[QUOTE=Bookworm_Girl;2011824 Harry Smith when he is stranded in the small village of Moscombe. Harry has strong political opinions and feels that every free man and woman has the right to such opinions and to strive for dignity because of how much they had sacrificed in the great world wars of that time. Dignity is not just for gentlemen, he says. Stevens's opinion is quite contrary:[/QUOTE]
I think that you have isolated a key moment there.
I feel that Stevens is caught in a time-loop which shows up exactly how wrong his obsession with "dignity" has become. When he leaves the pocket universe of the estate he is plunged into the real world. His values are not relevant any longer in that contextーthough he remains faithful to them as he has nothing else. Had he married Miss Kenton, the whole world would have opened up to him through the family they would have had. There is a greater "dignity" in that love-relationship than could ever be provided through the role of a butler. Clearly, Miss Kentonーthough she still has an emotional attachment to Stevens is not willing to go back with him as the world which includes her Grand-daughter has a greater life-relevance than the role of a housekeeper.