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Presentation of Growing and Changing Relationships in A Room with a View and The Remains of the Day

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Introduction

Examine the ways in which the two authors present the growing and changing relationships of the two couples. Both Ishiguro and Forster present troubled relationships within their novels. However, Forster's novel is essentially a classic love story and thus includes a happy ending in which the couple he presents to his readers (Lucy and George) are together at the end of the novel, and readers assume they will spend the rest of their life together. In contrast, the relationship between Stevens and Miss Kenton that Ishiguro presents to readers of "The Remains of the Day" is very troubled, particularly due to the repressive nature of Stevens and they never become romantically involved, which helps to emphasise the idea of missed opportunities, which is a key theme of Ishiguro's novel. The two authors also present their respective relationships through very different narratives. Forster writes as an omniscient 3rd person narrator. In doing this, Forster often gives the readers presents situations and feelings from Lucy's viewpoint, which helps the readers to understand George and Lucy's relationship more easily. The 1st person narrative from Steven's viewpoint that Ishiguro uses in his novel is a contrast. Steven's only reveals his relationship with Miss Kenton very gradually due to the retrospective structure of the novel. Due to the characterisation of Steven's it is difficult for readers to fully trust the 1st person narration that Ishiguro uses. However, throughout the journey Steven's takes in the novel, he becomes slightly more honest not only about his professional life but ...read more.

Middle

Within both novels, the authors present relationships that are troubled by repression. However, Forster really presents the repressive society that Lucy has to battle against whereas Ishiguro really shows how the repressive personality Stevens has destroys the chances of a romantic relationship between him and Miss Kenton developing. In "The Remains of the Day" and "A Room with a View" Ishiguro and Forster respectively present a third party to each of the relationships in their novels. However, the third party to each of the relationships have a very different impact in each of the novels. In "A Room with a View" Forster presents Cecil as a barrier to the development of Lucy and George's relationship but also as a socially acceptable alternative to George. Forster makes it clear to readers that Lucy is only with Cecil because she is unable to admit to herself that she is in love with George, this is particularly evident when Lucy finishes her relationship with Cecil by using George's own words. Lucy tells Cecil that he's "the sort that can't know anyone intimately." This is very symbolic as these are words that George has previously used to describe Cecil and now Lucy uses them to free herself from Cecil. Lucy uses Cecil to protect herself from her feelings for George which scare her immensely, so much so that she denies them completely. However, Forster makes it clear from the way in which Lucy finishes with Cecil that she and George have a connection and Lucy sees sense ...read more.

Conclusion

Through the characterisation that Ishiguro give Stevens, Ishiguro presents a character with a complete inability to show or deal with emotion and this leads him to missing his opportunity to have a happy ending with Miss Kenton. Ishiguro portrays this extremely well when Miss Kenton tries to apologise to Stevens for mocking him and Stevens ignores her and later realises she is crying in her room. Ishiguro presents Stevens describing how Miss Kenton's door had "light seeping around its edges" and he was "quite certain that if [he] were to knock and enter, [he] would discover her in tears". The light seeping around the door is very symbolic of Stevens's last hope of still experiencing a happy ending with Miss Kenton, Miss Kenton's room has light within and Stevens is standing in "darkness". However, Stevens is unable to bring himself to knock on Miss Kenton's door and thus misses his opportunity to be happy with her and remains in darkness. Both authors also use symbolism concerning light and darkness, the weather, the seasons and views to help present the growing and changing relationships of the two couples. Forster uses views in particular to help symbolise Lucy and George's relationship. Views are highly symbolic in their growing and changing relationship as they can both see clearly in close and important moments in their relationship. This is very clearly illustrated to readers just before George kisses Lucy for the first time. Forster describes how from Lucy's feet "the ground sloped sharply into the view, and violets ran down in rivulets". ...read more.

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