Is the rise of the United States as a world power and the decline of the British Empire included in his novel the Remains of the Day?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the direct interpretation of Ishiguro's work is to discuss the futility of "noble" intentions in a world devoid of nobility.  In paralleling Stevens' predicament to the period in between both World Wars, it seems to me that the real decline featured in the work is the idea that a modern "realpolitik" approach was needed to effectively deal with Hitler and the rise of the Nazis.  The film does much to attack the notions of appeasement, or the idea that "gentlemen" can negotiate with the likes of Hitler.  Too much of a gentleman to realize that Hitler wasn't, the book does much to impugn the notions of appeasement.  Perhaps, an argument can be made that American notions of the good helped to win the war, thereby establishing an idea of empire, as Stevens ends up working for the American senator.

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The Remains of the Day

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