Excavation of Hushed Voices: A Spatio-temporal Imaginary Discourse on Socio-ethics in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day




Old English,, Hierarchy, Professional, American


The concept of the ‘Great Chain of Being’, which influences the narrative style of the Renaissance Period of English Literature, depicts the hierarchical state of the old English Society. Suggestively, a society which is driven by class/status and its attendant structures of inequality, discrimination and oppression. Hence, literary narratives of this period revolve round the travails of Kings and nobles, while subjecting the common men to the background. Subsequently, the esoteric state of the society, which was usually captured from the third person point of view, helps to question the place of truth in these literary narratives, as they could be liken to glossary reports from spectators, devoid of participant’ direct contribution(s). Thus, this research deconstructs the old English style of narrative using Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, The Remains of the Day because through this Asian-British narrative, there comes a direct feel of participant’s contribution, as he deconstructs the style of the old traditional English narratives in his novel. Consequently, with the application of the first-person point of view from a lower class in his novel, readers could grasp a different alternate perception and understanding of this society and individuals within the purview of socio-ethics, politics and development. In furtherance, this study gives a historicized spatial alternate or temporal reality of an Old English society system - a system anchored on classism, professionalism and superficial orderliness devoid of ‘social interactions’ and freedom, especially for the workmen or common men. Jacque Derrida’s deconstruction theory helps to critically explore the discourse, as data were collected through fictional, historical and analytical method based on qualitative critical approach. Ultimately, the research shows that binary oppositions can only complement each other rather than privileging one over the other, as perceptions, meanings and views are in fluidity.

Author Biography

Abigail Onowosemenmen Oaikhena PhD, Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Abigail Onowosemenmen Oaikhena Ph.D, is a lecturer at the departments of English Language and Literature, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria. Her areas of research interest include Cultural Studies, Migrant Studies, Comparative Literature, Postcolonial Literature, African American and Caribbean Literature. She likes attending academic conferences, workshops and other academic activities. She sits on the editorial board of Rajasthali Journal.


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How to Cite

Oaikhena, A. (2024). Excavation of Hushed Voices: A Spatio-temporal Imaginary Discourse on Socio-ethics in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. Studies in Humanities and Education, 5(1), 12–20. https://doi.org/10.48185/she.v5i1.914