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Old 03-25-2012, 01:28 AM   #21
Bookworm_Girl
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southwest, USA
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Yes, you do feel like Stevens is lost in a time-warp. It is depressing because of the rather empty life he will return to after the road trip. Lord Darlington is gone and replaced by an American who doesn't live there full-time. Darlington Hall will no longer be the bustling center of an aristocrat's social parties or the political meetings shaping the history of the nation. Given the respect that Stevens had for his place in society and the British pre-war way of life that surely must have bothered him quite significantly (aside from having to learn the art of bantering!). The loads of servants that he once commanded are gone, and the huge house is closed in many areas. The stranger on the pier refers to Stevens as a "package deal" with the house. As if all the American was interested in was an English butler with his English estate, and the individual personality of Stevens and his capabilities and whether he was dignified or not really was no matter to him. Stevens was just a novelty to him, and it trivializes his identity as a butler after all that he has sacrificed in life for this role.
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