of loyalty. Stevens has been working as a butler at Darlington Hall for 34 years and was encouraged by his current employer Mr.Farraday to partake in the trip. Throughout his trip, Stevens recollects and reflects on his past experiences working under his former employer Lord Darlington. Stevens highly reveres Lord Darlington as a great and distinguished gentleman. However, as he continues to reflect on his time under Lord Darlington, Stevens starts to have doubts concerning Lord Darlington’s greatness. Stevens also reminisces about his relationship with a former housekeeper of Darlington Hall, Miss Kenton. During his trip, Stevens visits Miss Kenton with the hopes of persuading her to return to Darlington Hall, only to find that she had already moved on with her life. After realizing the mistakes he had committed in the past, Stevens vows to make the best of what time he has left with his new employer Mr.Farraday. The novel has seven chapters, in the form of a diary, each representing a day or part of a day during Steven’s trip. Stevens constantly s... ... middle of paper ... ...otions. Overall, the various literary devices such as tone, foreshadowing, flashbacks, and symbolism effectively emphasized the major themes of the novel. The Remains of the Day is a sad story of man who thought he was doing the right thing in his life only to realize later that he was wrong. Despite being a sad story, the novel ends in a slightly optimistic way. As Stevens sits on a pier contemplating his mistakes, he vows to learn “bantering” to get closer with his current employer Mr.Farraday. Even though Stevens had made mistakes in the past, he accepts those mistakes and hopes to make the best of what remains of the day. Works Cited Ishiguro, Kazuo. The Remains of the Day. Vintage International [Itunes E-book Edition]. New York: Vintage SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Remains of the Day.” SparkNotes.com. SparkNotes LLC. n.d.. Web. 22 Aug. 2011.
Open Document