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Fifth Business Ny Robertson Davies Essay

1019 words - 4 pages

Events that occur in a person’s childhood develop the person that they become later in life. The person is attached to their past because they retain the thoughts and memories that change the person as a whole. The importance of one’s past results in the way one acts in the present. This concept is developed in the Fifth Business as the main character Dunstan Ramsey, Dunny, is reminded of his past wherever he goes. In the novel, Dunny is unable to forget his past and it becomes a large part of his present character. There are many occasions throughout the Fifth Business in which Dunny shows that he is unable to forget a significant event of his childhood. When Dunny was ten, his friend Boy Stauton threw a snowball in attempt to hit Dunny but missed. Dunny ducked to avoid the snowball and as a result the snowball hit a peaceful lady named Mrs. Mary Dempster. Mrs. Dempster, the wife of Baptist minister Mr. Amasa Demspster, became deranged and went into labour prematurely as a result of the strike. Mrs. Dempster gave birth to her son Paul 80 days prematurely with her husband offering no support. During the delivery, Mr. Dempster prays to God to take his wife and spare his son leaving Mrs. Ramsay to help her. Since the incidence, Dunny has felt responsible for the incident because he felt his actions had resulted in Mrs. Dempster’s suffering. Dunny continuously gets tied up and never is able to leave his roots in Deptford.

Dunstan dropped out of school and went to the army in attempt to leave and forget about his roots. He needed to change something in his life so that he could get his mind off Mrs. Dempster. Prior to him leaving to fight in the war he was not allowed to see her very much because she had told him to stay away. For a long time he did not think about the incident in the past and was near relief of the situation. This relief quickly diminished when he had a vision of Mrs. Dempsters face on a statue of the Madonna. Right before he saw Mrs. Dempsters face on a statue he was in the middle of the fire. There were flares being shot up into the sky and he was shocked when he saw the image, “but what hit me worse than the blow of the shrapnel was that the face was Mrs. Dempsters face.” (Davies, 77) Even after he left Deptford Mrs. Dempster haunted his memories. The reason for remembering this is a result of the guilt from a childhood memory.

Following the vision of Mrs. Dempsters face on a statue of the Madonna, Dunny was injured in battle and rushed to a hospital. There he was taken care of by a sweet woman named Diana Marfleet. She took care of him like he was her son and did everything she could for him in the time that Dunny was unconscious....

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