Book Analysis: The Remains of the Day

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One who is devoted to their duty possesses a praised quality that is held in great respect, but that quality becomes far more impracticable as the possessor takes the idea to an extreme, thus neglecting their own ambition. The British novel, The Remains of the Day, written by Kazuo Ishiguro describes the life of Stevens, a butler who devoted the majority of his life serving his employer, Lord Darlington. There are times when devotion to duty is preferred over a devotion to desire. However, many would believe that the preferable devotion is one that is directed toward something or someone that is just. Stevens’ devotion to duty over his own desires is an absurd quality that cost him to miss out on life. Steven devotion is so strong that he views his job as a butler in terms of lifestyle instead of a profession Secondly Steven sacrifices a romantic relationship with Miss Kenton. Thirdly, his devotion is so great that he is blind to the fact his boss is a Nazi Stevens’ devotion to Lord Darlington was all-encompassing. Being a butler was not just a profession to Stevens; it was a lifestyle, almost an obsession. Ordinarily, a person will act in a professional manner during work hours and then “let their hair down” after work, meaning that they would act less freely and less properly then they would during work hours. Stevens kept a serious and repressed countenance around others at all times, all for the sake of professionalism. This was a belief he expressed by saying, “ A butler of any quality must be seen to inhabit his role, utterly and fully; he cannot be seen casting it aside one moment simply to don it again the next as though it were nothing more than a pantomime costume" (169). This makes it clear that Stevens did not act in such a manner by choice but because he saw it as a necessity to accurately carry out his profession. Due to his dedication to appearing professional at all times, Stevens held in his emotions and desires. He did this so well that he could...
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