The Remains Of Mr. Stevens Identity

839 words - 4 pages

Kazuo Ishiguro in his literary work, “The Remains Of The Day”, implements a complex interplay between author and narrator. The interplay allows readers to gain perspective as to the true nature of, Mr. Stevens, the narrators identity. Mr. Stevens in various moments of the novel unconsciously disengages from his usual use of deception and tricky verbiage to reveal his identity as a sympathetic, tragic character that falls victim to his circumstances, which lost any personal identification because of a codependent relationship to his profession and more specifically to Lord Darlington.
Mr. Stevens is a victim of his circumstances. He develops a normal emotional detachment, which is a product of his culture. Much like his father, Stevens is master of disengaging from personal identification in exchange for an attachment to a master they deem wise and honorable. It is within man’s professionalism where man’s identity is rooted for Stevens. Steven’s father is the personification of the Hayes Society belief, “‘dignity in keeping with his position’…I believe one may begin to distinguish what it is that separates a ‘great’ butler from a merely complaisant one”(Ishiguro, 42). Stevens is a product of a generation that believed the great butlers were created in England for they identify themselves by their ability to emotionally detach from self-identity for the job.
Later, he mentions that for his generation and that of his father any decent gentleman will wear their professionalism as they wear a suit. His metaphor dictates that any man who doesn’t root himself in his duty is performing the equivalent of tearing of his suit and running around screaming. So rather, men of past generations realized,
Each of us harbored the desire to make our own small contribution to the creation of a better world, and saw that, as professionals, the surest means of doing so would be to serve the great gentlemen of our times in whose hands civilization had been entrusted (116).

By serving and embedding their identity in their master they themselves became great men making a difference. For modern generations it seems unhealthy to wholeheartedly enmesh ones identity to that of another, much less through domestic servitude. Yet, for Stevens it explains his inability to detach from his profession and specifically from Lord Darlington.
It was not unique to be emotionally detached when one is of the belief that to serve a great gentleman whole heartedly, mind and body is to inadvertently serve humanity. That is the mindset that imprisons Stevens from...

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