The Remains of the Day

The narrator and protagonist of the book, Stevens is an older man who has spent his entire life as a butler, just as his father was. After spending most of his career serving an aristocrat, Lord Darlington, he now is employed by an American, Mr. Farraday. Stevens’s identity is inextricable from his position as butler: this is how he has always defined himself, and the requirements of his position seemed to have shaped, if not determined, his character. Because being a butler for an aristocratic household requires calmness and discretion, for instance, Stevens cannot imagine being anything other than cool and private in his personal life. The formality required of him in his professional position also makes him deeply formal at all times, and he finds it difficult to speak casually, to act relaxed, or to express his feelings to those around him. This has profound effects on his life; for example, Stevens is never able to express his feelings for Miss Kenton, which brings him some regret. While Stevens is extremely thoughtful, he is not always honest with himself; as he himself comes to realize over the course of his motoring trip, he implicitly or subconsciously tweaks his recollections of past events in order to fit a certain narrative. Earnest and profoundly loyal, Stevens does begin to question this narrative, in what seems like a valiant attempt to face the past more frankly than he has done before. What enables him to do so is perhaps, in part, the fact that the identity he has claimed for himself is dwindling with the decline of the aristocracy following World War II.

Mr. Stevens Quotes in The Remains of the Day

The The Remains of the Day quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Stevens or refer to Mr. Stevens. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Dignity and Greatness  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Remains of the Day published in 1990.
Prologue: July 1956 Quotes

It is quite possible, then, that my employer fully expects me to respond to his bantering in a like manner, and considers my failure to do so a form of negligence. This is, as I say, a matter which has given me much concern.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker), Mr. John Farraday
Related Symbols: Banter
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:

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Such difficulties as these tend to be all the more preoccupying nowadays because one does not have the means to discuss and corroborate views with one’s fellow professionals in the way one once did.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker)
Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:

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Day One: Evening Quotes

And yet what precisely is this “greatness”? Just where, or in what, does it lie? I am quite aware that it would take a far wiser head than mine to answer such a question, but if I were forced to hazard a guess, I would say that it is the very lack of obvious drama or spectacle that sets the beauty of our land apart.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker)
Related Symbols: The English Landscape
Page Number: 28
Explanation and Analysis:

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And now let me posit this: “dignity” has to do crucially with a butler’s ability not to abandon the professional being he inhabits. Lesser butlers will abandon their professional being for the private one at the least provocation. For such persons, being a butler is like playing some pantomime role; a small push, a slight stumble, and the façade will drop to reveal the actor underneath. The great butlers are great by virtue of their ability to inhabit their professional role and inhabit it to the utmost. […] They wear their professionalism as a decent gentleman will wear his suit: he will not let ruffians or circumstance tear it off him in the public gaze; he will discard it when, and only when, he wills to do so, and this will invariably be when he is entirely alone.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker)
Page Number: 42-43
Explanation and Analysis:

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Day Two: Morning Quotes

Of course, if two members of staff happen to fall in love and decide to marry, it would be churlish to be apportioning blame; but what I find a major irritation are those persons – and housekeepers are particularly guilty here – who have no genuine commitment to the profession and who are essentially going from post to post looking for romance. This sort of person is a blight on good professionalism.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker)
Page Number: 51
Explanation and Analysis:

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But now that I think further about it, I am not sure Miss Kenton spoke quite so boldly that day. […] I am not sure she could actually have gone so far as to say things like: “these errors may be trivial in themselves, but you must yourself realize their larger significance.” In fact, now that I come to think of it, I have a feeling it may have been Lord Darlington himself who made that particular remark to me that time he called me into his study some two months after that exchange with Miss Kenton outside the billiard room.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker), Miss Kenton (Mrs. Benn), Lord Darlington
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Day Two: Afternoon Quotes

To us, then, the world was a wheel, revolving with these great houses at the hub, their mighty decisions emanating out to all else, rich and poor, who revolved around them. It was the aspiration of all those of us with professional ambition to work out way as close to this hub as we were each of us capable. For we were, as I say, an idealistic generation for whom the question was not simply one of how well one practiced one’s skills, but to what end one did so; each of us harboured the desire to make our own small contribution to the creation of a better world, and saw that, as professionals, the surest means of doing so would be to serve the great gentlemen of our times in whose hands civilization had been entrusted.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker)
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

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Let me say that Lord Darlington was a gentleman of great moral stature—a stature to dwarf most of the persons you will find talking this sort of nonsense about him—and I will readily vouch that he remained that to the last. Nothing could be less accurate than to suggest that I regret my association with such a gentleman. Indeed, you will appreciate that to have served his lordship at Darlington Hall during those years was to come as close to the hub of this world’s wheel as one such as I could ever have dreamt.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker), Lord Darlington
Page Number: 126
Explanation and Analysis:

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Day Three: Morning Quotes

I had been rather pleased with my witticism when it had first come into my head, and I must confess I was slightly disappointed it had not been better received than it was. I was particularly disappointed, I suppose, because I have been devoting some time and effort over recent months to improving my skill in this very area. That is to say, I have been endeavouring to add this skill to my professional armoury so as to fulfil with confidence all Mr. Farraday’s expectations with respect to bantering.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker), Mr. John Farraday
Related Symbols: Banter
Page Number: 130
Explanation and Analysis:

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And then again, you will hear these same persons talking as though Lord Darlington did something unusual in receiving hospitality from the Nazis on the several trips he made to Germany during those years. […] The fact is, the most established, respected ladies and gentleman were availing themselves of the hospitality of the German leaders, and I can vouch at first hand that the great majority of these persons were returning with nothing but praise and admiration for their hosts. Anyone who implies that Lord Darlington was liaising covertly with a known enemy is just conveniently forgetting the true climate of those times.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker), Lord Darlington
Page Number: 136-137
Explanation and Analysis:

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Day Three: Evening Quotes

“Does it not occur to you, Mr. Stevens, that to dismiss Ruth and Sarah on these grounds would be simply—wrong? I will not stand for such things. I will not work in a house in which such things can occur.”
“Miss Kenton, I will ask you not to excite yourself and to conduct yourself in a manner befitting your position. This is a very straightforward matter. If his lordship wishes these particular contracts to be discontinued, then there is little more to be said.”

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker), Miss Kenton (Mrs. Benn) (speaker), Ruth and Sarah
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:

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A butler of any quality must be seen to inhabit his role, utterly and fully; he cannot be seen casting it aside one moment simply to don it again the next as though it were nothing more than a pantomime costume.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker)
Page Number: 169
Explanation and Analysis:

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Naturally—and why should I not admit this—I have occasionally wondered to myself how things might have turned out in the long run had I not been so determined over the issue of our evening meetings; that is to say, had I relented on those several occasions over the weeks that followed when Miss Kenton suggested we reinstitute them. I only speculate over this now because in the light of subsequent events, it could well be argued that in making my decision to end those evening meetings once and for all, I was perhaps not entirely aware of the full implications of what I was doing.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker), Miss Kenton (Mrs. Benn)
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:

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There is, after all, a real limit to how much ordinary people can learn and know, and to demand that each and every one of them contribute “strong opinions” to the great debates of the day cannot, surely, be wise. It is, I any case, absurd that anyone should presume to define a person’s “dignity” in these terms.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker)
Page Number: 194
Explanation and Analysis:

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Throughout the years I served him, it was he and he alone who weighed up evidence and judged it best to proceed in the way he did, while I simply confined myself, quite properly, to affairs within my own professional realm. And as far as I am concerned, I carried out my duties to the best of my abilities, indeed to a standard which many may consider “first rate.” It is hardly my fault if his lordship’s life and work have turned out today to look, at best, a sad waste—and it is quite illogical that I should feel any regret or shame on my own account.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker), Lord Darlington
Page Number: 201
Explanation and Analysis:

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Day Four: Afternoon Quotes

It occurs to me that elsewhere in attempting to gather such recollections, I may well have asserted that this memory derived from the minutes immediately after Miss Kenton’s receiving news of her aunt’s death; that is to say, the occasion when, having left her to be alone with her grief, I realized out in the corridor that I had not offered her my condolences. But now, having thought further, I believe I may have been a little confused about this matter; that in fact this fragment of memory derives from events that took place on an evening at least a few months after the death of Miss Kenton’s aunt.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker), Miss Kenton (Mrs. Benn)
Page Number: 212
Explanation and Analysis:

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I remember this American chap, even drunker than I am now, he got up at the dinner table in front of the whole company. And he pointed at his lordship and called him an amateur. Called him a bungling amateur and said he was out of his depth. Well, I have to say, Stevens, that American chap was quite right. It’s a fact of life. Today’s world is too foul a place for fine and noble instincts.

Related Characters: Mr. Reginald Cardinal (speaker), Mr. Stevens, Lord Darlington
Page Number: 224
Explanation and Analysis:

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Day Six: Evening Quotes

And you get to thinking about a different life, a better life you might have had. For instance, I get to thinking about a life I may have had with you, Mr. Stevens. And I suppose that’s when I get angry over some trivial little thing and leave. But each time I do so, I realize before long—my rightful place is with my husband. After all, there’s no turning back the clock now. One can’t be forever dwelling on what might have been.

Related Characters: Miss Kenton (Mrs. Benn) (speaker), Mr. Stevens
Page Number: 239
Explanation and Analysis:

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“Lord Darlington wasn’t a bad man. He wasn’t a bad man at all. And at least he had the privilege of being able to say at the end of his life that he made his own mistakes. His lordship was a courageous man. He chose a certain path in life, it proved to be a misguided one, but there, he chose it, he can say that at least. As for myself, I cannot even claim that. You see, I trusted. I trusted in his lordship’s wisdom. All those years I served him, I trusted I was doing something worthwhile. I can’t even say I made my own mistakes. Really—one has to ask oneself—what dignity is there in that?”

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker), Lord Darlington
Page Number: 243
Explanation and Analysis:

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After all, what can we ever gain in forever looking back and blaming ourselves if our lives have not turned out quite as we might have wished? The hard reality is, surely, that for the likes of you and I, there is little choice other than to leave our fate, ultimately, in the hands of those great gentlemen at the hub of this world who employ our services.

Related Characters: Mr. Stevens (speaker)
Page Number: 244
Explanation and Analysis:

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Mr. Stevens Character Timeline in The Remains of the Day

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Stevens appears in The Remains of the Day. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue: July 1956
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The narrator, Stevens, resolves to take an “expedition” by himself. He will borrow his employer Mr. Farraday’s car... (full context)
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Stevens had been taken aback by this suggestion, and also by Mr. Farraday’s remark that butlers... (full context)
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...of a letter from Miss Kenton, who used to work at Darlington Hall, that made Stevens begin to reconsider. He acknowledges that he’s begun to make a few errors in his... (full context)
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...that remained through the sale; all but Mrs. Clements left shortly thereafter. Mr. Farraday enlisted Stevens to hire a full new staff, but Stevens had trouble finding more than two young... (full context)
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Mr. Farraday told Stevens to draw up a staff plan, a kind of rota, which he found daunting. He’d... (full context)
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Stevens claims that while he’d still consider the final product a decent plan, it perhaps did... (full context)
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Stevens nonetheless continued to muse over the logistics for several days, pondering what the cost might... (full context)
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In order to get a sense of Miss Kenton’s new home in her married life, Stevens perused Mrs. Jane Symon’s volumes on The Wonder of England. Though the books were from... (full context)
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Stevens was a bit concerned about bringing up the matter of the trip again with Mr.... (full context)
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Stevens acknowledges that such banter is perhaps more common between employer and employee in the U.S.,... (full context)
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Today, such concerns are a greater issue for Stevens, because he cannot hope to confer with fellow professionals as he used to, especially when... (full context)
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Recently Stevens learned that Sir James Chambers would be visiting Darlington Hall, and he looked forward to... (full context)
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Returning from his digression, Stevens continues recounting his request for travel to Mr. Farraday, a request to which the latter... (full context)
Day One: Evening
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Stevens is lodging in a guest house in Salisbury after his first day of travel, having... (full context)
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Stevens stopped to stretch his legs and he walked up a hill where he saw an... (full context)
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Later, it would occur to Stevens that the man might have meant this as a bantering remark, but he felt that... (full context)
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Now Stevens finds himself in a modest but clean establishment: the beds have been well made and... (full context)
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Stevens asks what this “greatness” might mean, and suggests (though acknowledging that wiser men might be... (full context)
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This question reminds Stevens of a constant debate in his profession, on what makes a great butler—a topic often... (full context)
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Stevens often had to host employees of various degrees of perception, and he recalls anecdotes about... (full context)
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Returning to the question of what makes a great butler, Stevens is reminded of the Hayes Society as an example of a group that had attempted... (full context)
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...dignity entails. Mr. Graham always viewed dignity as something like a woman’s beauty—impossible to analyze—while Stevens objected that one could strive to have dignity; it was not a fluke of nature... (full context)
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Stevens proposes that his own father was the embodiment of “dignity.” Though he lacked some aspects... (full context)
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Stevens thinks of one anecdote in particular, which his father often repeated over the years: since... (full context)
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Stevens now sees that his father must have striven for years to become that butler, and... (full context)
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Stevens also remembers another anecdote that makes clear his father’s dignity. Stevens’s brother was killed in... (full context)
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Stevens concludes that in these anecdotes the difference between a competent butler like Mr. Neighbours and... (full context)
Day Two: Morning
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Stevens awakens to a morning filled with mist and no one visible from his window. He... (full context)
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...recalling the landscape from the second floor of Darlington Hall, for instance. She asks if Stevens remembers standing with her to watch his father walk back and forth outside the house.... (full context)
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In the spring of 1922 Stevens had lost his housekeeper and under-butler at the same time when they decided to marry—hardly... (full context)
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Shortly thereafter, Stevens was sitting in his pantry when Miss Kenton arrived with a vase of flowers, smiling... (full context)
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Stevens said this was an understandable mistake, but if she considered it she’d realize it would... (full context)
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Several weeks later, Miss Kenton came to Stevens in the library and said that he’d left a dust-pan in the hall. After dismissing... (full context)
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Not long afterward, Miss Kenton alerted Stevens to a misplaced “Chinaman” (porcelain object). Stevens said he was busy and would attend to... (full context)
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As he thinks back on it, though, Stevens now wonders if Miss Kenton really spoke so boldly that day. Now that he thinks... (full context)
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...to be engrossed in a volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica in his study before asking Stevens something—a tactic he usually used when embarrassed, allowing him to look down at the book... (full context)
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In this instance, Lord Darlington barely glanced up from his book to ask if Stevens’s father had made a full recovery from his fall. If it happened on the lawn,... (full context)
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...week earlier, Lord Darlington had been entertaining two guests in the summerhouse and had seen Stevens’s father approach across the lawn carrying a tray of refreshments, when he fell and scattered... (full context)
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Over the years, Stevens and his father had come to have fewer and fewer conversations—he was never sure why—so... (full context)
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Stevens found his father shaving, and he asked politely if his father wasn’t being troubled by... (full context)
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Stevens’s father betrayed no sense of emotion, but said he’d only fallen once because of the... (full context)
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Stevens knows he’ll regret it if he wastes his entire trip wrapped up in such memories,... (full context)
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On his way again, Stevens was cheered by the simple kindness of being thanked. Now, though, he wants to correct... (full context)
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...some reason, they dined in the vast banquet hall, rather than the intimate dining room. Stevens notes that it is difficult to be attentive while providing an illusion of absence when... (full context)
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...and H.G. Wells, as well as many who came “off the record” and thus whom Stevens cannot mention. He takes pride in the fact that he was privy to many private... (full context)
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Darlington once confided in Stevens that it was the Frenchmen who proved most intransigent, but that he needed at least... (full context)
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Stevens also found pressure on his own responsibilities mounting, aware that it was of vital importance... (full context)
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The tension was also noticeable with Miss Kenton. Once, during the preparations, Stevens came upon her in the dark backroom corridor, and reminded her of the bed linen... (full context)
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Stevens was irritated but had little time to devote to thinking about it. As the first... (full context)
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During these preliminaries, Stevens recalls, Darlington entrusted him with a particularly unusual task. Calling him over, engrossed in a... (full context)
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Though taken aback, Stevens resolved to settle the matter as early as possible. An hour later he noticed young... (full context)
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Stevens was delayed in his task by the arrival of an American senator, Mr. Lewis. As... (full context)
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...destroyed civilization in Europe, and he wondered why the English didn’t see it that way. Stevens thinks now that he began then to see something perhaps duplicitous in the Mr. Lewis’s... (full context)
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...the house filled, a tense atmosphere began to pervade it. At one relatively calm moment Stevens spotted the young Mr. Cardinal strolling outside and resolved to try again with his task:... (full context)
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...to appreciate the surroundings, and now M. Dupont had arrived in a horrible mood. Surprised, Stevens said he must hurry off, though he had more to say on the “glories of... (full context)
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...record” nature, such that everyone could feign that the visit was a mere social event. Stevens had to enter and exit frequently, but he recalls Lord Darlington’s opening speech emphasizing the... (full context)
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M. Dupont remained sullen and silent. At one point he stood and followed Stevens, asking him to change the bandages on his feet, which had developed sores from walking... (full context)
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After Stevens’s father was transported to his room, Stevens wasn’t sure what to do: there wasn’t a... (full context)
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That evening, Stevens overheard a conversation between Mr. Lewis and M. Dupont; he’d gone to the latter’s room... (full context)
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...the discussions seemed to become increasingly heated, though M. Dupont continued to say little. Meanwhile, Stevens’s father had grown no better or worse. On the second evening, Stevens senior was asleep... (full context)
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Downstairs, the kitchen was in chaos, but Stevens managed to restore calm by the time dinner was set. He notes that the banquet... (full context)
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...began to reminisce about his good friend Herr Bremann, and began to go off track: Stevens noticed a certain restlessness among the audience, even ill-mannered, by the time Darlington finished his... (full context)
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...Mr. Lewis smiled and shook his head. At that moment the first footman whispered to Stevens that Miss Kenton needed a word with him. He slipped out to find her looking... (full context)
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Stevens came to his father’s room to see Mrs. Mortimer, the cook, standing over the bed:... (full context)
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Stevens saw Miss Kenton signaling him and he began toward the door when M. Dupont asked... (full context)
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Mr. Cardinal started up a drunken conversation with Stevens, before a footman told Stevens that Miss Kenton wanted to talk to him. She told... (full context)
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Stevens claims it is not for him to suggest that he is among the “great” butlers... (full context)
Day Two: Afternoon
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Stevens has been thinking about the Hayes Society requirement for membership, that a butler be attached... (full context)
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Stevens adopts a metaphor to make his point: butlers of his father’s generation tended to see... (full context)
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Stevens had noticed that the country’s great debates and decisions are made not in public but... (full context)
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Stevens is increasingly convinced, now that he thinks about it, that to be “great” one must... (full context)
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While driving into Dorset, Stevens noticed an odd smell from the car, and after pulling over he resolved to look... (full context)
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The chauffeur suggested that Stevens visit a nearby pond on his way: thus Stevens now finds himself at the charming... (full context)
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At one point, Mrs. Wakefield was examining a stone arch and she asked Stevens if it only looked 17th century, but if it was actually from Lord Darlington’s time.... (full context)
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Though he’d put the episode behind him, Stevens now recalls it and admits that this episode and the one from this afternoon are... (full context)
Day Three: Morning
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Stevens is now staying in a cottage inn, where, last night, five or six other customers... (full context)
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Stevens now finds himself in a pleasant tearoom in Taunton, though only a few other diners... (full context)
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During the ‘20s, when Giffen and Co. was thriving, Stevens recalls a change in mood among butlers of his generation. One great butler popularized silver... (full context)
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Stevens is pleased to recall guests at Darlington Hall marveling at the silver. He recalls in... (full context)
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Stevens is aware now, of course, of the extent of Herr Ribbentrop’s trickery, as he was... (full context)
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Stevens also finds it hypocritical that people talk as if Lord Darlington were unusual in receiving... (full context)
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Stevens knows that some in his profession think it matters little what kind of employer one... (full context)
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Still, Stevens is aware that he must keep focused on the present—on serving his American employer— especially... (full context)
Day Three: Evening
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Stevens wishes to return to the question of anti-Semitism, which has become so sensitive today, especially... (full context)
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It was then that, Stevens recalls, he once overheard Lord Darlington refer to a certain newspaper as a “Jewish propaganda... (full context)
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Stevens knew he’d have to talk to Miss Kenton about the dismissal, and he resolved to... (full context)
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Stevens resolved to announce the matter concisely, and he informed Miss Kenton at the end of... (full context)
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...were dismissed then she’d leave too because it would be a sin to dismiss them. Stevens responded that it was not their place to make such judgments: the world is a... (full context)
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Miss Kenton remained cold toward Stevens for several weeks. Stevens eventually grew impatient, finally telling her, with a slight laugh, that... (full context)
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About a year later, Stevens was serving tea one afternoon, long after Mrs. Barnet ceased to visit the house and... (full context)
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Stevens began by saying, while laughing, that he’d been thinking of Miss Kenton’s earlier insistence that... (full context)
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In a different voice, Miss Kenton expressed shock, recalling that Stevens had seemed pleased and cheerful about the girls’ dismissal. He told her that was quite... (full context)
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Stevens is now reminded of what happened next—the hiring of Lisa as a replacement. Lisa had... (full context)
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Miss Kenton took a certain triumph in Lisa’s success, and she teased Stevens about it during their parlor evenings. She suggested that Stevens may have been pessimistic about... (full context)
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After eight months, Lisa disappeared with the second footman—something that, Stevens acknowledges, is bound to happen in any large household. Though irritating, this was a relatively... (full context)
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Stevens returns to the present, where he finds himself in a small cottage belonging to a... (full context)
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Stevens climbed to a hill and saw a village in the distance. Discouraged, he began to... (full context)
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Stevens thus finds it a relief to be in his room alone now, indulging in recollections.... (full context)
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That evening, Stevens was enjoying a rare hour off duty, reading, when Miss Kenton entered with a vase... (full context)
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Now, Stevens doesn’t feel he should be ashamed of confessing that at times he did enjoy such... (full context)
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This event is really only noteworthy, Stevens thinks, in that it allowed him to realize how inappropriate Miss Kenton’s behavior to him... (full context)
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...off in her contract, sometimes leaving in the morning and not returning home until late. Stevens became a little worried, especially after Mr. Graham mentioned that he’d been wondering how long... (full context)
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Stevens started to notice that Miss Kenton was now receiving regular letters from the same address.... (full context)
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Miss Kenton added that Stevens certainly must be content; he had reached the top of his profession, and she couldn’t... (full context)
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Not long afterward, the evening parlor meetings did come to an end. Stevens recalls the very night: he’d been discussing a forthcoming event with Miss Kenton, and she’d... (full context)
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Stevens admits now that he’d wondered if things might have turned out differently if he hadn’t... (full context)
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That afternoon Stevens, having spent a few hours wondering how he might lighten her burden, found Miss Kenton... (full context)
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Stevens reminds himself that it’s useless to speculate on what might have been. At the time... (full context)
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Stevens returns to the events of earlier this evening, after Mrs. Taylor served him a simple... (full context)
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Mrs. Taylor and Mrs. Smith told Stevens that Dr. Carlisle should be arriving after seeing his patients, and would love to make... (full context)
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Mr. Morgan turned to Stevens and asked if he might be able to say what a gentleman was. After a... (full context)
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...way, but that they gave more than their share during the war. Mr. Taylor told Stevens that Smith was a strong organizer. Mr. Andrews asked if Stevens was involved in politics... (full context)
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Stevens still isn’t sure what made him say such a thing, but he found himself telling... (full context)
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Smith said that he himself had never met anyone as grand as Stevens had, but he still believed he was doing his part. That’s why he has spent... (full context)
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Stevens responded that he applauded Smith’s sentiment, the idea that one should strive to make the... (full context)
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Stevens tried to excuse himself to retire, although the group kept asking him questions, then entreated... (full context)
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Stevens now feels quite uncomfortable regarding the misunderstanding, but he fails to see how he could... (full context)
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Stevens finds himself lingering over Mr. Smith’s thoughts on dignity. He’s certain that the man’s statements... (full context)
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Stevens thinks of an incident that illustrates that point, from an evening in 1935 when Lord... (full context)
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Stevens acknowledges that this was a slightly uncomfortable situation, but far from the most difficult any... (full context)
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Stevens recognizes that today, such statements might seem odd, even unappealing, but he thinks there is... (full context)
Day Four: Afternoon
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Stevens is sitting in the dining room of the Rose Garden Hotel, a steady rain falling... (full context)
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Stevens is quite aware that his request may only be met with disappointment. But the day... (full context)
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Dr. Carlisle asked several times what Stevens thought of the village folk, though with a slightly odd, deliberate edge, as he said... (full context)
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Dr. Carlisle told Stevens that when he first arrived in the village, he was a committed socialist, because he... (full context)
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All morning, Stevens has been thinking of a fragment of a memory: standing alone in front of the... (full context)
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...the first time Mr. Cardinal had ever shown up without warning. Darlington seemed annoyed when Stevens informed him of Cardinal’s arrival, but said he’d join him soon. (full context)
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Stevens then went down to Miss Kenton’s parlor to inform her of Mr. Cardinal’s arrival. She... (full context)
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Twenty minutes later, Stevens was carrying a tray upstairs when he heard angry footsteps and saw Miss Kenton glaring... (full context)
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...quite confidential, and that Mr. Cardinal couldn’t join them. After dinner, from the drawing room, Stevens suddenly heard angry voices, and Darlington shouting to Mr. Cardinal that it wasn’t any of... (full context)
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...another gentleman arrived not long thereafter. A little later, Miss Kenton returned. She asked if Stevens was not at all interested in what took place with her acquaintance; Stevens replied that... (full context)
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As Stevens left her, Miss Kenton called out his name, and asked if after all her years... (full context)
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Upstairs, Mr. Cardinal asked Stevens to get him more brandy; while Stevens suggested that he may want to stop drinking,... (full context)
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In response to Mr. Cardinal’s questions as to whether Stevens had noticed this, Stevens said that it wasn’t his place to do so. Cardinal said... (full context)
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Mr. Cardinal asked Stevens if he was content to watch his lordship go off a cliff; Stevens said he... (full context)
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Stevens rose to leave as he heard the bell from the drawing room. Upon going downstairs,... (full context)
Day Six: Evening
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Stevens has thought about coming to this seaside town of Weymouth for many years, and he... (full context)
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Miss Kenton had surprised Stevens by coming to the hotel. He met her in the tea lounge; she smiled and... (full context)
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Stevens also learned that, while Miss Kenton had indeed left her home for several days, she’d... (full context)
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Stevens attempted, in turn, to describe to Miss Kenton how Darlington Hall had changed: she seemed... (full context)
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Otherwise, though, the two talked of happy memories, and Stevens was surprised that two hours had passed when Miss Kenton said she must return home.... (full context)
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As they waited for the bus, Stevens asked permission to ask Miss Kenton a personal question: given the letters he’s had from... (full context)
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Miss Kenton said she felt she could respond honestly, as she and Stevens may not meet again for many years. When she left Darlington Hall, she didn’t believe... (full context)
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Stevens admits that at that moment, his heart was breaking. After a silent moment, though, he... (full context)
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Stevens watches the pier lights being switched on, and thinks back to a curious discussion he... (full context)
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The man asked if Stevens wanted a hankie, and gave him one; Stevens apologized, saying the traveling must have tired... (full context)
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...and enjoy it, especially for both of them, now that their day’s work is done. Stevens agreed with him, and then the man departed. Stevens thinks there might be something to... (full context)
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Stevens gazes at the families on the pier, and a group of six or seven people... (full context)