Dunstan Ramsey: A Childhood Conflicted, a Life Unlived Essay

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Dunstan Ramsey: A Childhood Conflicted, a Life Unlived The novel Fifth Business by Robertson Davies does away with the stigma that Canadian literature is dull and boring. A master of his art, Davies creates a cast of vivid characters and skillfully weaves them into a story about love, guilt, myth and redemption. With the effective use of first-person narrative, Fifth Business is written as a fictional memoir of the character Dunstable Ramsey, who grows up in the small town of Deptford in Ontario, Canada. As a boy, Dunstable was unmistakably very intelligent, gifted with an uncanny ability to read others. He was raised in a Scottish household by strict Presbyterian parents, who into him hammered several religious canons and tenets. Thus, …show more content…
Dunstan Ramsey: A Childhood Conflicted, a Life Unlived The novel Fifth Business by Robertson Davies does away with the stigma that Canadian literature is dull and boring. A master of his art, Davies creates a cast of vivid characters and skillfully weaves them into a story about love, guilt, myth and redemption. With the effective use of first-person narrative, Fifth Business is written as a fictional memoir of the character Dunstable Ramsey, who grows up in the small town of Deptford in Ontario, Canada. As a boy, Dunstable was unmistakably very intelligent, gifted with an uncanny ability to read others. He was raised in a Scottish household by strict Presbyterian parents, who into him hammered several religious canons and tenets. Thus, Dunstan understood the importance of respect and moral responsibility from a young age. There would seem to be no reason for such an exemplary youth, gifted with an intelligence exceeding of his small-town upbringing, to not go onto to lead a happy, satisfying life. Yet there is a single incident in Dustan’s boyhood that would define the rest his life. While in a quarrel with his friend and rival, Percy Boyd Staunton, Dustan evades a snowball in which Boyd had hidden a stone. The snowball misses Dunstan and strikes the pregnant wife of the town’s Baptist minister, Mary Dempster, causing her to give birth prematurely and subsequently slip into madness. This marks the beginning of Dustan Ramsey’s lifelong involvement with Mary Dempster, and
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