The Remains of the Day

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A Strained Relationship


In the excerpt below, what is it about Mr. Stevens’s speech that emphasizes the awkward relationship between him and his father?

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‘The fact is, Father has become increasingly infirm. So much so, that even the duties of an under-butler are now beyond his capabilities. His lordship is of the view, as indeed I am myself, that while Father is allowed to continue with his present round of duties, he represents an ever-present threat to the smooth running of this household, and in particular to next week’s important gathering.’ My father’s face, in the half-light, betrayed no emotion whatsoever. ‘Principally,’ I continued, ‘it has been felt that Father should no longer be asked to wait at table, whether or not guests are present.’