The Novel Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

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    Jan 26, 2013
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The book is about Steven, an English butler who has worked at Darlington Hall for thirty-four years. An English man devoted to his work with proud and dignity.

Steven decides to take a break from his work which his employer Mr. Farraday has suggested him to take. To go on a road-trip to the West Country of England. The reason of his journey is to visit Miss Kenton, a former housekeeper at Darlington Hall who has left her post twenty years ago. He receives a letter from her and believes that perhaps she wants to return to her post as housekeeper at Darlington Hall.

During the journey Steven retells memories about the time and after World War two when he was working as the head butler at  Darlington Hall, owned by Lord Darlington. He describes the big dinner parties and the people who had come to stay there. He also retell constantly about his relationship with Miss Kenton and their childish disagreements over housework affairs. Even though they have disagreements it turns out that they do care for each other. However, Steven is too proud to tell her how he feels about her.

One of the big themes of the novel is about “dignity” and how Steven constantly retells the meaning of the word throughout the whole novel. What makes a great butler according to Steven is to have dignity which is to not abandon the professionalism of being a butler. Unfortunately his dignity takes over his personal life.

The title “The Remains of the Day” in relation to the theme is that it tells how much Steven, the protagonist regrets that he has put his dignity fully to his work before his feelings to the woman he could have a relationship with. His devotion to work as a great butler has taken over his life and he regrets it.

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