The Remains of the Day and the Outsider as International Novels

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 458
  • Published : November 14, 2009
Open Document
Text Preview
‘I am a writer who wishes to write international novels. What is an ‘international’ novel? I believe it to be one, quite simply, that contains a vision of life that is of importance to people of varied backgrounds around the world. It may concern characters who jet across continents, but may just as easily be set firmly in one small locality.’ – Kazuo Ishiguro How do Ishiguro’s ‘The Remains of the Day’ and Camus’ ‘The Outsider’ convey this vision of life? Narration is used as a tool in The Remains of the Day and The Outsider to reveal the main characters’ symbolic importance in reference to the meaning of life. Both Stevens and Meursault appear to be simple and direct at first impression. As his father struggles through the aftermath of a stroke, Stevens tells Mr. Cardinal that he ‘is perfectly alright’ (p. 109) to please him. Equally, Meursault tells Raymond he 'didn't mind' (p.33) their friendship because ‘he seemed pleased’ (p. 33). Both characters appear to be straightforward and aim simply to please. However, the first-person narrative styles allow the reader to explore beyond this mask. Stevens’ narration is full of detail and analysis. He meets Mr. Farraday’s demands not merely as well as possible, but as well as ‘humanly possible’ (p.8). He cannot simply be boastful, but ‘unduly boastful’ (p.6). Stevens’ narration reveals a far more complex character than his communication with others shows. Meursault’s narration however, matches the image he displays to everyone in his world. ‘The Outsider’ begins with, ‘Mother died today. Or maybe yesterday, I don’t know' (p. 9). He uses this short sentence style and detached tone in his public and private faces. Ishiguro and Camus are using their characters as metaphors for their individual stances on life. The Remains of the Day contains the message that life must be explored and lived because it is full of hidden complexities. Equally, the reader can see from his narration that Stevens is full of hidden...
tracking img