“Fifth birth of Paul Dempster throught his life

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Last updated: April 18, 2019

                       “Fifth Business” a novel written by the Canadian autor Robertson Davies.

Published in 1970,  the novel explores the life of the narrator  who is Dunstan Ramsey who spends all his life in a world of isolation in a way that secludes him from the rest of the society. As Dunny get’s older he realize that his decisions, actions interets and experiences during his life are keeping him in a life of isolation . The guilty of  Dunstan’s conscience and the irregular interaction with woman leave him in a world of isolation. Many characters in “Fifth Business” live lifes of isolation not just Dunstan Ramsey. In the novel “Fifth Business” isolation exist also it has an enormous role during the novel and take place in three aspects, physical, emotional and social.                 One might interpret that isolation does not exist in “Fifth Business” and guilt exist and plays the principal role during the novel “Fifth Business”. Dunstan feels a lot of guilt during  his life. He feels guilty for the premature birth of Paul Dempster throught his life but he most of all feels a lot of guilty about his responsibility for Mary Dempster’s condition.

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Dunstan’s experience with Mary Dempster leaves him with a feeling of guilt because he feels responsible for her accident with the snowball and her “simplicity”. “As a child I had felt oppressively responsible for her, but I had thought all that was dissipated in the war.  But the guilt had only been thrust away, or thrust down out of sight, for here it was again, in full strength, clamouring to be atoned, now that the opportunity offered itself” (p152) this quotation  was say by dunstan in the novel “Fifth Business” by Robertson Davies, in this quotation Dunstan feels guilty for the “simplicity” of Mary Dempster. After Mary Dempster prematurely gives birth to Paul, Dunstan feels guilty because of his association with her accident.

“I learned all the gynaecological and obstetrical details as they were imparted piecemeal to my father; the difference was that he sat comfortably beside the living-room stove, opposite my mother, while I stood barefoot and in my nightshirt beside the stovepipe upstairs, guilt-ridden and sometimes nauseated as I heard things that were new and terrible to my ears” (p13) this quotation is say by Dunstan Ramsay in the novel. Dunstan feel guilty because he is related with Mary Dempster accident. However Dunstan’s infancy causes him to have constant feelings of isolation wich causes him to live a life of isolation in wich he tries to make amends with his past mistakes.         Physical Isolation  is the first aspect  in “Fifth Business” it is show in many characters during the novel .Mrs.Dempsters husband locks her up in the house away from the outside world.”Began to think that he was as simple as she like many  ostrazized people they became more marked in their adority” Mrs Dempsters was rejected by those in Deptford for the morality system.

“But I was a lonely creative, and althought I would have been very happy to have a friend I just never happened to meet one” Dunstans  get off the war and physically isolates himself from Deptford.”This increased my sense  of isolation of being forced out of the world  I belong to into the strange and unchancy world of dempsters… The passingg of time  brought other isolations.The second aspect is of the novel ” Fifth Business” is Emotional. Dunstans isolation is rooten in his guilt.

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