Essay on Fifth Business

Essay on Fifth Business

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Fifth Business

There are many different paths people can take throughout their lives. In the novel, Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, the main character, Dunstan Ramsey, takes the path of the Canadian hero. There are many different steps to be taken by the hero and Dunstan Ramsey follows his path by completing each step.

Dunstan’s journey begins when he gets his call for adventure. The call for adventure lets the hero know that his or her life is about to change. Dunstan’s call for adventure comes when he leaves for Europe for the second time to search for the little Madonna. The little Madonna was what called him to come back to Europe.

The little Madonna was a bee in my bonnet; I wanted to see her again, and quite unreasonably (like a man I knew who lost a treasured walking -stick in the London Blitz and still looks hopefully in every curiosity shop in case it might turn up) I kept hoping to find her. (123)

Dunstan had to leave the life he was living in order to begin his journey. Even though he knew he might never find the little Madonna again, he had to keep looking. It is while searching that Dunstan’s journey

While searching for the little Madonna, Dunstan reaches the second part of his journey, which is the underworld. The underworld is a part of the journey which Dunstan will not be able to complete alone. When he meets with Paul, who is now known as Faustus Legrand, Dunstan realizes that Paul had stolen his pocket-book. “Because somebody at Le grand Cirque forain de St. Vite had stolen my pocket-book, and everything pointed to Paul.”(148) It is at that this time that Dunstan realizes, whether consciously or subconsciously, that he is going to need help to get through this stage of ...


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...himself.

“Who are you? Where do you fit into poetry and myth? Do you know who I think you are, Ramsey? I think you are Fifth Business.” Liesl goes on to explain to Dunstan what Fifth Business is and, as he is listening to her, he realizes that she is right. Dunstan has uncovered his purpose in life. Dunstan’s journey is now complete and he is able to go home. He has discovered what he set out to discover. He can now go back to living his old life.

At the beginning of his journey, Dunstan did not know what he was trying to find. He began on an adventure which led him to old friends and new friends. He escaped his old world and began a journey into a new one. With the help of others, Dunstan was able to discover who he is. This turned out to be the purpose of his journey. By completing the steps of the hero’s journey, Dunstan came to understand himself.

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