Unreliable narration in The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and Love and Death in Long Island by Gilbert Adair. Vanderbilt.

Essay by BrthrbruceUniversity, Bachelor's April 2003

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Different Strokes for Different Folks

People make friends and acquaintances with similar backgrounds and similar viewpoints. When a story is told, the audience takes it for granted that the storyteller values the same things as they do. If the person has different beliefs and values, does that make the story less valid? The narrators in The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro and Love and Death in Long Island by Gilbert Adair are both preoccupied with different obsessions, and for this reason, they are unreliable narrators.

The scene with Stevens' father in The Remains of the Day when he is on his deathbed is an example of his dedication to his work over his personal life. There are scenes that display Stevens passing on friendships because of his obligations but in this scene, Stevens leaves his father's side to go downstairs and wait on a party that Lord Darlington was hosting.

Not only does Stevens pass on the opportunity to be with his father during his last moments, he shows no regret about his decision after the fact: "For all its sad associations, whenever I recall that evening today, I find I do so with a large sense of triumph."(Kazuo Ishiguro 45) Stevens misses the chance to be at his father's deathbed and instead of being angry or disappointed, he uses triumph to describe the situation. The only way that the reader knows that Stevens was upset is because the guests ask him if he is crying. Stevens was crying but when narrating the story, says that he was proud of what happened. He is the narrator of the story and does not communicate what happens to the reader. Stevens uses the same restrained manner in which he conducts himself with his acquaintances with the reader, putting...