Fifth Business Women Essay

1581 Words Jun 3rd, 2009 7 Pages
Ali Zaidi
Professor Meade
ENG185YS
27th April, 2009

The Importance of Women Characters in the Novel Fifth Business
The Fifth Business by Robertson Davies is told in the form of a letter written by Ramsay on his retirement from teaching, “a character essential to the action but not a principal” that was affected by or had an effect on the other characters of the play. The life of Dunstan Ramsay is the backdrop and the thread connecting countless subplots and themes, but as his very evident passion for hagiology sets him out to discover the difference between materialism and spirituality, the actual importance of women is brought about in the novel by his interactions since childhood onwards and we see how these women mould, scar and
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As Dunstan is relatively unattached to the Protestant church, he is relatively unattached to his mother. The feeling he describes upon hearing word of her death was one of relief, not one of loss. Dunstan’s mother, a tough Scots woman, led him through his life. She placed herself above God in his life. He began his life liking his mother, but when she whipped him for dropping some eggs when he was performing magic, he lost all respect for her and came to thoroughly dislike her. She was very controlling and had bad mood swings. Because of her controlling and manipulative ways, Dunstan became isolated from and untrusting of her.
In contrast, when we interpret Mary Dempster along Jungian archetypes, we see her in various roles and see her as a dynamic character who changes as much as Dunny does in the novel since she is arguably, one of the active agents for change in Dunny's life. Firstly, she is the mother figure, bringing forth a weakened child into the world. She then becomes a type of a savior figure, not only because of her appearance to Dunny as he crawls through the mud in World War I, but also because she gave of herself unselfishly to the drifter in the grave pit. After this incident she is not crazy, but distracted. She becomes the Jungian outcast in the novel since the small town mentality cannot accept why she would ever prostate herself to a drifter. Mary becomes other things through the novel. This is just a start. The point is

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