• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss how Kazuo Ishiguro uses Narrative Techniques in order to create a Reliably Unreliable narrator in The Remains of the Day

Extracts from this document...


Using Wood's Arguments, Discuss how Kazuo Ishiguro uses Narrative Techniques in order to Create an Impression of a Reliably Unreliable Narrator In literature, there are two types of narrator: Reliable and Unreliable. In this essay, I shall be exploring the ideas of James Wood in this topic and lead to the creation of an extra element in the piece they have written, and how it affects the reader. A classic example of the use of this writing style is Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day. Ishiguro's protagonist makes the reader consider how credible he really is and assume the rest of the story for themselves. According to Wood, a reliable narrator often writes in the third person to take advantage of third person omniscience. This means that the narrator can refer to the view of several people referring to them as "him" or "her" in order to get a range of opinions on an occurrence to further prove its accuracy. The qualities that define a reliable narrator are when: the narrator shares values with the implied author, shares values with the reader, accurately records his or her reality, encourages reader rapport and trust. ...read more.


Ishiguro employs several ways of making Stevens' unreliability noticeable in his diction. Whenever Stevens is telling us one of his memories of his past at Darlington Hall, he often uses the words "I recall" or other phrases that make us think that he is perhaps leaving out certain details or that his statements aren't entirely truthful. Whenever he tells us something, the narrative style that Ishiguro makes him speak in, is very digressive. Stevens holds certain details in order to construct a story to move away from the original point of his statement. "There are some very pertinent reasons why this memory has remained with me, moreover that come to think of it..." Ishiguro gives us a comparison to this narrative style in the character of Miss Kenton. Whilst Mr Stevens refers to his memories, we always see Ms Kenton's arguments using direct speech which is a much more effective tool when stating a point because more can be said to prove your point. "Your dustpan Mr Stevens, you've left it out here..." Ms Kenton's arguments are created in a much better way than Mr Stevens who is often left to denial "I have ...read more.


This shows a very large level of snobbery on Mr Stephens' part and that he only seems to listen to sense when the right person tells him. All in all, I believe that a reliable narrator is a character in a story who tells the story in a way that doesn't add up or makes the reader think as to what truly happens. We see this in Kazuo Ishiguro's The remains of the Day in the way Mr Stephens addresses us in reported speech in a very vague way. In this way, he is able to save face if he has done something that leaves him in a poor light. We also see an example of a reliable narrator in Ms Kenton whom speaks in direct speech which shows the accuracy of what she says and makes the reader trust in her judgements much more than the protagonist-Stephens. I believe that the effect of having an unreliable narrator in a story makes the reader take the initiative in what is happening in the story and think more independently as to what will happen next. A parallel story would be created when this happens, the narrator's version of events, and the reader's assumptions which tend to be more accurate. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Marked Essay.Compare and Contrast the effect of the narrative point of view in 'The ...

    and at the beginning of the novel there is evidence of this as Christopher wants to find out what happened to Wellington. He went around asking questions of people in the street he lived in and was warned from doing so "Look, son, do you really think you should be going around asking questions like this?"

  2. Commentary on After The Flood- M.S. Merwin

    There is also disappointment on the river by the poet, the line "Almost disappointed myself "shows the reader that he feels betrayed by the river. There is nostalgia too as Merwin still has happy memories of the park and the river.

  1. Setting in "Remains of the Day" and "Her First Ball"

    Stevens is always thinking about his duties because his life is surrounded by a working environment as he lives where he works. This might have affected his personality, especially because his father also spent his life as a butler. Stevens is always thinking about responsibility, professionalism and loyalty, but not about the nature of humans, feelings, expressions, love, etc.

  2. In the prose extract, Feet September 1948, Seamus Deane utilizes various techniques and literary ...

    Furthermore, when looking at the characterization of the extract the reader can only identify one prominent character; the narrator. The passage is based on the narrator's experience of his sister's sickness and expected death. From this excerpt one can tell that the narrator is still very young as he compares his sister's age (five), to his.

  1. Discuss the isolation of the narrator in Ernest Hemingway's In Another Country

    In brief, the main theme of "In Another country" is the feeling of isolation of a young American soldier in Italy during World War 1. Throughout the story, Ernest Hemingway also explores an unknown fact about war. In some extents, war represents for the loss of function, loss of purpose and failure.

  2. With reference to the novel A Pale View of Hills and the film The ...

    to some tabooed or painful moments in life, as Etsuko herself has said in the novel, "Memories, I realize, can be an unreliable thing; often it is heavily colored by the circumstances in which one remembers, and no doubt this applies to certain of the recollections I have gathered here."

  1. "A Family Supper," by Kazuo Ishiguro, is a story of uncertainty, nervousness, emotions, and ...

    The description of the house contributes conflict and also reveals his father's character. The protagonist, while walking through his old home, remarks "I had forgotten how large the house was [...] but the rooms were all startlingly empty" (469). This parallels with the illustration of his father - the owner

  2. "Wine of Astonishments" Describe the kind of person Eva is and consider Earl Lovelaces ...

    the system which oppresses them and about Reggie for whom education will only make him Ivan Morton esque. Nevertheless, in the face of all the challenges endured by Eva she remains optimistic even when things appear to be at their worst ebb.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work