The Remains of the Day Study Guide

The Remains of the Day Study Guide

Original title:
The Remains of the Day

“The Remains of the Day” is a novel of the British writer of Japanese origin, Kazuo Ishiguro, published in 1989. “The Remains of the Day” is called the most English novel of the end of the 20th century.

This novel is about the butler Stevens who has dedicated his life to the loyal service of Lord Darlington. But now the house in which he has been serving for many years belongs to an American. And he goes to the former housekeeper of Lord Darlington to persuade her to return to work. Six days' journey brings him memories.

Mr. Stevens is almost a real adherent to the code of ministry. He is completely devoted to his work, as nothing else exists for him. Stevens tirelessly improves his skills; there are a lot of thoughts about the matter, something like what is dignity, who should be a “great” butler, who are a “real” gentlemen and what are Great Houses. In general, such things for him are more likely a matter of the past, the extinction of traditions and advent of new world order are today`s reality.

Stevens is obsessed with a truly Japanese desire for excellence, he gives himself all the work and does not notice the obvious and, perhaps, more important things - that life is passing by and that one of his employees is in love with him.

“The rest of the day” is a detailed, expanded to the size of the novel, the definition of the word “serve.” This book is rather an attempt to reflect on the questions: what is the goal? To serve?

Kazuo Ishiguro has the ability to give several meanings to one gesture at once - the subtext in his novels is always wider and more interesting than the actual text. Thus for many readers, the description of the life of a butler at first may seem boring and unworthy of attention. This is a book that cannot be judged by the first pages. But if you continue reading, you will find a deeper understanding of this piece of art.

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