The Remains of the Day

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Not an Ordinary Under-butler


In the following excerpt, through what details do we get a character sketch of Mr. Steven’s father and under-butler at Darlington Hall, Mr. William Stevens?

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The oil lamp beside his bed had been extinguished, and when I saw my father glance disapprovingly at the lamp I had brought up to guide me up the rickety staircase, I quickly lowered the wick. Having done this, I noticed all the more the effect of the pale light coming into the room, and the way it lit up the edges of my father’s craggy, lined, still awesome features. ‘Ah,’ I said, and gave a short laugh. ‘I might have known Father would be up and ready for the day.’ ‘I’ve been up for the past three hours,’ he said, looking me up and down rather coldly. ‘I hope Father is not being kept awake by his arthritic troubles.’ ‘I get all the sleep I need.’