How has Stevens changed from Chapter 1 to the last chapter in "Remains of the Day"? 

Expert Answers
sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The biggest change in Stevens throughout the story is psychological.  At the beginning, he holds fast to the principles of decorum that have kept him loyal to Darlington and prevented him from forming relationships.  He believes in the propriety and need for his reserve.  However, at the end of the novel, he expresses regret for his life behavior.  He wishes he could have behaved differently.  He is unable at this point in his life to dramatically change his behavior, but he recognizes the folly of it.  The following quote best demonstrates his change of feeling:

"But that doesn't mean to say, of course, there aren't occasions now and then- extremely desolate occasions—when you think to yourself: 'What a terrible mistake I've made with my life.' And you get to thinking about a different life, a better life you might have had. For instance, I get to thinking about a life I may have had with you, Mr. Stevens. And I suppose that's when I get angry about some trivial little thing and leave. But each time I do, I realize before long—my rightful place is with my husband. After all, there's no turning back the clock now. One can't be forever dwelling on what might have been."

Read the study guide:
The Remains of the Day

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question