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Defense Machanisms in Kauzo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day
2002 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

In this essay I have examined some of the defense mechanisms which are at play in The Remains of the Day. Defenses are described by Sigmund Freud in his psycho-analytic theory as people´s unconscious ego mechanisms which prevent them from their internal pain but also from the pain of the outside world. People´s unconsciously suppressed pains, fears and wounds cause actions of disguise, distortion and deception, which in turn assert themselves through people´s defenses. People´s defenses protect them from their core issues such as low self-esteem and insecurity about one´s own self. The defenses I examine are denial, fear of intimacy, projection and repression: the defenses which are at play in Mr Stevens´ life. His defenses protect him from revealing his core issues since they cause a great deal of anxiety throughout his life. Moreover, his defenses help him uphold what he sees as ideals of professionalism, dignity and noble moral values. In this essay I have found that the defenses he uses to avoid anxiety are in vain. The more he conceals the more he reveals. In his relation to the significant people in his life - Miss Kenton, his father and Lord Darlington - he reveals his suppressed pains, fears and wounds through his distorted behaviour and his deceptive actions. He looks back and tries to examine his life, but he is not able to acknowledge the anxiety and the discomfort of his painful memories. The consequences of hiding behind his defenses are that he ends up lonely and desolate and with a deep feeling of regret. My conclusion is that when his defenses finally break down it is too late for Mr Stevens. His life had come full circle. He chooses to seek the security of the familiar; in this novel represented by Darlington Hall.

Abstract [en]

In this essay I have examined some of the defense mechanisms which are at play in The Remains of the Day. Defenses are described by Sigmund Freud in his psycho-analytic theory as people´s unconscious ego mechanisms which prevent them from their internal pain but also from the pain of the outside world. People´s unconsciously suppressed pains, fears and wounds cause actions of disguise, distortion and deception, which in turn assert themselves through people´s defenses. People´s defenses protect them from their core issues such as low self-esteem and insecurity about one´s own self. The defenses I examine are denial, fear of intimacy, projection and repression: the defenses which are at play in Mr Stevens´ life. His defenses protect him from revealing his core issues since they cause a great deal of anxiety throughout his life. Moreover, his defenses help him uphold what he sees as ideals of professionalism, dignity and noble moral values. In this essay I have found that the defenses he uses to avoid anxiety are in vain. The more he conceals the more he reveals. In his relation to the significant people in his life - Miss Kenton, his father and Lord Darlington - he reveals his suppressed pains, fears and wounds through his distorted behaviour and his deceptive actions. He looks back and tries to examine his life, but he is not able to acknowledge the anxiety and the discomfort of his painful memories. The consequences of hiding behind his defenses are that he ends up lonely and desolate and with a deep feeling of regret. My conclusion is that when his defenses finally break down it is too late for Mr Stevens. His life had come full circle. He chooses to seek the security of the familiar; in this novel represented by Darlington Hall.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. , 14 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53684Local ID: ENG C-13OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53684DiVA: diva2:1102244
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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