Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Remains of The Day

Some months ago I was blog-hopping and stumbled across the mention of this book. Having a vague recollection of the title (I thought it was a horror film) I was surprised to find it at the library in the teen aisle.

After reading it I wonder what kind of an impression it leaves on a high-school English class. For me it left a feeling of sadness and a sense of waste but on reflection there are many lessons to be learned from it.

Some topics that could be discussed:
  • How does being vulnerable affect communication?
  • Should duty and service be put above love?
  • How do ethics play into duty?
  • Can lost opportunities be reclaimed?
  • What are some areas of idealism that I hold onto?
I found myself willing the butler to just say "I love you" to the housekeeper, to take a risk and become a real person. He avoids pain and effectively locks away his heart until it is too late. He pulls back from living a full life and finds out how much he missed in the end.

If you are short on time Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins portray the main characters in a movie by the same title. I found I lost some of the butler's thought processes in the movie that you gain in the book but overall its pretty well done.

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