Ishiguro on Pretense vs Substance: superficial vs essence

In a discussion among butlers, in The Remains of the Day, about what criteria constitutes a good butler:

A good butler is not one who can merely “be displayed as a monkey at a house party [answering] random questions of the day [in a] good accent and command of language” but one who can, with a 12 bore, kill a tiger which got into the house and took up residence under the dining room table, then honestly tell the master that, “Dinner will be served at the usual time…[with] no discernible traces left of the recent occurrence”.


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