Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

984 Words Feb 24th, 2018 4 Pages
Boy Staunton is motivated by self-distraction in life which he believes will rid himself of remorseful feelings. Although it may appear that he is “living the dream,” the guilt from traumatizing childhood events slowly torture and eventually destroy him. Boy’s decision to commit suicide is greatly influenced by Mary Dempster, Leola Cruikshank and Dunstan Ramsay because they are constant reminders of his mistakes and failures. At the age of ten, Boy Staunton and his best friend Dunstan Ramsay, began to fight after a day of sledding. Boy accidentally hit a pregnant woman, named Mary Dempster, when Dunstan dodged his snowball and caused the woman to go into premature labour with her son, Paul. Dunny dealt with the guilt by supporting Mrs. Dempster whereas Boy ignored the whole situation completely. When Dunny brought up the snowball incident years later to Boy and Paul, Boy realizes that he is responsible and now has to deal with this guilt. When Paul said, “You have no recollection of Mrs. Dempster?” Boy responded with, “None at all. Why should I?” (Davies, 267) this quotation truly emphasizes how dismissive Boy is about the incident. Boy is motivated by self-distraction so he does not let his faults linger and get in the way of his success. As a child, his parents contributed to his success by building up his confidence so events like this would not destroy…
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