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...
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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.
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.
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