In the last discussion post, we discussed the key themes of duty and dignity. Today, this post is for sharing any general thoughts about the book and any favorite quotes. Here are just a few little tidbits I wanted to share.
The Remains of the Day was made into a movie starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. Here’s a clip:
Have you watched the movie? If so, please share your thoughts on how you think the book and movie compare.
Did you catch where the title made it’s appearance in the book? It’s not the exact wording of the title but you’ll find it in Day Six – Evening:
“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.” (pg. 244)
The subject of bantering provides some lightness to the novel; but I think that it also plays a part in Stevens growth. In fact, the novel starts out talking about bantering in the Prologue and ends with Stevens’ thoughts on bantering in the last chapter.
Stevens employer, Mr. Farraday, seems to want to have these miscellaneous, light-hearted discussions and Stevens feels he is just not good at it. He is not used to joking around or having light-hearted discussions with his employer; what he’s used to is everything being proper and showing no emotion. He tries to improve on this though.
How does this contribute to Stevens’ growth? Towards the end when he’s at the house where several people have gathered and are talking, he sees the warmth and liveliness of the conversation. He says:
“Listening to them now, I can hear them exchanging one bantering remark after another. It is, I would suppose, the way many people like to proceed. In fact, it is possible my bench companion of a while ago expected me to banter with him – in which case, I suppose I was something of a sorry disappointment. Perhaps it is indeed time I began to look at this whole matter of bantering more enthusiastically. After all, when one thinks about it, it is not such a foolish thing to indulge in – particularly if it is the case that in bantering lies the key to human warmth.” (pg. 245)
Here he realizes that this type of light-hearted conversation very well may be “the key to human warmth.” (pg. 245) In other words, he begins to see that these types of conversations seem to add to the friendliness and kindredness amongst the people having the conversations. He decides to practice the art of bantering with renewed effort and I think this holds the potential to helping Stevens show more emotion.
What are your overall thoughts of this book? Do you have any favorite quotes? Please share in the comments below.
Also, this is the final post for this book club discussion. Feel free to continue the discussion in the first discussion post for this book and in the comments of this post. 🙂