The Importance Of Memory In Ishiguro's Life

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Memory dominates Ishiguro’s novels. At respective instances, it acts either as the axis, or as the substrate, or even as the key to the further unraveling of the narrative. The characters, their actions,as well as the traces of their memory in various moods and settings bring about both the movement in his plots as well as the greater universal appeal in his works. The importance that has been attributed to memory in Ishiguro’s novels closely resembles that of Nemesis in the Greek Tragedies. In The Remains of the Day, Mr. Stevens, theaged butler, only remembers his father, also a butler, once when he came to Darlington Hall and served for a short period of time. For not being allowed to wait a table (the most honourable duty of the profession) due to his extreme old age and sudden collapses, Mr. Steven’s father perished a disappointed man. Miss Kenton, the most able housekeeper who always had tender feelings for Mr. Stevens, dominates the rest of his memories right next to Lord Darlington and his mansion, even decades after they had separated. The reader might question these memories and the sincerity with which they are recollected (hence the space for the unreliable narrator). For example, a father is presumably an inseparable part of one’s existence who happens to have a paternal figure for a considerable period of time. And yet on one hand Mr. Stevens fail to mention his octogenarian father as the former’s experience of a lifetime apart from describing his actions as

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