Who Is Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains Of The Day

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Throughout Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, Stevens constantly is waiting or performing his butler duties out of the sight of the public. However, he is commonly found somewhere in between these two states while in a doorway. Stevens is found “hesitating in the doorway” (Ishiguro 93) while going to visit his sick father. Similarly, Stevens shares that he stops for “a second to listen at the door” (Ishiguro 94) when he hears M. Dupont and Mr. Lewis having a secret conversation. The doorways in Darlington Hall give Stevens a place to watch what is going on from afar, which allows him to avoid confrontation and stick to his professional duty as a butler. These doorways also set limitations for Stevens because they present him with new…show more content…
Throughout his historical narrations, Stevens often places himself “in the shadows” (Ishiguro 72) or tries to make his existence unknown when in the presence of his master, Lord Darlington, and his guests. Even though he stands off to the side in the room, Stevens can still hear the conversations and only “participate[s] in politics in a vicarious manner” (Ekelund). For this reason, has an indefinite social position because, as a butler, he must perform his duties of serving his master and whoever else might be in the house. However, Stevens has trouble finding his place when he isn’t busy, returning to his reasoning for standing in the dark parts of the room, out of sight from the people he is serving. When Stevens is not hiding in the darkness, he can be found in doorways or archways, which is symbolic of him wavering between two worlds, along with his own restriction and freedom. Stevens cannot pass the threshold of the old world, his life as a butler, and the new world, in which he must “openly express feelings and emotions” (Allen 1902). He struggles crossing this threshold, because for years he only knew what it was like to be a serious English butler, and when Mr. Farraday begins to banter with him, he isn’t quite sure how to react. That is, until he has the conversation with the man at the pier. This man helps Stevens to cross the threshold and begin to ponder the thought of seriously giving bantering a shot, and start to release his hold on his strict beliefs. Miss Kenton is perhaps the most influential character on Stevens in terms of crossing thresholds. Consistently throughout the book she is seen “through the open doorway” (Ishiguro 105) coaxing Stevens to walk through the doorway in order to see the truth. In most cases, she was bringing about the truth of his father’s diminishing work ethic, which Stevens has severe trouble realizing. The doorways
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