"The Remains" Of The Day By Jaros"Aw Michalski

1742 words - 7 pages

In numerous works of literature, one may encounter a protagonist who undertakes actions that eventually prove to be completely wrong thus wasting his or her life, yet does not lose reader's sympathy. Such is the case with Mr Stevens - the main character of The Remains of the Day, the third novel by Kazuo Ishiguro. The novel tells the story of a perfect English butler, whose most important aim in life is to retain 'dignity in keeping with his position' by all costs. The costs prove themselves to be extremely high, for Stevens is practically a clinical case of repressed emotions.In an opening scene of the novel, set in the autumn 1956, the reader encounters Stevens about to begin a motoring trip to the West Country. Encouraged by his new American employer, the new owner of the Darlington Hall, to take a few days off, the elderly butler plans to meet the former housekeeper - Miss Kenton (at present Mrs Benn, for she left to get married several years before the World War II). He claims to be traveling for solely professional purposes - he wants to persuade Miss Kenton to return to Darlington Hall and accept her former post as a housekeeper - yet it is clear that he has something more on his mind. The real reason to start the journey seems to be the letter from the former housekeeper who is separated from her husband, Mr Benn, after years of rather unhappy marriage. Through a series of reminiscences Stevens plunges in, the reader learns about his complicated relations with Miss Kenton. It becomes quite obvious that the butler and the housekeeper were in love with each other - unfortunately, the feeling was left unrealized. Although Miss Kenton seemed to be aware of her affection and dropped hints to Stevens on several occasions, Stevens' principles did not allow him not only to consciously understand them and accept Miss Kenton's feelings, but also to admit to himself that he actually loved her, too. His restraint and sense of dignity made him suppress his emotions completely. However, it is clear that he does have feelings. It is especially visible in a scene where Miss Kenton enters Stevens' room and sees him reading a book. She insists on being told what kind of a book it is, and, seeing that the butler is not willing to tell, she persistently presses on, playfully accusing Stevens of reading a 'racy' novel, until she actually wrestles the book out of his hand and finds that it is a sentimental romance. After describing the scene (marvelously played by Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins in the film adaptation of the novel), Stevens goes on to justify his choice of literature to the reader by claiming that good command of language is, however not of the greatest importance, a desirable quality of a good butler, and 'such works tend to be written in good English, with plenty of elegant dialogue of much practical value'. Nevertheless it is quite clear that the excuses Stevens makes (to the reader in the novel, and to Miss Kenton in the film) are not...

Find Another Essay On "The Remains" of the Day by Jaros"aw Michalski

Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day"

1458 words - 6 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

"what To Do With The Remains Of Your Day?" Analysis Of The Book: "the Remains Of The Day" By Kazuo Ishiguro.

3006 words - 12 pages ocean of life.This lack of reflection is a key theme throughout Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day. The main character and narrator of the book, Mr. Stevens, is a prime example of the necessity of reflection. He has spent his entire life in the lower rank of the English class system, doing the bidding of others and does so by negating his own feelings and emotions to the point where he loses a part of his humanity as seen with the death of Miss

Book Review of Ishiguro’s "The Remains of the Day"

548 words - 2 pages Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, was written about 20 years ago. But it is still live and kicking because this novel could of had a very dry and humorless plot if it was not written by Ishiguro. The main character, Mr. Stevens, is an English butler that has spent a good chunk of his career working for Lord Darlington of Darlington Hall. Lord Darlington is a very distinguished man of the English aristocracy. Mr. Stevens worked for this

The Assault by Harry Mulisch, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and 1984 by George Orwell

2420 words - 10 pages The Assault by Harry Mulisch, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and 1984 by George Orwell In the three novels studied, The Assault by Harry Mulisch, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, and 1984 by George Orwell, the protagonists are controlled by outside influences that force them to confront their pasts and memories. However, each character handles their memories in juxtaposing ways. While all three

Unreliable narration in The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and Love and Death in Long Island by Gilbert Adair. Vanderbilt.

1443 words - 6 pages 4/15/03Different Strokes for Different FolksPeople make friends and acquaintances with similar backgrounds and similar viewpoints. When a story is told, the audience takes it for granted that the storyteller values the same things as they do. If the person has different beliefs and values, does that make the story less valid? The narrators in The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and Love and Death in Long Island by Gilbert Adair are both

A Close Reading of Pages 100 to 115 of The Remains of the Day

1435 words - 6 pages   "Examine pages 100 to 115 of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel "The Remains of the day" in detail.  Show by a close reading of key scenes within this how the novelist's language and form both reveals, and conceals, central issues of character, emotion, politics and memory."   Pages100-115 of Ishiguro's novel describe the beginning of a journey to the west country taken by a man called Stevens, (a model English butler

The Remains of the Day: Contrasting the Upper and Lower Classes

1593 words - 7 pages In The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro places Mr. Stevens’ stay at the Taylors’ house directly after Lord Darlington’s abrupt dismissal of two Jewish staff members, and he uses different tones and the repetition of key phrases in the two incidents to contrast the generosity, respect, and hospitality of the lower class with the racism, cruelty, and emotional detachment of the upper class nobles. Ishiguro especially contrasts the way the two

A Professional Literature Review of Incorporating Music Into The Economics Classroom: A Comparison of Two Teaching Methods” By: Jane Aw Yang Huey, Mara University Malaysia

524 words - 2 pages "Incorporating Music Into The Economics Classroom: A Comparison of Two Teaching Methods"Teaching can be done in many different ways, but this article particularly sought out the practice of learning by music. In a Principles of Economics class, some office management students were taught by the use of music lyrics. A study was done, one class taught with the inclusion of music lyrics and the other taught by the typical "chalk and board" practice

The Story Remains The Same

2178 words - 9 pages The Story Remains The SameAre you believing the morning papers? War is coming back in style! There's generals here, advisors there, and Russians nibbling everywhere, the chessboard's filling up with red, we make more profits when we blow off their heads! Economy is looking bad let's start another war! When ya get drafted! Fan the fires of racist hatred we want total war! When ya get drafted! Drooling fingers panic buttons, playing with missiles

Techniques Used For the Diagnostic of Ancient Tuberculosis Remains

1937 words - 8 pages Summary Tuberculosis is today one of the most spread infectious human diseases, being caused by a group of closely related species included in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTBC). Molecular studies targeting tuberculosis affected human remains are important in order to understand the evolution of specific genomic sites related to virulence. The aim of this review is to describe several techniques that are useful for theconfirmation of

Fear As I gradually slurped the remains of what was

916 words - 4 pages Fear As I gradually slurped the remains of what was left of my soup bowl I decided to polish off the remaining pools of my thick cold chicken soup trying to postpone my greatest fear of all. I decided I wouldn't talk at the table because I was just thinking about the loathsome night I would encounter."Honey, lighten up a bit, its Christmas tomorrow! You never know Santa Clause might have bought you that train set you have been asking for all

Similar Essays

Remains Of The Day Essay

957 words - 4 pages AJL Fading World of Greatness The only person that Stevens can blame for his impenetrable shell of professionalism is himself. Throughout his life he had one duty, "to provide good service"(The Remains of the Day pg.199). This central butler's duty and the professionalism that it encompasses form the undercurrent of the novel that pull Stevens away from all significant relationships, principally those with his father and Miss Kenton. This burden

Remains Of The Day Essay

712 words - 3 pages Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day is about the struggles one man, Mr. Stevens, has with relationships with his father, Miss Kenton and his employer, but the struggle he focuses on the most is to be a “great butler.” He pushes himself physically to work as hard as he can, as well as mentally to determine what makes a butler great. Stevens sacrifices all normal human encounters with those around him in order to be an

The Remains Of The Day, By Kazuo Ishiguro

1149 words - 5 pages The Remains of the Day is a fictional novel written by Kazuo Ishiguro. Ishiguro was born in Nagasaki, Japan in 1954 and moved with his family to England in 1960. The Remains of the Day contains several literary techniques such as tone, flashbacks, symbolism, and foreshadowing used to emphasize the core themes of dignity, regret, and loyalty. The Remains of the Day is a first person narrative of an English butler named Stevens on 6-day trip to

"Remains Of The Day" By Kazou Ishiguro: Stevens' Dignity.

882 words - 4 pages reasons in order to offer her a job at Darlington Hall. However, the underlying meaning, seen in Stevens's emotionless concealing language, is that he has more than professional feelings for Miss Kenton. Stevens does his best the convince himself as well as the reader that his intentions are strictly professional, saying "I would of course have to write to Miss Kenton to tell her I might be passing by" (20). He puts his emotions aside and states "I