* Narration: first person perspective from Dunstan Ramsay. Though reliable, observant, narrator (opening paragraph) all events are subjective and can’t be verified. Events that occur outside of Dunny’s experience must be relayed to him through third party. (Compare to Jane Eyre) Plot/structure:
* Comic sections often follow serious; Parts devoted to Dunny are followed by parts devoted toBoy; Story is a written memoir/letter; six sections each containing several chapters; chapters follow the growth and development of Dunny and Boy Characterization:
* is the younger of two sons born to strict Scottish Presbyterian parents in small town Deptford; extremely intelligent but too clumsy to take over family business; shown negatively in contrast to Willie. * Dunny is large and clumsy; skilled in storytelling and teaches himself magic as diversion; he is judgmental of others and is observant narrator – very detailed oriented. * morality of parents forbids emotional expression; they demand hard work and the performance of one’s duty; extremely religious; Dante’s Inferno: impacts on Dunny’s psyche (he becomes obsessed with punishments for one’s actions); Amasa Dempster’s emotional outbreak also impacts Dunny (shows him the dangers of emotion) * Dunny’s mother, Fiona Ramsay, dominant feature – his first name is her maiden name; demands his loyalty as proof of his love; dominates her husband and is unbending, controlling woman; Ramsay has difficulty reconciling the loving mother figure with his "witch-like" mother when she is angry; she is the duality in the Mother Nature of Jung's archetype who emasculates men - symbolically shown through Ramsay's wooden leg [consider Diana + Diana’s mother/father] * The use of myth gives psyche depth to Ramsay and other main characters; Ramsay acknowledges the similarities in his life to these myths: * Virgin Mary [the Mother God]= Mary Dempster; Ramsay= rams are sacrificial animals. Dunny sacrifices life for Mary’s sake and to make up for Boy’s guilt Leola = Gretchen from Goethe’s Faust is the damsel to be rescued. Recall the story of Faust, God, Mephistopheles. Compare to Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus who sells his soul to the devil. "He who strives on and lives to strive/ Can earn redemption still" (V, 11936–7). Hence there is hope for Dunny, but none for Boy who “wants to drive away from the whole damn thing.” Faustina =Helen of Troy, a physically beautiful woman but with no soul. Recall that at the end of the Trojan war, Helen returns to her husband Menelaus. Recall the Faust story. Wilgefortis=the bearded lady of the circus who represents the male force within the female, as does Denyse Hornick and Liesl Vitzliputzli. She is a religious figure * representing liberty. Wilgefortis had been promised in marriage by her father to a pagan king. To thwart the unwanted wedding, she had taken a vow of virginity, and prayed that she would be made repulsive. In answer to her prayers she sprouted a beard, which ended the engagement. In anger, Wilgefortis's father had her crucified. * The war years – Dunny is known as a Deacon and as a comic [Charlie Chaplin]; His fellow soldiers cannot reconcile the two aspects of Dunny Dunny says there are “two to twenty-two sides” of everyone. Jung states that every person is made up of many sides and that no one can know all of anyone else’s sides; Dunny does not connect with anyone and is extremely bored so reads the only book available to him – thus creating an image (based on assumptions) he was not expecting. On leave he returns home and people, including his mother, see him as a man; he gains the respect he never had before – even Leola is interested. Revelations from The Bible is his...