Fifth Business is a novel that dives deep into the issues of the human condition. Guilt and inhumanity are apparent at most points in the novel, as the characters of the novel are effected by separate incidents in very different ways. The battle between illusion and reality surfaces in the main conflict of the novel between the two main characters, Dunstan Ramsay and Percy Boyd Staunton. Faith is relied upon by some of the main characters in an attempt to choose between what is right and what is wrong. In the end, the reader is exposed to a stable, but exciting novel with two characters that prove to be perfect foils to each other.
Characters of the Novel
Dunstan He is the protagonist of the novel. He values spiritual things and tries to discover the inner good in everyone. He leaves a lot of things in his life up to chance, as he never really gains control over his life. He is just "Fifth Business" of everyone else in the world as he so discovers in the end. Percy Percy provides the novel with the perfect parallel to Dunstan. He does, however, contrast in many ways to Dunstan. They are best friends, but Percy rivalry results in the formation of the main setting of the novel. Percy also feels more of an attachment to material goods than Dunstan does. He thinks only of himself and is in constant pursuit of total and utter control. Percy was low moral standards in comparison to Dunstan and in some ways, feels he is of a higher stature than other human beings. This awkward relationship between him and Dunstan forms the basis of the novel. Leola She is the girl in the novel who is fought over by both Percy and Dunstan. At different points in the novel, she is involved with relationships with both of the two men. They ways in which she is treated by the two men is reminiscent of their moral views. She gets married to Percy, but it doesn't last as Percy has many affairs as he cannot make the commitment to her. Leola dies and Percy doesn't...
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