Fifth Business Questions and Answers

Fifth Business

The allusions to drama and theatre are made explicit in this novel through the title and the way that Dunstan, the narrator of this story, comes to view himself as being "Fifth Business," that...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2013, 7:40 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Fifth Business Definition: Those roles which, being neither those of Hero nor Heroine, Confidante nor Villain, but which were nonetheless essential to bring about the Recognition or the...

Latest answer posted July 20, 2020, 11:03 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

The character of Reverend Leadbeater appears in connection with Boy Staunton, whom he meets on board the ship taking him to Europe. Through this character and the impression he makes on Boy,...

Latest answer posted November 4, 2020, 7:38 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Dunstable Ramsay changes his name primarily because he seeks to see himself as a different person. During his World War I service, Ramsay narrowly escapes death, and in that close call, he comes to...

Latest answer posted January 31, 2019, 12:18 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

You are correct in showing the use of this passage to support the order of Mary's miracles. I used the chronological order of the miracles to show the saving of Willie as the first miracle. Dunstan...

Latest answer posted July 17, 2013, 9:55 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

The title of the third chapter of this text reveals the symbol and the theme:"My Fool-Saint." This chapter describes the curious fascination that Mrs. Dempster exerts on Dunstable Ramsay, who is of...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2013, 6:57 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Percy-Boyd Staunton (later shortened to Boy Staunton) does not die until the third book of the series World of Wonders. He is killed, or is suggested into killing himself, by Magnus Eisengrim....

Latest answer posted July 23, 2010, 12:07 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Let’s take a look at Dunny’s several interactions with women. He views women, in turn, with respect, fear, admiration, tenderness, reverence, lust, loathing, and gratitude. His first and most...

Latest answer posted March 20, 2020, 8:19 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Before we can talk about the various archetypes that connect to Dunstan Ramsey’s character, we should probably talk about archetypes. Who came up with them? What do they mean? The theory of...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2020, 5:04 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Dunstan Ramsay, the novel's main character, is a history teacher, a historian of sainthood, and a historian of his own life, as Fifth Business operates as his autobiography. Though Dunstan is a...

Latest answer posted May 25, 2020, 3:17 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

As Dunstan tells us, Boy is mightily impressed by the Reverend Leadbeater, whom he meets in the first-class compartment aboard ship. In fact, his whole world has been positively enlarged by this...

Latest answer posted July 15, 2020, 1:53 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Dunstan can be seen to act as "fifth business" to Diana Marfleet, but I don't think that's a really useful way of thinking about it. If you do use that template, Dunstan is the "fifth" to her...

Latest answer posted November 14, 2009, 1:24 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

There are several different ways of looking at this question, and in the third book of the series (World of Wonders) Leisl explains some of the reasons she used that phrase. This was spoken by the...

Latest answer posted November 19, 2009, 12:07 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Percy Boyd Staunton, a character in Robertson Davies' Fifth Business, changes his name from Percy Boyd Staunton to, simply, Boy Staunton. This name change comes as a result of the harassment Percy...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2013, 10:59 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Each name is a play and pun on the latin phrases: "Agnus Dei," "Sic Transit Gloria Mundi," and "Libido" Agnes Day is close to Agnus Dei, Latin for an image of a lamb, often as a symbol of Christ,...

Latest answer posted August 28, 2018, 5:03 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Fifth Business a novel written by Dunstan Ramsey who is a fictional narrator is chocked full of sexual references and innuendos. A few examples include when Mrs. Dempster is called a "generous"...

Latest answer posted August 26, 2010, 6:38 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Diana Marfleet—who Ramsay at first refers to as the pretty nurse—is the one who gives Ramsay his new name, Dunstan. She also has an impact on who he is as a person. Diana is twenty-four and tells...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2019, 10:52 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

There are three significant character name changes in Davies' Fifth Business. The first is in the case of the main character, Dunstable Ramsay. To young Ramsay, Mrs. Dempster (his neighbor) becomes...

Latest answer posted May 25, 2019, 2:40 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

More than any other person in Dunstan Ramsay’s life, Liesl (Liselotte Vitzlipiitzli) helps him learn to live in the here and now and to be responsible to himself. He meets her while she is managing...

Latest answer posted March 6, 2019, 4:29 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Dunstable Ramsay takes on a new name and finds a vocation after he is injured while serving in World War I. Several factors influence this fundamental transformation. Dunstable's severe injuries in...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2019, 7:48 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Dunstan Ramsey's mother is a hardy Scotswoman; in Part 1, we see this formidable matriarch working alongside Dr. McCausland to save the severely premature Paul Dempster. She is a forceful...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2015, 3:09 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Dunstan Ramsey spends a large amount of his life chasing after the stories of obscure saints in Europe. For a man who is not even a Catholic, and who has an abhorrence of religion from his...

Latest answer posted February 16, 2010, 1:50 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Among the characters who change their names are Dunstable Ramsay, who becomes Dunstan, and Percy Boyd Staunton, who simplifies his name to Boy Staunton. Dunstable Ramsay feels himself a different...

Latest answer posted January 7, 2019, 3:05 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Leola has made the fatal mistake of marrying Percy Staunton, or Boy Staunton as he now calls himself. As well as being an egomaniac, Boy is an inveterate womanizer and regularly cheats on Leola...

Latest answer posted June 13, 2021, 8:13 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

The life of Dunstan (originally Dunstable) Ramsay is strongly affected by the childhood incident of rock throwing and his experiences in the war. In his ongoing studies of the saints, he learned...

Latest answer posted June 26, 2020, 7:33 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

The guilt that Percy and Dunstan bear for what happened to Mary is dealt with in very different ways by both boys. Dunstan grows up to see Mary as a saint and works through his guilt by making her...

Latest answer posted January 30, 2019, 10:37 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

This answer assumes that you ask why he is depressed near the end of his life. Dunny says Boy is more important than ever, with huge financial interests. He is a public figure, prominent in...

Latest answer posted February 23, 2020, 7:49 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Dunstan Ramsay envisions Mary Depsey in several roles at different times in his life. He is preoccupied with her because of the guilt he feels over injuring her. Mary serves as a mother figure...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2019, 1:00 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Dunny's role is the protagonist. He is the main character. All of the other characters are in the story just like you would have other characters in your story if you wrote your autobiography. At...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2008, 10:16 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Any first-person narrative is, by nature, unreliable to a certain extent. It is nearly impossible to retain realism (which Robertson Davies does almost all of the time in this book, the first of...

Latest answer posted May 15, 2010, 2:00 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

One of the most obvious examples of characters being impacted by society is the character of Paul Dempster, or Marcus Eisengrim as he later calls himself. He is a character who is defined by the...

Latest answer posted November 4, 2013, 7:15 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

I'm afraid the answer to your question certainly does not end very well for Boy (as is evidenced by his suicide and despair); however, it is true that Ramsay shows Boy "the error of his ways."...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2015, 8:21 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Due to the number of characters allowed in answers, I will not be able to answer all of the questions. Let's begin with the significance of names. It's clear that being "twice-born", as Leisl...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2010, 6:26 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

As the novel's title strongly suggests, the traditions of stage drama and theatre, most particularly found in opera, are a key thematic concern of this text, most particularly in the way that...

Latest answer posted July 22, 2013, 7:19 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

In Part Two of Fifth Business, "I Am Born Again," Diana Marfleet plays the roles of Dunstan's lover, confidante, nurse / caregiver, as a hero worshipper, and as a fiance. Firstly Diana is the...

Latest answer posted January 6, 2009, 3:50 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Diana Marfleet, a nurse in Robertson Davies' Fifth Business, represents the mother archetype (the majority of the time). Diana appears in part two of the novel, "I Am Born Again." In this section,...

Latest answer posted July 12, 2013, 5:15 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

In Fifth Business, the importance of the theme of sainthood has to do with two specific characters: Dunstable (Dunstan) Ramsay and Mary Dempster. Dunstable Ramsay (who is later referred to as...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2016, 2:22 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Dunny does some serious growing and changing in the novel, but he also realizes his limitations. One way in which he does not grow is in his relationship with Boy Staunton. He always had a...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2009, 7:58 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Well, considering this is an "autobiography" of Dunstan Ramsay, the main character role we need to be concerned about is Dunstan Ramsay. All of the other characters are only important in how they...

Latest answer posted June 27, 2015, 6:45 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

It is not so much his characteristics as his actions that introduce Boy Staunton as a villain and a troublemaker. He is introduced as a rambunctious, rebellious boy who throws a snow-covered rock...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2019, 9:41 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

In Robertson Davies’ novel Fifth Business, one incident in the lives of Dunstable Ramsay and his friend Percy Boyd Stanton changes their friendship; more than that, it alters the lives of Mary...

Latest answer posted January 14, 2019, 1:44 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Fifth Business opens near the end of the year 1908. Robertson Davies places the beginning of this book (and the trilogy of novels) significantly during the time before the First World War. Not...

Latest answer posted May 9, 2010, 12:02 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

In Robertson Davies's novel Fifth Business, Boy Staunton puts on a good show. He wants to look better and be wealthier than any of his rivals. In fact, he models himself after the Prince of Wales...

Latest answer posted November 28, 2021, 7:27 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Mrs. Dempster is the kindly, slightly crazy lady who lives next door to Dunny (Dunstable Ramsey, the main character). Her husband is the Reverend Amasa Dempster. Dunny, who is a child, is out...

Latest answer posted April 27, 2010, 12:42 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

The Vision of Dr. Faustus is a play on the old legend of a German alchemist who found a way to conjure up the devil. Upon meeting Satan, Faustus makes a pact with him. For a life of earthly...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2009, 2:14 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Right from the beginning of the novel, Dunstan is aware of Mary Dempster. She is a tender young minister's wife who, according to Dunstan's mother and other village women, seems ill-suited to her...

Latest answer posted March 2, 2020, 12:49 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

It may be a mistake to try to ascribe themes to parts of books since authors generally work from one overarching theme. Yet, if ia trend can be seen in particular sections, the term "theme" may be...

Latest answer posted July 4, 2013, 10:35 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

It is difficult and quite possibly fruitless to compare and seek to connect such disparate works of literature as these three are. Fifth Business is about a young man (first as a boy) who tries to...

Latest answer posted August 10, 2013, 8:58 pm (UTC)

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Fifth Business

That's an interesting question, bringing up the idea of what "valuable" means. Certainly to the reader Dunstan (formerly Dunstable) Ramsay's life seems more valuable simply because he is more...

Latest answer posted August 3, 2009, 6:52 am (UTC)

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Fifth Business

Robertson Davies combines elements of the Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalene in the character of Mary Dempster. As Mary is pregnant at the time Boyd hits her with the rock and soon goes into labor, the...

Latest answer posted March 4, 2019, 6:50 am (UTC)

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