Fifth Business: Search for Self Identity
In Robertson Davies' novel Fifth Business, the
author uses the events that occurred in Deptford as a Canadian Allusion to reveal character identity. Three characters in the novel from Deptford: Boy Staunton, Dunstan Ramsey and Paul Dempster, leave Deptford to embark on a new identity to rid of their horrid past. The three main characters of the novel, all of whom to some extent try to escape their small town background, change their identity to become people of consequence. All in some way take on a new identity. Imbedded in this transformation is the assumption that one's original self, especially one's small town origins, must be discarded before one can become significant in the world.
Firstly, Paul Dempster grows up as an outcast in Deptford, his mother's 'simpleness' leading the tight social world of the town to cast out his whole family and force's Paul to leave the town and create a new image for himself. Paul runs away to the circus in his early teens because of the mental abuse he took from the town because of his mothers incident with the tramp. Dunstable comment's, «Paul was not a village favorite, and the dislike so many people felt for his mother - dislike for the queer and persistently unfortunate - they attached to the unoffending son,» (Davies' 40) illustrates how the town treated Paul because of his mother's actions. Paul leaves his past because of the actions displaced by his mother and the guilt he feels because his «birth was what robbed her of her sanity,» (Davies' 260) explains why Paul left Deptford. However, while Boy merely tries to ignore his Deptford past, Paul tries to create a completely new one and Paul asks Dunstan to write an autobiography that «in general terms that he was to be a child of the Baltic vastness, reared perhaps by gnomelike Lapps after the death of his explorer parents, who were probably Russians of high birth.» (Davies' 231). The scenery of this autobiography seems significantly Canadian, but Paul does not want his
book to represent his past life in Deptford. Therefore, Paul Dempster is a troubled child because of his mother's actions in Deptford which in turn force Paul to leave Deptford and to create a new identity for himself.
Secondly, Dunstable Ramsey is haunted by the guilt of Mary Dempster over his entire life and he must create a new identity for himself. After a rock has hit Mary in the head (in a snowball thrown by Boy Staunton meant for Ramsay), and her preacher husband is crying over her, young Ramsay's only thought is that he is «Watching a 'scene', and my parents had always warned against scenes as very serious breaches of propriety.» (Davies' 39) The actions of Mary bewilder Dunstan because Mary committed a serious crime in Deptford. Later in life Dunstan falls in love with his nurse named Diana who renames him after Saint Dunstan, who is «Mad about learning, terribly stiff and stern and scowly, and an absolute wizard at withstanding temptation.» (Davies' 93) His new name does not replace his old identity, but rather makes him double-named and double-identified. Therefore, Dunstan changes his name to set forth on a new identity and he never forgets his Deptford past and in fact he becomes obsessed with it, particularly with Mary Dempster, mainly through guilt about his role in Mary getting hit by Boy's snowball.
Thirdly, Percy Boyd Staunton is at the center of the snowball incident which is the prime mover in the action of the novel which force's Percy to allow the incident to suppress his memory and leave Deptford to create a new identity for himself. He moves to Toronto and inherits the family sugar business and drops a letter from his middle name, becoming «Boy» Staunton, and begins to build a new ruling-class identity for his renamed self. «As Ramsay explains, «he was always the quintessence of something that somebody else had recognized and defined,» (Davies' 147) his new identity allows Boy to start a new life and leave Deptford in the past. Also, Boy brings with him into his new life his Deptford wife Leola, whom he tries to change into «the perfect wife for a rising young entrepreneur in sugar.» (Davies' 151) She cannot lose her small-town background as well as Boy, and she falls by the wayside, eventually committing suicide. Although, Boy is the antagonist character of the novel, his new identity embraces him as one of the most powerful men in Canada, but he will always hold the guilt from the snowball incident which occurred in Deptford.
To conclude, the actions that occurred in Deptford change the whole basis of the novel. Thus while Boy and Magnus have taken on new identities and tried to displace their old ones, Dunstan takes on a new identity that complements the old. All three leading characters leave Deptford to change their life, but the spirit of the little town in Southern Ontario remains with them forever.
The Era of Trujillo
The Vásquez administration shines in Dominican history like a star amid a gathering storm. After the country's eight years of subjugation, Vásquez took care to respect the political and civil rights of the population. An upswing in the price of export commodities, combined with increased government borrowing, marks the economy. Public works projects proliferated. Santo Domingo expanded and modernized. This brief period of progress, however, ended in the resurgent maelstrom of Dominican political instability. The man who would come to occupy the eye of this political cyclone was Rafael Trujillo.
Although a principled man by Dominican standards, Vásquez was also a product of long years of political infighting. In an effort to undercut his primary rival, Federico Velásquez, and to preserve power for his own followers, the president agreed in 1927 to a prolongation of his term from four to six years. There was some debatable legal basis for the move, which was approved by the Congress, but its enactment effectively invalidated the constitution of 1924 that Vásquez had previously sworn to uphold. Once the president had demonstrated his willingness to disregard constitutional procedures in the pursuit of power, some ambitious opponents decided that those procedures were no longer binding. Dominican politics returned to their pre-occupation status; the struggle among competing caudillos resumed.
Trujillo occupied a strong position in this contest. The commander of the National, Trujillo came from a humble background. He had enlisted in the National Police in 1918, a time when the upper-class Dominicans, who had formerly filled the officer corps, largely refused to collaborate with the occupying forces. Trujillo harbored no such scruples. He rose quickly in the officer corps, while at the same time he built a network of allies and supporters. Unlike the more idealistic North American sponsors of the constabulary, Trujillo saw the armed force not for what it should have been--an apolitical domestic security force--but for what it was: the main source of concentrated power in the republic.
Having established his power base behind the scenes, Trujillo was ready by 1930 to assume control of the country. Although elections were scheduled for May, Vásquez's extension in office cast doubt on their potential fairness. This uncertainty prompted Rafael Estrella Ureña, a political leader from Santiago, to proclaim a revolution in February. Having already struck a deal with Trujillo, Estrella marched on the capital; army forces remained in their barracks as Trujillo declared his «neutrality» in the situation. The ailing Vásquez, a victim of duplicity and betrayal, fled the capital. Estrella assumed the provisional presidency.
Part of the arrangement between Estrella and Trujillo apparently involved the army commander's candidacy for president in the May elections. As events unfolded, it became clear that Trujillo would be the only candidate that the army would permit to participate; army personnel harassed and intimidated electoral officials and eliminated potential opponents. A dazed nation stood by as the new dictator announced his election with 95 percent of the vote. After his inauguration in August, and at his express request, the Congress issued an official proclamation announcing the commencement of «the Era of Trujillo.»
Pages: 1 2
Please do not pass this sample essay as your own, otherwise you will be accused of plagiarism. Our writers can write any custom essay for you!
Fifth Business: Search for Self Identity In Robertson Davies' novel Fifth Business, the author uses the events that occurred in Deptford as a Canadian Allusion to reveal character identity. Three characters in the novel from Deptford: Boy Staunton, Dunstan Ramsey and Paul Dempster, leave Deptford to embark on a new identity to rid of their horrid past. The three main characters Davis' «Fifth Business»: Death of Boy Staunton Submitted by: Johnny Jimenez Guilt can only be suppressed for a limited time before it comes out in Unwanted ways. In the novel Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, Boy Staunton - a Successful business man with a polished appearance but a tortured soul - took the Ultimate plunge into his death.
His decision was not merely Fifth Business Sample essay topic, essay writing: Fifth Business - 769 words
There is one human emotion that can paralyse us, lead us to lie both to ourselves and others, to take action that we don't like, and to cripple any rational thought processes. It is self perpetuating if allowed to get out of control. Its side effects Robertson Davies Robertson Davies (also known as Samuel Marchbanks and William Robertson Davies) is admired for writing novels that skillfully combine accessibility and literary merit with an intriguing dash of the obscure, including such subjects as alchemy, saints’ legends, Gypsy wisdom, tarot cards, shamanistic rituals, Anglo-Catholicism, and Jungian psychology. Most of his work explored the dangers of Dominican Republic The Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispanola located in the Caribbean Sea. It takes up about 2/3 of the island which it shares with Haiti. Dominican Republic's total area is 48,734 square kilometers. The Dominican Republic Jas a tropical maritime climate. The temperatures are moderated though by the ocean currents and year-round