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Fifth Business Dunstan
Lots of people in our society can be dubbed as ^neutral^ in their behavior. They dont take part in the events occurring around them but rather just observe them. This characteristic can be called a beneficial characteristic as it may keep them out of disagreements. In the book Fifth Business written by Robertson Davies, Dunny can be called a neutral person. He tells us about his life story and through various incidents, it is clearly evident that he is indeed a neutral person. For instance, the snowball incident and Dunny^s relationship with Diana show the reader that he is indeed a neutral person who doesn^t want to get involved deeply in anything at all. Dunny starts his story from his childhood. He tells us that when he was ten, he had a fight with Percy Boyd Staunton and during this fight, Percy threw a snowball at him. He dodged the snowball and it struck the pregnant Mary Dempster, who was the wife of Reverend Amasa Dempster, on her head. This led to the premature birth of the baby. Dunny felt responsible for that incident and spent many sleepless nights but he didn^t tell Mary what had happened or who threw the snowball. He remained neutral in the situation despite the fact that he felt guilty and responsible for Mary^s loss of senility and the premature birth of the baby. These strong emotions led him to help Mary in every way possible. Although he knew that he had not thrown the snowball, he imagined that since it was meant for him, he shouldn^t have dodged it. Also Paul had told Dunny that he wasn^t responsible for the snowball because it was Dunny^s dodging it which led to Mary Dempster labor. So Dunny was sure that! he was to blame but still he didn^t confess it to anyone, neither did he ever talk to anyone about it. Being neutral he just withdrew and did not take a stand in the situation. He took care of Paul when he (Paul) was quite young and also was protective of Mary which further served to isolate him from the rest of the society who thought of Mary as a bad influence. Though this incident occurred in an early stage of Dunny^s life, it still shows his neutrality which remained a part of him until his death. Dunny^s relationship with Diana is another example which shows his neutrality. When Dunny was wounded in the war, he was put under Diana^s care until he got back on his feet. During this time, he developed a liking for Diana. In fact, the feeling was mutual. They became very close and a relationship formed between them. This relationship progressed to a point where Diana wanted to marry Dunny. This was not what Dunny had in mind. He didn^t want to get trapped by marrying Diana. His opinion was that she was too much caring and would treat him the way his mother did when he was young. Through Diana, Dunny learned what physical love meant but when the question of marriage emerged, he stepped back and took a back seat. Despite Diana^s tremendous love and care for Dunny, he dismissed the suggestion of marriage because of his neutral qualities. He can be Diana^s lover but he cant be directly involved and thus be Diana^s husband. His neutral character forbade that from happening. Th! is relationship clearly shows the reader that Dunny is in fact a neutral person. As the story progresses, it becomes quite evident that Dunstan Ramsey is a neutral person. The way Dunny is emerging into a neutral character is clearly shown by the two examples given in this essay. There are, however, lots of other examples in the novel showing us this same characteristic. The interesting thing is that Dunny thinks that he is very much involved in whatever is going on around him. he thinks that he is playing a major part in all of his friends life. This makes the novel all the more enjoyable to read.

"For complete summary and analysis of literary works, please visit NovelGuide.com

 



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