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Stevens is so self-aware and clear about his own shortcomings and mistakes that we completely trust his telling of events. At the same time, as readers, we are also clearly aware of his shortcomings in self-analysis. Stevens is blind to his own repression and his inability to let go of his work and pursue his dreams. Over the course of the novel, he becomes a prisoner of his own fear, ultimately destroying his chance for true love. By the time Stevens comes to terms with his own weaknesses, it is, in fact, far too late.