The Remains of the Day

Characterize the narrator of The Remains of the Day? How does he see the world? What are his values

Use textual evidence

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Stevens is one of the most beloved characters in modern literature because his emotional arc is so clear. At the beginning of the novel, he is hopeful and anticipatory of a new adventure - one that he hopes will bring him personal fulfillment. By the end, he finds his dream quashed, and limps back to his old life to bear out the 'remains of his day.' Stevens very much owns every cell of Ishiguro's creation. He is the sole narrator and has full domain over every assumption, assertion, and thought. At no point can we question Stevens' veracity or retelling of events because there is no arbiter of truth in the novel, aside from his own recollections and comprehension of his own memories. Indeed, Stevens is so self-aware and clear about his own shortcomings and mistakes that we fully trust his rendition of events. At the same time, we're also clearly aware of Stevens' shortcomings in self-analysis. He is terribly blind to his own repression and inability to let go of work and pursue his own human desire. As the novel progresses, Stevens becomes a prisoner of his own fear, ultimately destroying his chance for true love. By the time he finally comes to terms with his own weaknesses, it is, in fact, far too late.