Female roles in fifth business Essay

834 WordsOct 23, 20144 Pages
Nicholas PrevedelMrs. Machado ENG4U1-01 20 October 2014 Robertson Davies: “Fifth Business” Dorothy L. Sayers states “Wherever you find a great man, you will find a great mother or a great wife standing behind him.” Man is a societal construct that is structured and molded by maternal influences and female insight. Typically one is a product of its environment, however Robertson Davies in “Fifth Business,” deliberately uses female roles to display the impact that women have on the psychological growth of a man. Davies chronologically traces the psyche of Dunstan Ramsay as he matures with the guidance of significant female characters in his life. In “Fifth Business,” Robertson Davies uses the characterization of Mrs. Ramsay, Diana…show more content…
Secondly, Diana Marfleet plays a significant role in the novel as Dunny’s first meaningful and realistic love, and a second maternal female in Dunny’s life. Diana nursed Dunny back to life, after he was nearly left to die in the war. Diana is characterized as Dunny’s second mother, as she brings him back to life, re-teaches him the essentials of life, and renames him, Dunstan. Diana catalyzes Dunstan’s maturing process, as she initiated him into the world of manhood, sexually, and mentally as he began to form his own decisions. Moreover, to complete his transformation she decides that he should change his name to Dunstan, which mentally gives him the psychological ambition to complete and realize his transformation into a new person in stating “I liked the idea of a new name; it suggested new freedom and new personality” (Davies 90). Distinctly, being with Diana has made him think about himself for once in life and made him realize that he loves her unconditionally, however, Dunstan states “she was too much of a mother to me.” (Davies 81). This motherly attraction to Diana drives Dunstan away from her, as he knows that their relationship could not have lasted. Finally, throughout the novel, Mary Dempster has an impactful role in the growth of Dunstan Ramsay. Mary teaches Dunny to disregard the moral rules of society, and to behave in a manner that is unselfish and for the betterment of others. Dunny admires Mary
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