The Remains of the Day

Personality, Class, and Culture in The Remains of the Day

“A profound and heart-rending study of personality, class and culture” To what extent do you agree with this assessment of the novel?

Throughout “The Remains of the Day”, Mr Stevens, the protagonist, not only explores the world outside of his beloved Darlington Hall but also takes a journey into his own past, allowing the reader to examine his personality alongside explanations of both class and culture . The complexity of Stevens’ mind is gradually exposed to the reader, who is open to interpret his personality as either profoundly depressed or infinitely frustrated. The intricacy and unclear nature of his feelings are typical of the post-modernist style, leaving the reader to decide whether the novel is indeed a “heart-rending study of personality, class and culture.” This assessment offers the reader a partial insight into the characteristics of the novel; arguably, however, there are many aspects of the text that are not profound or heart-rending.

The relationship between Mr Stevens and the reader is of primary importance in the study of Stevens’ personality. The amount of information he freely remembers in contrast to what remains merely as “fragmented” allows the reader to observe the repression that is intrinsic to his...

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