Fifth Business Fifth Business In the essay Fifth Business, each of the main character traits is developed more and more clearly throughout their lives. Childhood characteristics are evident in the characters of Dustan Ramsay, Percy Boyd Stauton and Paul Dempster. All paranoia, and memories of the town of Deptford are resurfaced in each of them after they all had left to start lives on their own. It was childhood that scared or marked them as people and the fact that parents often have influence on children so, there is no question that these characters were definitely influenced by the parents in Deptford. Also, it is evident that each character seems to run away due to the insecurities that they faced as children. Dunstan ran from his guilt, Percy for his status and ego and Paul from his challenges as a misfit. Each seemed to wander like nomads throughout their lives, while these insecurities where never faced or challenged so they could change their point of views.
It was what seemed to be instilled within them like, the theory that the first five years of childhood shape the personalities of individuals. This is certainly evident in the novel at the beginning to the end. Dunstan ‘s childhood was affected deeply through each situation he faced as a young man, to a highly respected professor. He felt he was the center of all bad things, which occurred around him. Mrs. Demster’s accident was the main influence of his guilt because he felt that he was additionally responsible because he was present with Percy at the incident with the snowball.
” Hell and torment at once; but at least you know where you stand. It is living with these guilty secrets that exacts the price.” (Davies,18) It was merely the fact that Dunstan lived with the guilt because he felt that it was his punishment. But more so, the punishment that Percy would not accept, so he seemed to accepted it on his behalf. With relation to this aspect of Dunstan’s guilty childhood, there was also the relevance of his character, as he grew to be older man of intelligence. This evidence is shown clearly through his work and attitudes, starting with his quiet and overly concerned nature. With Diana, he delayed to tell her how he really felt, only because he wanted to spare her the anguish. As well, he did not respond to the strange visits at the Staunton’s because they were both life long friends.
Dunstan also plunged into his beliefs in the connection of saints and Mrs. Dempster . He seemed to welcome it, and it was also one of the main influences of his writing as a professor. In expansion to Mrs. Dempster’s influence of his work, there was also the inspiration of Paul and his oddities that inspired him in a biography to do other works.
So guilt was the largest and most ironic influence of Dunstan’s experiences as a child, and as a man. Percy’s childhood was affected in conjunction to Dunstan’s and Paul’s lives. His character as a boy was somewhat of the same as when he was older. After he left Deptford, Percy also changed his name: He was now Boy Staunton, and it suited him admirably. (108) Along with his character, his name ironically reflected his childhood.
He threw the snowball at Mrs. Dempster, then ran away. Percy cheated on his wife, and delayed at the fact that it was an immoral thing to do. Then after his marriage did not work out, he then again ran away, leaving even his cherished daughter behind. No doubt these actions reflected an immaturity that could only be from a young boy who took no punishment or responsibility of his actions. In Paul’s childhood, Book Reports.