Robertson Davies Writing Styles in Fifth Business

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Point of View

Fifth Business is told from the point of view of Dunston Ramsay. It is supposedly written in a period after his retirement, and it narrates the period from his tenth year until after his retirement. The book uses foul language freely when necessary, and describes some very unsavory human behavior, perhaps in order to show the narrator is not disturbed by the full range of human experience, from perverse to violent to self-destructive to merely silly, to spiritual or wise.

Ramsay is characterized by a stubbornness typical of Scotsmen, and an even-headedness typical of Canadians. He feels a deep sense of guilt over his role in Mrs. Dempster’s premature birthing and subsequent insanity, and he feels a deep sense of responsibility toward Paul Dempster.

This sense of responsibility itself begins to weigh on Ramsay, and the book describes his development toward a clean conscience...

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This section contains 638 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Fifth Business Study Guide
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