The classic theme of good versus evil is found in the novel. . It is represented by the idea of conflict between the civilize world and the savage world as well as the contrast of light and darkness. A minor theme is that everyone has their own ?heart of darkness? ? the belief that within each individual there is an element of evil
The exposition serves to introduce the protagonist
Though they occur, technically, over a period of six days, the complications oscillate continuously through Stevens? recollections of the past and descriptions of the present. In describing recollections, the author builds up to Stevens? emotional realization.
Stevens? description of his father is used to show how he has molded himself in the image of his father. In gaining the false ideals of ?dignity? that he speaks of, Stevens? has become emotionally dead, hiding his feelings behind a mask of excessive professionalism.
The conference is used to highlight Stevens? views on dignity, contrasting his views of it being associated with emotional restraint and composure with his later views of it being pride. His father?s death foreshadows this change in view.
The silver at Darlington Hall symbolizes Stevens himself, being exceptionally well polished at the peak of his career, eventually becoming stained by the end. His need to replace Mr.Farraday?s fork symbolizes the change in himself.
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