A reading report on fifth business by robertson davies

The main character, and narrator, of this tale is Dunstan Ramsay, a man who seems to have been destined to exist on the periphery of the life he is now looking back on. Boy is everything Ramsay is not: Aside from their origins in a small Ontario town as part of the same generation, the two boys share something else, a link to the tragedy that occurred in the life of Mrs.

A reading report on fifth business by robertson davies

The title refers to the idea of a person being neither hero or heroine, confidante nor villain, but still being a vital part of a plot — without them the denouement or resolution would not happen. He is returning from a sledding adventure with his friend and occasional enemy Percy Boyd Staunton and snowballs are being thrown.

Hidden in one of the snowballs is a stone. Percy throws this dangerous snowball at Dunny, who ducks to avoid it, and it hits a woman, walking nearby, on the back of the head.

She cries out and then collapses to the ground. Her name is Mrs Mary Dempster and she is out taking a stroll with her husband, the local Baptist minister.

They do not see who threw the snowball — no accusations or confessions are made — but Dunny is plagued by guilt because of two shocking outcomes: From this one incident, Dunny finds himself forever tied to three people: The bigger picture From this exciting start, the book suddenly expands into a wider view as we learn that Dunny is now in his early 70s and has recently retired as a teacher.

Fifth Business (The Deptford Trilogy, #1) by Robertson Davies

And he is right — if you can forgive the slight snobbery in his voice and his often hard-hearted tone he feels no emotion on the death of his parents, for instance — Dunny has done much more and experienced much more than the drab biography of him in the newspaper might suggest.

Not only has he devoted 45 years of his life to teaching boys in a private school in Toronto and become a decorated war hero the latter a point of embarrassment rather than pridehe has developed an interesting sideline as a hagiologist a specialist in saints and sold 10 books on the subject, some of them to extraordinary best-selling success.

Along the way he has fallen in love with various women — his affairs are recounted in the narrative — but has never been able to commit to any one in particular, except perhaps Mrs Dempster, who he comes to believe is a religious saint after he sees her face on a Madonna in a church he seeks refuge in during the height of the war.

And he has kept in contact with Percy, almost his polar opposite, who becomes a very rich man focused on material gain, and constantly runs into Paul, who reinvents himself under another name to become a magician renowned around the world.

Problematic novel I have to be honest and say I thought The Fifth Business a rather hit-and-miss affair, which may partly explain why it has taken me so long to pen this review I finished the book in late January.

I think there are two factors at play here. And second, I found the way in which all the women were depicted as problematic — and chauvinistic. He cannot understand his mother and feels nothing upon her deathhe puts Mrs Dempster on a pedestal, and he treats the nurse who falls in love with him during the war very badly indeed.

The girl waiting for him at home is portrayed as empty-headed and husband-hungry, and another woman he meets in later life comes across as a vicious manipulator. They are all desperate and needy. And its exploration of moral responsibility, the ties that bind us to people and places, and our diametrically opposed hunger for new experiences and the comforts of home, makes it a high-quality read.

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A reading report on fifth business by robertson davies

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Ramsay is a man of many achievements—he is a war hero, a teacher, and a scholar. A Reading List (with links to essays on each work) Home Page Abbott, Edwin A. Aldiss, Brian Barefoot in the Head Aldiss, Brian Hothouse Aldiss, Brian Report on Probability A Allende, Isabel The House of the Spirits Amado.

Fifth business is a role which is neither hero nor villain, but which is a necessary feature of a dramatic or operatic plot - at least that's what the quotation at the front of the novel says, and what is said within it about 'fifth business'.Reviews: GREAT WESTERN TRUST The Great Western Trust (GWT) (Registered Charity ) was established by the Great Western Society (GWS) in to conserve and display artefacts and memorabilia of the GWR collection at Didcot Railway Centre.

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