Fifth Business Characters

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Dunston Ramsay

Dunston Ramsay starts the book as Dunstable Ramsay, but changes his name at the request of a nurse in English. He is narrating the book as a memoir to the headmaster of the school he just retired from, ostensibly to prove the point that he is more than just a doddering figurehead for the school.

Ramsay is a religious and moral figure, very deliberate in his decisions. He is interested in the lives of saints, and becomes a prominent hagiographer. Eventually he is warned that his admiration for Mrs. Dempster might be dangerous to his soul. He is confronted also with the possibility that his life work might require that Mrs. Dempster is sacrificed. In the end, Ramsay relinquishes his secret guilt about his role in Mrs. Dempster’s life, and is somewhat cleansed of his guilt when Eisengrim hypnotizes Staunton so that Staunton kills himself.

Percy Boyd Staunton

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This section contains 851 words
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Buy the Fifth Business Study Guide
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