Regrets in The Remains of the Day Essay examples

1385 Words 6 Pages
Regrets in The Remains of the Day

“...For a great many people, the evening is the most enjoyable part of the day. Perhaps, then, there is something to his advice that I should cease looking back so much, that I should adopt a more positive outlook and try to make the best of what remains of my day. After all, what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished? The hard reality is, surely, that for the likes of you and I, there is little choice other than to leave our fate, ultimately, in the hands of those great gentlemen at the hub of this world who employ our services. What is the point in worrying oneself too much about what one could or could not
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It is this blind loyalty with which Stevens gratifies his employer and unables himself to look closely at what his employer really thinks or does (symptoms of “dignity”). His doctrine states:
“It is, in practice, simply not possible to adopt such a critical attitude towards an employer and at the same time provide good service. It is not simply that one is unlikely to be able to meet the many demands of service at the higher levels while one’s attentions are being diverted by such matters; more fundamentally, a butler who is forever attempting to formulate his own ‘strong opinions’ on his employer’s affairs is bound to lack one quality essential in all good professionals: namely, loyalty.” (Ishiguro, 200)

But the loyalty doctrine denies Stevens his own thoughts on, for instance, Darlington’s letting-go of the Jewish maids, or whether or not the “great” guests he has the honor or serving in his capacity as a “great” butler are really so great after all.
Stevens’ detachment ultimately is chilling, for the distance that he believes is a necessary aspect of dignity, instead distances him even from the fact that this attitude of detachment is not great, but unhealthy. This sets a butler’s dignity above human dignity, he realizes at the end, and human dignity must always come first: “Lord Darlington wasn’t bad man...And at least he had the privilege of being able to say at the end of his life that he made his own mistakes...He chose a
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