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Materialism In "Fifth Business" By Robertson Davies And "Shoeless Joe" By W.P. Kinsella

1287 words - 5 pages

Life embodies those whose dreams are involve success. For this definition in Shoeless Joe, by W.P. Kinsella, Ray lives a fulfilled existence by following his dreams and pursuing the idealistic path. He helps others fulfill their meaning of life by traveling miles to find them and to bring them back to his field of dreams. He risks his fortune to do so, ultimately being successful. On the other hand, in the novel "Fifth Business", by Robertson Davies, Boy Staunton believes that he will be very successful and will get what he wants if he is rich. Although boy succeeds in getting money and living a life of luxury, he is never truly happy. He always tries to reach his vision, but never seems to achieve it because he does not live in a way that makes his vision a possibility; Boy lives the life he wants. Throughout the novel, the rich possesses a sense of carelessness and he believes that money yields happiness. His neglectful view of money and his materialistic attitude, eventually lead to the destruction and downfall of his character. Authors, W.P Kinsella and Robertson Davies contrast materialistic and idealistic values in their novels. ?At the beginning of the novel Shoeless Joe, W.P Kinsella portrays the protagonist Ray as a good father and husband with an ambitious image. Ray Kinsella is called upon by forces left unknown to the readers and himself, to go on both a physical and heart-felt journey. "If you build it he will come" (Kinsella, 3). When Ray first heard the voice he knew that it had a special meaning and it was telling him to do something. At the beginning it seemed to Ray that the voice is just his own imagination, but when the voice constantly repeated he knew that it was real. From that moment Ray knew that his goal would be to build a baseball field and 'he' referred to Shoeless Joe. Throughout the novel, Ray Kinsella starts to believe more and more in his dream. Initially, it seemed almost impossible, but as his belief grew, he realized that it might soon be a reality. This idea of believing in one's dreams is integral to the novel and is shown ideally in Ray's character. In opposition, Robertson Davies characterizes the antagonist Boy Staunton as a materialistic individual who only cares about himself. When Percy Boy damaged Mary Dumpster's brain, which caused premature birth, he quickly moved on and forgot about the incident. After many years, he was asked about recognition of Mrs. Dempster and he replied:" Not at all. Why should I?"(Davies,261). He focused on the negative aspects of his life. Boy is still finishing school and in the process of stealing Dunny's girl while he was away. By avoiding problems in his childhood Boy became a successful materialist. ?Ray Kinsella's journey began when he left his family and risked his fortune to fulfill other people's dreams. At the end he succeeded in accomplishing his goal, but did not expect any award. "I did it all. I listened to the voices, I did what they told me, and not once did...

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