Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro


In The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, Stevens, an old English butler, goes on a journey to the countryside and reflects on the events and decisions that he has made in the past.

Because of his devotion to his profession— and his belief in "dignity"— Stevens has been holding back his emotions for his entire life. This includes the time when he didn't properly morn for his father's death because of an important event in the gentleman's house, as well as the time when went against his personal belief and fired two Jewish maids under his master's will. In short, Stevens chose the "professional" path, and sacrificed his own emotions and private life; all his concerns were those of his professionalism, and none of which is of his own well-being.

When reading the novel, I could sense the narrator's sadness, his melancholy. However, due to my young age and inexperience in life, I could never fully appreciate the extent of the sadness. So, if it's possible, I would like to read this novel again a few years later, and perhaps get a deeper understanding of the novel. Also, just as an afterthought, this book was beautifully written and very compelling.