How ‘The Remains of the Day’ Helped Me Understand Brexit and Trump

Hidden within Nobel winner Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel is a powerful critique of neoliberalism

At the end of Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the DayStevens, the former butler whose reminiscences constitute the entire plot of the novel, wonders what kind of dignity is to be salvaged from his life.

Stevens is an indelible narrator because he is in the business of convincing himself, over and over again, that his life has significance, that he is a consummate professional, a loyal butler, one of great standing. Underneath the voice lies the tremulous undercurrent of his shattered self: feelings of shame, heartbreak, worthlessness. Continue reading