The Remains of the Day

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The Remains of the Day- How to Deal with Regret and Loss

The novel The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro is a first-person narration of an English butler named Stevens. He recalls the past thirty-four years he has worked as a butler at Darlington Hall in England on his road trip. He is going to visit Miss Kenton, who used to be the housekeeper at Darlington Hall, before she gets married, because he receives a letter from her and he believes that the letter implies she wants to be back at Darlington Hall. After they meet each other and have a wonderful conversation, Stevens understands that regret and loss are inevitable parts of life and all he can do is try his best to make a satisfying ending. Stevens, who is a butler of Darlington Hall has served Lord Darlington, who is a great English gentleman, and Mr. Farraday, who is an American gentleman. In Stevens’ point of view, he believes that he has served humanity by serving “a great gentleman.” But lurking in his memory are doubts about the true nature of Lord Darlington’s “greatness” and graver doubts about his own faith in the man he served at the end of the story. He devotes most of his life to Lord Darlington and he thinks Lord Darlington is the one of the greatest gentlemen in England. The reason why Stevens believes this is that Lord Darlington usually holds lots of parties and invites lots of people to his parties. But one day, his friend Mr. Cardinal, who is the godson of Lord Darlington, tells him that Lord Darlington “gathered at this moment the British Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and the German Ambassador”(Ishiguro, 221) for a meeting in the drawing room because he has a misunderstanding of Nazis. After that, Lord Darlington is no longer respected by many people, and dies soon after that. When Stevens realized that his employer has made this serious mistake, he begins to wonder if serving him was worth it or not. Furthermore, Stevens even doesn’t have a family when he is...
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