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An exploration of Stevens's Characterization through his Conversation with Mrs. Kenton about the Jewish Servants at Darlington Hall

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World Literature Essay An exploration of Stevens's Characterization through his Conversation with Mrs. Kenton about the Jewish Servants at Darlington Hall Kazuo Isiguro's piece, The Remains of the Day, is a novel describing the end of a sophisticated and well-spoken butler's career and the self-reflection he experiences whilst his journey through England. As he reminisces on the past experiences he's had as a dignified butler at Darlington Hall, Stevens exposes his inner thoughts, feelings, and ultimately, who he is as an individual. In addition, there is an assortment of passages throughout the story in which Stevens's recollections of interactions between himself and other characters show subtle attributes of Stevens's personality and mirroring images of his past which has indisputably shaped him into the individual that has become. The passage that lies between pages 145 and 149 is a prime example of this. Within this passage, Stevens reflects upon a time in which Lord Darlington had ordered the dismissal of two maids that worked at Darlington Hall solely on the basis that they were Jewish. Shortly after being informed of the news, Mrs. Kenton, the head housekeeper of Darlington Hall, was outraged. Stevens by contrast seemed calm, unsympathetic, and rather understanding of the situation. ...read more.


The unemotional and impartial manner in which he chooses to deal with situations is quite noteworthy in that this attribute is the foundation of the majority of his decisions and statements throughout the book. Furthermore, it is a repeating motif that illustrates the detached standpoint from which he views life. This view is of course, one of many consequences that mirror his past relationship with his father. The relationship between Stevens and his father is certainly mirrored in the passage of which I speak. Whether it be the cold and nearly heartless tone of the statements that Stevens relays to Mrs. Kempton, or the bleak void of sentiment that haunt the words in the text describing his inner thoughts, Stevens' strictly professional views of the situations that he encounters divulge the consequences of the relationship between himself and his father. Although briefly alluded to towards the beginning of the novel, the significant occurrences exposing the void within Sevens' relationship with his father occur after this passage. The most significant occurrence between the two characters after this passage is the moment in which Stevens talks to his father on his (his father's) death bed. Simply put, his response to his father's position is essentially no response at all. ...read more.


This reliance on one's duty is also yet another mirroring image of Stevens's father. Stevens even states that "My father, as I say, came out of a generation mercifully free of such confusions...I would maintain that for all his limited command...that 'dignity in keeping with his position,' as the Hayes society puts it" (Ishiuro 35). Subsequently, it is evident that this importance of occupation and significance of the duty as a butler was passed down from Stevens's father to Stevens. Such an attribute is vital to Stevens' character because his entire life revolves around his duty as a butler. That said, the development and Characterization Stevens' character within this passage is critical in coalesce of major themes motifs and ideas that define Stevens' as an individual. Within this passage, mirroring images of Stevens's past relationship with his father, emotionless statements and empty responses to the situation at hand, as well as evident reliance on his job and duty as a butler are all facets showing intriguing characteristics of Stevens that are brought to the forefront of the story. This of course, enables the reader to grasp an enhanced representation of who Stevens really is and further comprehend why he does the thins he does and makes the choices he makes. ...read more.

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