Discussion Questions: The Remains of the Day

February 25, 2011 at 12:00 am Leave a comment


Welcome again to the LT Spring 2011 Classic Challenge! For the next two weeks, we’ll be spending some quality time with Kazuo Ishiguro’s Stevens the Butler (and his reminiscences) in The Remains of the Day. Discussion will be open for business next Friday and, remember, everyone who comments (or participates on their own blog) will be entered in a drawing to win a beautiful Penguin Clothbound Classic. Incentive!

But for now, here are some questions to get things rolling!

1. Wondrous things are doing in terms of framing, narration, and characterization in this book, but what do the styles employed by Ishiguro tell us about his protagonist, Stevens? What is Ishiguro trying to show us about Stevens by making him an unreliable narrator?

2. There is a lot of debate (both internal and occasionally vocalized) about “banter” and “dignity” throughout the book. What does Stevens’ ultimate decision about the two mean?

3. And what of Miss Kenton? Despite her huge importance to the story, she is primarily relayed merely in dialogue form and remains somewhat shadowy. Why does Ishiguro do this?

And remember to share your favorite and least favorite parts, too!

See you next week for discussion!

–Corey

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