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The Tradegy Of Fifth Business Essay, Research Paper


The best novels that are written are usually ones that are tragic with and

an unhappy ending or an ending that we can not comprehend.The novel,”Fifth

Business”written by Robertson Davies is a tragic story about a boy’s journey to

manhood and on the journey we see the downfalls of all the people of Dunstan

Ramsay’s life and what they amount to or how their lives were robbed or shortened.If

a story did not have a tragic ending then it would not touch our heart and make us

think as much.

Throughout the novel a series of negative events occured in a youngster’s

life and each and everyone changed young Dunstan’s life.The start of the tragedies

was the premature birth of Paul Dempster because Dunstan’s best friend Percy threw

a snowball at him,which Dunstan dodged and it hit the pregnant Mary Dempster

causing her to go into labour and to her insanity.This incident made Dunstan forever

obligated to Mary and to feel guilty for his entire life.Mary became more crazy and

did such things as sleep with a homeless man because he simply wanted to have sex

with her,this led to the children constantly teasing Paul that his mother was a whore

and Paul running away to join the circus.The entire Dempster situation had a great

impact on Dunstan,for he felt responsible for Paul running away and for Mary

becoming almost completely insane and this is alot for a young teenager to deal

with.Mary’s husband then died which she became totally insane and incapable of

taking care of herself.The whole Dempster family had a tragic life.

The entire Ramsay family was’nt much better off because Dunstan’s older

brother got severely ill and recovered and went off to the war and never returned.

Dunstan then went off to war and lost a leg and got badly wounded and returned to his

home town only to learn that both his parents with half of the town died from the flu

and Dunstan was the only remaining Ramsay.

As far a love and good relationships go, this story came up short.Dunstan’s

bestfriend married his childhood sweetheart and Percy constsntly tried to train and

groom her to be his ideal wife,which she was incapable of fullfilling,so Percy

eventually after having two children with her lost interest and started having affairs.

Leola found out and tried to kill herself after trying to sleep with Dunstan.Leola

eventually died of illness.Another example of brokenheart was Dunstan and a nurse

that treated him when wounded.Diana loved him and Dunstan just could not picture

spending the rest of his life with her so he left her after months of caring and sharing

and fun.Dunstan eventually found Paul who had become an incredible magician that

was making a decent living and told him of his mother’s condition and how her

guardian had died and left money for himself to take care of Mary,but the lawyer had

lost the money and committed suicide and he was left with Mary and no money,so he

had no other option than to put her in a cheap ,rundown hospital.Dunstan also told

Paul how much she missed him and that it was because of Paul leaving why she was

insane.Paul did not care less and denied his own mother and any realationship there

was and for a son to disown his mother is the highest degree of tragedy.

Mary eventually died and Dunstan was fairly relieved and did something

odd.He cried when she died and he had not cried for decades,not even when his

brother,father, or even his mother died.Paul eventually met up with Percy at

Dunstan’s home and they argued over the whole snowball incident and after being

filled with grief and guilt Percy committed suicide which caused Dunstan to have a

seizure a couple days later.

Throughout the entire intrigueing novel alot accomplishments were done

and there were a few happy scenes or results but the story was basically one tragedy

after another.Every major character from the begining died except Paul and Dunstan

and there was no successful marriage or lasting relationship except for the late Mr

and Mrs Ramsay.Readers always like happy and gleeful novels,but always respect and

remember tragic novels.The theme of tragedy is what made ,”The Fifth Business”

such a remarkable and memorable novel which will be read for years.

fifth business

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