- From the Archive, Issue 229
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Already in the prologue Mr Stevens admits to have 'a reluctance to change too many of the old ways', and this will be proven to be all-too true Ishiguro 7.
From the Archive, Issue 229
His behaviour and attitude after the journey which could have been a turning point in his life are by and large not altered after his journey. Mr Stevens is not able to change himself in the important areas, namely his restraint, his extreme professionalism, and the attitude towards his father, although he makes some superficial progress regarding Lord Darlington.
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Booker club: The Remains of the Day | Books | The Guardian
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Die Sturmstillung - Exegese von Mk 4, In der folgenden Analyse des Textes wird unsere Bibelstelle Ein Brudermord - Eine Exegese zu Gen 4,. Ein neues Bretton Woods? Folter als Mittel der Wahrheitsfindung. The question is whether he uses this opportunity wisely or if he wastes it. His behaviour and attitude after the journey which could have been a turning point in his life are by and large not altered after his journey.
About wasted opportunities in Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Remains of the Day."
Mr Stevens is not able to change himself in the important areas, namely his restraint, his extreme professionalism, and the attitude towards his father, although he makes some superficial progress regarding Lord Darlington. This restraint —seen as a virtue by Mr Stevens — is the main reason that he has not had any deeper relationships to other people. Quite early it becomes clear that Stevens seems to have lost the ability to show his emotions, for he always prefers to stay neutral.
There are various occasions when he tells the reader his thoughts and feelings in every detail, but keeps silent towards others, often resulting in a discrepancy between his actual feelings and what other people think of him. This shows clearly that Stevens is a very sensitive person who cares for the people around him, but also that he is not very self-confident and unsure how to approach other people.
However, when he finally manages to speak to Mrs Kenton, he fails to simply offer his condolences. Instead, he speaks to her as if he would not bother at all about her loss and loses himself in criticizing her for her professional negligence. So, his intention was to make her feel better, but because of his inability to put this intention into action, Mrs Kenton felt even worse and may have thought of Mr Stevens as a ignoramus.
Apparently, he has not changed much. Stevens ultimately fails to express his feelings towards Mrs Kenton when they meet probably for the last time, and she tells him that she had feelings for him all the time they had been working together. She is lost for him anyway, but if Stevens had really changed, he would now understand how important it would be to finally give way to his emotions, so he could feel how liberating this can be.
This shows clearly that Mrs Kenton has still feelings for him, signing that this is his moment to speak up. But again, he does not lose any word about his own feelings.
This discrepancy between thinking and acting is also shown in the fact that Stevens addresses Mrs Kenton as Mrs Benn, but in his thoughts he still calls her Mrs Kenton. In addition, in the moment he is sitting on the bench with the stranger and telling him of his life, he is clearly crying.
In fact, it is one of only two moments when Stevens somehow shows emotions by crying, an emotion all-too human and understandable in this situation. Hence, Stevens has not managed to solve one of his main problems, the one which has prevented him his whole life from building up any deeper relationships to other people.