The Deptford Trilogy Essay

1067 words - 4 pages

The Deptford Trilogy Most times in life, mental abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse. In Robertson Davie's "The Deptford Trilogy" we see how mental abuse affects the character David Staunton and how he decides to deal with it. In the first novel of the trilogy, (Fifth Business) we meet the character Dunstan Ramsay and his "life long friend and enemy" Percy Boyd Staunton, (later Boy Staunton). Boy Staunton being the main cause and reason for the second novel (The Manticore), is why I shall focus mainly on him for a good part of this essay. In the Fifth Business it speaks of Boy Staunton's entire life, from childhood till death. As a child he is known as a rich bully who is spoiled rotten. Later in adolescence, Boy becomes self-absorbed, money-obsessed and always feels the need to win and have his own way. During the war, Boy becomes a Major and picks up a few honourable medals. When he returns to Deptford from war he marries the prettiest, yet not quite the brightest girl, in Deptford. He marries Leola only to prove to his friend Dunstan that he gets what he wants, and he always wins. Later on he has two children with Leola, David and Caroline, which brings us to the next novel. The second novel, The Manticore, shows the terrible affect Boy Staunton's mental abuse has on David. This mental abuse leads David to tell his life problems to a female psychiatrist in Venice. He speaks of all the details in his life including his father's death and the funeral that followed. Through Dr. Jo Van Haller, David brings some clarity to his life. After his sessions are complete with the doctor, he meets up with Dunstan and Eisengrim. Eisengrim explains to David some of the things that were left unanswered in the first novel. When Boy died abruptly it left David lost and confused. He didn't know what to do without his controlling father to tell him how to live his life. He finds himself drinking excessively but believes there to be no problem with his drinking. Boys death was also so mysterious that is added to David's misery. In the first novel a clue to Boy's death is given but unexplained. In the second novel the clue is explained to David by Eisengrim which helps bring some closure to his father's death. This is how Boy's death occurred. "He was killed by the usual cabal: by himself first of all; by the woman he knew (supposedly Leola); by the woman he did not know (Denyse and Mary Dempster); by the man who granted his inmost wish (Magnus Eisengrim allowed him to kill himself painlessly); and by the inevitable fifth, who was keeper of his conscience and keeper of the stone (Dunstan Ramsay, his best friend)." Throughout David's life he finds it very difficult...

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