The Remains of the Day
Study Questions and Essay Topics
Use specific examples to demonstrate why Stevens is or is not a reliable narrator.
At one point in the novel, Stevens and Miss Kenton see Steven's father searching near the steps he fell on "as though he were searching for a precious jewel he had dropped there." How is this image symbolic of the novel's concerns as a whole?
How are Stevens and Miss Kenton similar? How are they different?
Suggested Essay Topics
Compare and contrast Stevens and his father. Do they hold the same ideals?
Why is it important that Stevens is a butler, and not a lord or a duke of some kind? How does his profession shape his life? With what result?
Does the narrative ultimately condemn Stevens for the choices he has made? Is the ending hopeful?
Why is it significant that during Stevens's "best years of service" occur while World War II is going on?
Trace Stevens's use of pronouns throughout the novel. What does his use of "I" versus "one" indicate?
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