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"Extreme emotional control and the damage it can afflict".

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Introduction

"Extreme emotional control and the damage it can afflict" Stevens kept his emotions under a tight restraint for all his life, he had donned the mask of an imperturbable butler, denying and unexpressing his own beliefs, substituting them for those of his employers, such as Lord Darlington. In the novel Stevens is always keeping to himself, never seeking advise or asking for moral support from anyone, as if he doesn't need it. Even as a narrator he never really mentions any worried he has involving his personal life, until the end of the book. However he is always telling the reader about some, almost irrelevant, problems he faces profession-wise, such as flaws he has been making in his work, like giving Mr. Farraday a slightly dirty fork, Stevens recalls the moment as one in which he felt "genuine embarrassment". Stevens overreaction to such a petty incident only shows us the over perfectionism he incorporates in his work, and how completely obsessed he is by it. He exerts this extreme emotional control on himself to keep him in a completely professional mindset, so that he is calm in any possible situation. ...read more.

Middle

The arrival of Miss Kenton at Darlington Hall was a big chance for Stevens to develop a private relationship with someone, but Stevens doesn't allow Ms. Kenton to interfere in his life because of his impermeable nature, which resistant to any kind of affection. Ms Kenton tries to bring flowers into Stevens room to brighten it up, but Stevens rejection of Ms. Kenton's offer, which he thought of as being rude, elucidates their relationship to us and how Stevens always fails to recognise Ms Kenton's efforts to make his life better. He is alarmed by Ms Kenton's displays of warmth and personality, and thinks of her to be ignorant, because she is always trying to interfere with his personal life. However Ms. Kenton probably shows more dignity than Stevens because she makes her decisions on her own thoughts, beliefs and values, unlike Stevens who does everything in the best interest from his employers. When a doctor tells Stevens that his father had died, he replies by saying, "Thank you, sir...however if I may, there is a most distinguished gentleman downstairs in need of your attention." ...read more.

Conclusion

Slowly we see Stevens mask, as a perfectly poised butler crumbling leaving the real, sad, disillusioned man who Stevens really is. Stevens achieved nothing in his life apart from, regret and loss. The extreme emotional control he placed over himself resulted in no avail, only sadness. He is an example of a man consumed by professional desires, which in his case was dignity. He was too benighted to realise the consequences of what he was really doing, ignoring chances given to him to triumph over his designated fate of loneliness. By the end of the novel he realises that he has nowhere else to go and knows that he will always be confined inside the walls of Darlington Hall, in a profession which is part of a bygone era, like silver polish companies like Griffin & Co. which was shut down. He realises that the rest of his life is meaningless and that he should learn the art of bantering (he still uses the word "bantering" which is a very formal and old fashioned, like Stevens, word rather than using something informal) because it is useful to use in conversation, and it will also "pleasantly surprise" his employer, upon his return. Kritank Gupta 1 ...read more.

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