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Fifth Business

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Topics: Carl Jung
Scientist, psychologist, biologist all pose the question of How the complex human mind develops, Robertson Davies shows the rise, zenith and decent of his character Dunstan Ramsey. The development of Dunstan Ramsey, in Fifth Business, is associated with the psychological rebirth. Jungian psychology identifies this as individuation. Daryl Sharp simply explains individuation in The Jung Lexicon as; “Induced by ritual or stimulated by immediate personal experience, it results in an enlargement of the personality” [Sharp, 4]. In terms of Fifth Business, Diana, Faustina, Mrs. Dempster and Liesl fulfill the role of ‘stimulus’, meanwhile Dunstan Ramsey absorbs this profound knowledge, in his quest to become Fifth Business.

The first phase of Jungian Individuation is the biological identity, given by Diana Marfleet. She was a beautiful volunteer nurse were Dunstable was taken during the war, she cared for Dunstable while he was bed ridden. “She had been nursing me… she had also washed me and attended to my bed pan and the urinal” [Davies, 77]. Diana became a mother figure to him, as the relationship grew; Dunstan began to reject her presence. Jung explains “The mother complex… experience of the personal mother, then by significant contact with other women…” [Sharp, 21]“In homosexuality, the son 's entire heterosexuality is tied to the mother in an unconscious form; in Don Juanism, he unconsciously seeks his mother in every woman he meets” [Jung, 162]. Don Juanism displays why Dunstan would reject Diana because in his unconscious she represent his mother. Diana represents Eve in mythical terms; she has insightful information but is rejected jus as Adam did.

Romantic-biological and emotion outline the second phase of development. Faustina fills this void for Dunstan, she teaches him about his sexual body and unconsciously won over his heart. “But I loved her!… to watch her very rapid changes from Gretchen to Venus… she was almost naked” [Davies, 210]. Dunstan’s lack of sexual experience is accounted for by the negative mother complex; “…either sexuality does not function properly … responded to with impatience and irritation.” [Jung, 170]. In Faustina Dunstan does not find mother like traits, which allows him to open up to her. “Jungian, Passive projection is completely automatic and unintentional event, like falling in love…” [Davies, 3] explains Dunstan’s boyhood crush on Faustina. In Greek mythology, Helen of Troy is seen as Faustina, “Helen 's beauty became legendary. It was obvious to all that the child would become one of the most beautiful women of all time” [Koshak, 2]. Faustina becomes the most stunning woman Dunstan Ramsey ever meets.

After rediscovering himself, his body and emotion Dunstan finds the third phase spiritual development. He finds himself looking at Mrs. Dempster; she is the reverend’s wife who was caught sleeping with the tramp. “He shot the beam of flashlight… we saw a tramp and a woman in act of copulation… the woman was Mrs. Dempster.” [Davies, 45] This act consequently turns Mrs. Dempster into a fool saint, performing three miracles; “Spirit, like God, denotes an object of psychic experience which cannot be proved to exist in the external world and cannot be understood rationally” [Jung, 626]. Therefore, Mrs. Dempster becomes a spirit to Dunstan. “The archetype of spirit appears in a situation where insight, understanding, good advice, determination, planning, etc., are needed but cannot be mustered on one 's own resources” [Davies, 398]. According to Jung, Dunstan spiritual development discovers him because he is in capable of finding it. Mrs. Dempster symbolizes the Virgin Mary, who also preformed miracles.

The final phase of development before the zenith is the intellectual. Liesl is the final step of Dunstan becoming fifth business, she connects all the events of his life. As Liesl brings the unconsciousness to conscious, the fight or climax represents the inner battle Dunstan faces in his final step of rebirth. Liesl corresponds with this Jungian description; “Thanks to her lucidity, objectivity, and masculinity, a woman of this type is frequently found in important positions in which her tardily discovered maternal quality, guided by a cool intelligence, exerts a most beneficial influence. This rare combination of womanliness and masculine understanding proves valuable in the realm of intimate relationships as well as in practical matters.” [Jung, 186]. Liesl also becomes the first women Dunstan becomes intimate with, this is significant because she is the reason he reached the zenith. In myth, Sapienta can best characterize Liesl. Sapienta was a red winged angel who was suppressed by man, female god [McCombs, 1].

After the Zenith, Dunstan will begin his descent, which it the reversal. To move on and teach others, therefore becoming Fifth Business. Thus, Dunstan uses the rock to show Boyd Staunton the totality of his life. One could argue that by sleeping with Liesl, he has already become the fifth business by completing her 4 phases.

“The goal of individuation process is the synthesis of the self” [Jung, 278]. The individuation of man is clearly revealed through the four phases of development. Carl Jung’s philosophy fits flawlessly with Robertson Davies portrayal of Dunstan Ramsey in Fifth Business. Dunstan develops into fifth business only after being touched by the four female characters Diana, Faustina, Mrs. Dempster and Liesl.

Works Cited

Davies, Robertson Deptford Trilogy: Fifth Business. Penguin Books

Copyright 1983

Jung, Carl The Collected Works of C.G. Jung. 20 vols. Bollingen Series XX, translated by R.F.C. Hull, edited

by H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler, and Wm. McGuire. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1953-1979.

Koshak, Richard Before Troy: The Beauty of Helen. Copyright by October 1999

Mythsearch.com http://www.mythsearch.com/beforetroy.html

McCombs, Terry J. SOPHIA “Greek for Sapienta” http://www.oakgrove.org/GreenPages/bos/1105.txt Sharp, Daryl Jung Lexicon: Aprimer of Terms and Concepts Toronto, Copyright 1991

Cited: Davies, Robertson Deptford Trilogy: Fifth Business. Penguin Books Copyright 1983 Jung, Carl The Collected Works of C.G. Jung. 20 vols. Bollingen Series XX, translated by R.F.C. Hull, edited by H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler, and Wm. McGuire. Princeton University Press, Princeton, 1953-1979. Koshak, Richard Before Troy: The Beauty of Helen. Copyright by October 1999 Mythsearch.com http://www.mythsearch.com/beforetroy.html McCombs, Terry J. SOPHIA “Greek for Sapienta” http://www.oakgrove.org/GreenPages/bos/1105.txt Sharp, Daryl Jung Lexicon: Aprimer of Terms and Concepts Toronto, Copyright 1991

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