What insights has Robertson Davies provided that help us in understanding our differences, including cultural differences?

Robertson Davies is particularly adept at discerning and dissecting minor cultural differences in societies that initially appear homogenous. He explores the psychology of his characters in great detail, particularly through the method of Jungian analysis.

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Although this is a personal question, and will also depend on which works by Robertson Davies you have read, Davies has certain characteristics as a writer which suggest productive lines of approach. At first glance, it might appear that Davies has little to say about cultural differences, since he focuses on the Canadian upper-middle classes living in small towns. However, Davies is interested in the vanity of small differences, and explores the cultures about which he writes in great detail. In the Deptford Trilogy, often regarded as Davies's masterpiece, the writer delves into the intricacies of small-town snobbery and sectarianism in his portrayal of five different churches within a small town. Although these churches are all Christian, they belong to different sects, and their congregations do not normally associate with one another. For Duncan Ramsay, raised as a Presbyterian, even to take an interest in Catholic hagiography requires a cultural adjustment.

Davies is also profoundly interested in the psychology of his characters, which he explores through Jungian analysis. The second novel in the Deptford Trilogy, The Manticore, features an alcoholic lawyer from a powerful family undergoing a protracted course of psychological analysis in Switzerland. The lawyer, David Staunton, makes various assumptions based on his background, and these are forensically examined over the course of the narrative.

To address this question, therefore, you should think about the mindsets of the characters in the book or books you have studied, where their attitudes came from, and how they are examined and dissected during the course of the book. This will work best if you choose a character who is culturally either as similar as possible to or completely different from you. Then, think about your perception of the character's cultural attitudes and conduct at the beginning and end of the book.

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