Fifth Business Essay

962 words - 4 pages

Fifth Business

There are many different paths people can take throughout their lives. In the novel, Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, the main character, Dunstan Ramsey, takes the path of the Canadian hero. There are many different steps to be taken by the hero and Dunstan Ramsey follows his path by completing each step.

Dunstan’s journey begins when he gets his call for adventure. The call for adventure lets the hero know that his or her life is about to change. Dunstan’s call for adventure comes when he leaves for Europe for the second time to search for the little Madonna. The little Madonna was what called him to come back to Europe.

The little Madonna was a bee in my bonnet; I wanted to see her again, and quite unreasonably (like a man I knew who lost a treasured walking -stick in the London Blitz and still looks hopefully in every curiosity shop in case it might turn up) I kept hoping to find her. (123)

Dunstan had to leave the life he was living in order to begin his journey. Even though he knew he might never find the little Madonna again, he had to keep looking. It is while searching that Dunstan’s journey

While searching for the little Madonna, Dunstan reaches the second part of his journey, which is the underworld. The underworld is a part of the journey which Dunstan will not be able to complete alone. When he meets with Paul, who is now known as Faustus Legrand, Dunstan realizes that Paul had stolen his pocket-book. “Because somebody at Le grand Cirque forain de St. Vite had stolen my pocket-book, and everything pointed to Paul.”(148) It is at that this time that Dunstan realizes, whether consciously or subconsciously, that he is going to need help to get through this stage of his journey. Then he meets Liesl.

Liesl’s role in Dunstan’s journey begins when Dunstan arrives to see Paul’s magic show. Liesl invites Dunstan to come have lunch with her and Paul. It is because of her insistence that Paul and Dunstan become friends that Paul is compelled to repay Dunstan the money he stole.

That night when I was making my usual prudent Canadian Scots count, I found that several bills had found their way into my wallet, slightly but not embarrassingly exceeding the sum that had disappeared from it when last I met with Paul. I began to think better of Eisengrim.

When Paul repays Dunstan, Dunstan realizes he can now trust Paul. With the help of Liesl, Dunstan has made a friend with a member of the underworld. These two people will help Dunstan to continue on with his journey.

The next step of Dunstan’s...

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