Fifth Business Compare And Contrast Essay Format

Fifth Business - Character Foils Of Dunstan Ramsay And Percy

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	Robertson Davies’ novel, Fifth Business, revolves around guilt, competition, and two men who are foils of each other. Although Dunstan Ramsay and Percy Boyd Staunton are parallels to each other, they contrast in a great number of ways. Their awkward relationship plays a significant role in the number of elements which make Fifth Business such an interesting story.

	While Dunstan Ramsay had never been too interested in competing with Percy Boyd Staunton, Percy from a young age saw Dunny as a rival. When Percy’s brand new expensive sled isn’t as fast as Dunny’s, Percy gets angry and throws a snowball at Dunny, which in turn begins the setting for the novel. The two continue to compete throughout the novel, for things such…show more content…

Dunstan bluntly states that Percy was materialistic:

To him the reality was of life lay in external things, whereas for me the only reality was of the spirit - of mind. (Page 114)

Dunstan is in a search for inner truth and spirituality, and Percy is searching for outer beauty and appearances.

	Another way in which the two contrast is that while Dunstan leaves a lot of events in his life up to chance, Percy wants everyone, and everything in control- in his control. When Percy wants Dunstan to develop some nude pictures of Leola, Dunstan makes the comparison of himself and Percy to the myth of King Candaules and Gyges. There were two possible endings to the myth - one being that Percy would lose Leola to Dunstan. This is shown when Leola later tries to seduce Dunstan at a Christmas party.

	Although Dunstan and Percy are very much opposites throughout the novel, there is one area in which they are both the same- neither one of them is able to form warm, lasting human relationships. At the beginning of their marriage, Percy is unable to be faithful to Leola, but claims that since he "still loves her, the encounters with the other ladies didn’t really count." Percy is still unable to be faithful to Leola later on in their marriage, due to his failing efforts to bring up to "his standards". When Leola later dies, Percy does not even come home for her funeral. Dunstan is not able to form lasting relationships either. When he

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