Kazuo Ishiguro (1989). The Remains of the Day. London: Faber and Faber
lordship has been trying to persuade Prime Minister himself to accept an invitation
to visit Herr Hitler. He really believes there’s a terrible misunderstanding on
the Prime Minister’s part concerning the present German regime. [...] And
that’s not all, Stevens. At this very moment, unless I am very much mistaken,
at this very moment, his lordship is discussing the idea of His Majesty himself
visiting Herr Hitler. It’s hardly a secret our new king has always been an
enthusiast for the Nazis. Well, apparently he’s now keen to accept Herr
Hitler’s invitation. At this very moment, Stevens, his lordship is doing what
he can to remove Foreign Office objections to this appalling idea.
The Remains of the Day, Day Four – Afternoon, Little
Compton, Cornwall. Pag. 235-236
passage is part of the conversation between Stevens and Mr. Cardinal, great
friend of the family. We are in the years prior to the World War II, and
currently there is a meeting at Darlington Hall, attended among others the
German Ambassador Ribbentrop and the English Prime Minister.
Darlington, like most of the English aristocracy of the time, is a great
supporter of friendship with the current German regime headed by Hitler (his
lordship thinks that Germany has been unfairly treated after the World War I),
and try to convince the Prime Minister to accept the invitation made by Hitler
to visit his country. Relies on the idea of the own King of England, who is
keen to visit the German country.
lord Darlington is no account that is being used by the Nazi regime to gain the
trust of the English people, and Hitler is hiding its true plans. After war,
lord Darlington was branded of pro-Nazi and fell into unfortunately losing all
their influence until the day of his death.
author makes us to see, as the nobility and part of the English political class
in the days prior to world war, were friendly with the Nazi regime, and
post-conflict tried to delete any trace of its collaborationism with him.
It is hardly for
me to pronounce upon qualities I may or may not possess. However, as far as
this particular question is concerned, one would suspect that the quality being
referred to might be most usefully termed “dignity”.
The Remains of the Day, Day Three – Evening, Moscombe,
near Tavistock, Devon. Pag. 195
a meeting with any people gathered at home of Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, Stevens
pronounced these words referring a necessary gentlemen’s quality, and that
himself has (their partners thinks that he is a gentleman and Stevens does not
discover his real position).
event of Stevens, dignity Englishness characteristic, is carried to the limit,
because results in the denial of all their feelings or even their points of
view. Of the work, shows his loyalty to his employer lord Darlington, and
Stevens’ thinks that only great men’s are trained to understand and discuss the
major issues affecting the nation, and does not bring up which could be wrong.
Stevens relates the dignity with greatness and makes it the leitmotiv of his
life, comparing it in another passage of the book with the English landscapes.
this sense, Stevens lives his life proud of these values and only at the end of
the book realizes that everything was mere façade, and that the life he lives
is the life of others, which had prevented perform as a person, cultivating
relationships and own points of view that would have satisfied his ego, which
makes him to fall into a deep regret how has led his life.