Self Awareness In Fifth Business

1694 Words7 Pages
The main goal in life is to discover ourselves. Many psychologists have thought of ways to explain the process on how to achieve this goal, one of which is Carl Gustav Jung. Jung came up with breakthrough theories that dealt with knowing yourself, and in many people’s eyes surpassed the theories of others. His most famous theory was the process towards achieving self-awareness, also known as individuation. According to Carl Jung there are four main aspects to completing the journey of self-awareness, they are, the Persona, the Shadow, the Anima, and the Self. Each aspect, better known as an archetype is crucial to reaching self-awareness and each archetype relies on the one before it. This view on self-awareness was widely publicised and had an impact on many people, one of whom was Robertson Davies, the author of the fictional memoir “Fifth Business”. Davies used this concept of the journey towards self-awareness in his novel, and inflicted it upon the protagonist, Dunstan Ramsay. Dunstan undergoes this journey throughout the course of the novel, and is cast into the role of the outcast, the role of Fifth Business, in which the title suggests. When someone is Fifth Business, they are the outcast in their own lives, not being the person in control, and Dunstan fits into this role perfectly. Fifth Business “knows the secret of the hero’s birth, comes to the assistance of the heroine, when she thinks all is lost, keeps the hermitess in her cell, and may even be the cause for somebody’s death”(Davies,218). This explanation of Fifth Business fits into Dunstan’s life with a high degree of accuracy, vaguely yet precisely outlining the events of his life. Dunstan achieved self-awareness by embracing his role of Fifth Business....

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... review of an article that was published about his ‘boring’ life, saying “I have been cast by fate and my own character for the vital though never glorious role of Fifth Business” (Davies, 9). His psychological fate was sealed the second the snowball left Boy’s hand; him being Fifth Business and all subsequent events in his life stemmed from the outcome of that day. The Jungian archetypes of the Persona, the Anima, the Shadow and the Self all played a significant role during Dunstan’s journey towards self-awareness because they all played a substantial role in his life, affecting each move he made. Dunstan’s role of Fifth Business and him consciously acknowledging it was crucial for him to achieve self-awareness because that’s what actual role he fit into, and had he denied it, he would not have known his true self, which is Fifth Business, and individuation.
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