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Assess the effectiveness of the last section as a conclusion to the novel.

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Introduction

Assess the effectiveness of the last section as a conclusion to the novel. When Stevens, a perfect English butler, decides to take a motoring trip away from the residence he has dearly served for decades, he embarks on a deep reflection of his past as well. As he drives further and further away from Darlington Hall, he begins to realise the reality of his journey through his life and questions his aims and accomplishments. Ishiguro effectively begins the last section of the novel with the technique of drawing a comparison between the literal and the figurative. Writing from as seaside town in Weymouth, Stevens introduces the element of suspense through him waiting for the pier lights to be switched on, however as readers we are left in suspense as to whether he meets Miss Kenton and whether or not she has shed any 'light' on his life. The last section of the novel as a conclusion is incredibly sad. Stevens never tells Miss Kenton that he loves her because he feels that it is too late. Listening to her talk about her husband and her daughter has made him realize how much time has passed, and how much opportunity lost. Stevens does ask Miss Kenton if she has ever thought of working again; she replies that she has, but now that she is going to have a grandchild, she wants to be nearby. ...read more.

Middle

I feel that Miss Kenton and Stevens almost have lead similar lives in relation to missing out on opportunities, she once believed getting married was "foolish" and anyone who did was "bound to be let down", yet she goes against her views eventually and does so. Conversely, once Miss Kenton leaves Darlington Hall and gets married she also leaves Stevens alone in the world of isolation. When she mentions being unhappy, he feels she has come back to him, in the sense that they again share the same emotion of unhappiness, this pleases him. As readers, we see this as callous however, with a life like Stevens's someone being at the same level of unhappiness brings him warmth as to feeling he is not alone. Miss Kenton denies his claim of being unhappy and her response leaves him silenced as suggested by the narrative. This may be what drives him to his change, or as I see it his true self-appearing on the surface. The leaving of the bus is an object in-which ishiguro uses to represent Stevens's past leaving him. All that remains of his past is Miss Kenton. The end of their reunion ends on the note of Stevens stating, "we may never meet again". Instantaneously Ishiguro goes on to subject of the pier lights being switched on and "a loud cheer' being given by the crowd 'to greet the event" this links in with the thoughts of the reader 'cheering' the fact that, Stevens has finally let go of his past. ...read more.

Conclusion

The overwhelming sadness of the ending is only slightly lifted by Stevens resolving to perfect the art of bantering; it seems a meagre consolation considering the irreparable losses he has experienced in life. Throughout the novel Stevens tends to be in a liminal state of mind, however in-order to bring the book to a so-called happy ending as do most novels, Ishiguro brings in the idea of him changing as a person. It is not clear, in the end, the extent to which Stevens realizes he has deceived himself. After all, as he never has known anything outside of his own limited existence, it may be difficult, if not impossible, for him to fully appreciate what he has missed. Critics suggest, "The 'Remains of the Day' is a story both beautiful and cruel"2. In summary, the novel is primarily about a man who puts absolute trust and devotion in a man who makes drastic mistakes. In the totality of his professional commitment, Stevens fails to pursue the one woman with whom he could have had a fulfilling and loving relationship. "His prim mask of formality cuts him off from intimacy, companionship and understanding"3. As a conclusion to the novel the last section is slightly optimistic, however the last section emphasizes the main plot of a tragic story of regret and missed opportunities. 1 York Notes, "Remains of the Day". 2 Rushdie, S, The Remains of the Day: Historical Analysis Essay, www.acadeon.com/lib/paper 3 [Same as above] Azmina Thanda English Literature Year 13 ...read more.

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