The Remains of the Day
“The evening is the best part of the day.” This simple sentence represents that the best part of like should be old age where one can look back upon their life with a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction. ‘The Remains of the Day’ by Kazuo Ishiguro follow the journey of a former butler, Stevens, who finally comes to the realisation that he has wasted his life away by serving himself unwillingly to his former employer, Lord Darlington. Towards the end of his journey to reunite with his love and former housemaid, Miss Kenton, this idea that old age should be the best part of his life becomes apparent and leads him to regret the loss of Miss Kenton and what could have been a happy relationship.
After his literal and metaphorical journey, Stevens comes to the realisation that, in the twilight of his life, he is full of regret. This regret is first introduced at the beginning of his journey when he comes across a “vagrant” who told him to visit the top of the mountain. As Stevens formally declined the man said “a couple more years and it might be too late” and this is presenting the idea that is Stevens just a butler and nothing more and that he has made nothing of his life. When Stevens visited Mortimer’s pond in Dorset the pond acted as a mirror reflecting the sky which metaphorically allowed him to reflect on what his life has become. As Stevens continues his series of flashbacks we understand that he is devoted to Lord Darlington ad this is what all ‘great’ butlers do. This ‘greatness’ Stevens is determined to attain will cause Stevens to follow Lord Darlington and does not form his own opinions. Stevens is an unreliable narrator as he under-exaggerates main events in the novel to make Lord Darlington appear a better employer. Stevens believes it was an honour to serve Lord Darlington however when asked “You mean you actually used to work for that Lord Darlington?” Stevens denies that he was employed by him as Stevens in ashamed of...
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