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Fifth Business Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 114 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Fifth Business.
This section contains 1,950 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Fifth Business Study Guide

Themes

The incident in 1908 is pivotal to an understanding of Fifth Business. Two ten-year-old boys are playing. Percy Boyd Staunton throws a snowball with a stone in it at Dunstable Ramsay, who dodges the missile; it hits the pregnant Mary Dempster instead. She goes into premature labor as a result and brings her son Paul into the world eighty days ahead of schedule. She is never the same after this event and is regarded by people in Deptford as insane. Staunton's missile apparently has altered the world in an unforeseen way.

The most obvious theme that is directly tied to this incident is guilt.

Dunstan Ramsay feels responsible for Mrs. Dempster's condition. He describes how as a child he listened "guilt-ridden" to his mother's account of the first six months of the life of the premature Paul Dempster. Burdened with a Presbyterian conscience, Ramsay carries his guilt with him for...

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This section contains 1,950 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Fifth Business Study Guide
Copyrights
Fifth Business from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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