The remains of the day

Dícese de los políglotas o practicantes de lenguas varias.

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The remains of the day

Mensaje por Sashka »

I've just finshed this book in English as a homework for my English class, and I have to say that I've enjoied it a lot.

It has a lot of vocabulary and maybe I've lost a bit by reading it, because I haven't used a dicctionary. But I think I've understand almost everything.

Has anybody read it in English? I'm suprised because Kazuo Ishiguro doesn't use many contractions. I thought they used them all the time. But perhaps they don't do it when they are writting in a literary style.

Well, this is a good reading, and it shows very clearly the life of a classic English butler. I recommend it.

This is the summary included on the "wikipedia" page. It may contain spoilers, so be careful!!

The novel The Remains of the Day tells the story of Stevens, an English butler who dedicates his life to the loyal service of Lord Darlington (mentioned in increasing detail in flashbacks). The novel begins with Stevens receiving a letter from an ex co-worker called Miss Kenton, describing her married life, and 'hinting' at her unhappy marriage. Stevens' new employer, Mr. Farraday, grants permission for Stevens to borrow the car to take a break. As he sets out on the motoring trip and meets the long since retired housekeeper, Miss Kenton, he ponders his previous actions in the past and his underlying feelings of love for Miss Kenton (which she silently reciprocated) that were never realised or even fully stated. Miss Kenton, it later emerges, has been married for over 20 years and therefore is no longer Miss Kenton, but Mrs. Benn. Stevens is left with a vague feeling of loss and regret, culminating in his breakdown at the end of the novel.

Depending on the interpretation of the reader, the novel can be seen to have either a positive or negative ending. When Stevens admits that his life had essentially been wasted, another character tells him that 'the evening is the best part of the day,' essentially reminding him that his life isn't over. Stevens then tells the reader that he will 'make the best of what remains of my day,' by learning how to banter, to 'surprise' his new employer. This can be seen to have both positive and negative connotations.

Stevens and his disillusionment with Lord Darlington (and even his inability to face the truth of Lord Darlington's fall from grace--it arguably becomes apparent through the course of the novel that Lord Darlington was blindly following fascist, Nazi, and anti-Semite leaders, or "friends") can be read to represent the citizens in post-colonial England and their relationship with the transitional British Empire, as both Stevens and British citizens blindly trusted the correctness of the actions of their master