Incidences that occur in one’s childhood tend to affect them possibly for the rest of the rest of their life. Dunstan Ramsay and Percy Staunton were childhood friends. Percy came from a very wealthy background and felt is if he had to prove him self to everyone, sometime even through acts of violence and cruelty, while Dunstan came from a modest home living an honest and grateful life, but that all changed. On December 27, 1908 in a small town name Deptford, a terrible accident occurred at 5:58 p.m… After a long day of tobogganing, Percy felt embarrassed because his brand new sled could not out run Dunstan’s older one. So naturally Percy became offensive and started scoffing at Dunstan. Being the bigger man, Dunstan decides to go home. Percy hated the feeling of defeat and threw a snowball. “You have paid such a price, and you look like a man full of secrets – grim-mouthed and buttoned-up and harsh-eyed and cruel, because you are cruel to yourself (Davies 217).
Throughout the novel, Robertson Davies exercises acts of cruelty through the self-concerned Percy “Boy” Staunton.
As Boy and Dunny grew up together they were each others best friends and also worst enemies, but they were on basically equal terms in their childish trials of life. This remained to be true until that winter day in Deptford when Mrs. Dempster was struck with a snowball that was meant for Dunny. Through this act, Mrs. Dempster went into a pre-mature labour causing the birth of Paul Dempster. At which time two very different events happen. The first being the Dunstan fells guilty that Mrs. Dempster was hurt because that snowball was meant for him. This guilty carries and prevails throughout the novel.
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 ...
I was perfectly sure, you see that the birth of Paul Dempster, so small, so feeble and troublesome, was my fault. If I had not been so clever, so sly, so spiteful in hopping in front of the Dumpsters just as Percy Boyd Staunton threw that snowball at me from behind, Mrs. Dempster would have not been struck. (16).
Secondly, Percy completely excommunicates himself from the incident and take no responsibility for his actions at all, not then, not ever. Since that point in time Dunny, being the more caring and excepting of responsibility for other peoples problems, of the two, has not lived up to par with the life of Boy Staunton due to the simple fact that Dunny has pre-occupied him-self with Mrs. Dempster due to his guilt.
While Dunny was away at war, Boy was still finishing school and in the process of stealing Dunny’s girl while he was away. Boy and Dunstan had been competing for Leola all their life up until when Dunny left. This loss for Dunstan could have been voided if in fact he had not accepted responsibility for the snowball incident he wouldn’t have had to leave and therefore could have kept Leola. However, Boy did not marry Leola simply because he loved her but, because she is beautiful and he lives in a town where Boy thinks that people judge him based on appearance. In order to gain that respect, he marries Leola which was a very selfish, disredarding, and cruel thing to do. Leola led Dunny on while he was away serving his country, she wrote him letters quite often and never mentioned anything about her and Boy’s relationship. Dunny did nothing about this for he had the mind set that the best man had won, suggesting that he though less of himself due to the problems he has had in his life. His troubles arose as a result of Mary’s problems as Boy felt relieved of this issue and could pursue whatever he desired to do with his life.
In Richard Wright's non-fiction novel Black Boy the main character, Richard, faces many problems that he must deal with. In this book the author writes about his life and hardships. The book starts off with Richard at the young age of four. Black Boy represents the deprivation Wright faces growing up. It shows poverty, hunger, lack of emotional support, miserable living conditions and Richard's ...
During Boys relationship, Leola identifies that it holds “no water” and attempts suicide twice, once by slitting her wrist After Boy finished High school he then went on to serve in the Army as well but naturally in a higher position then Dunstan. Boy was an Officer and brimming with self confidence while Dunny rather focused his life around what has gone wrong with it up until this point. Slowly but surly, Leola disappeared into Boy’s conscious, giving up on everything, and she finally kills her self by opening the window and contracting pneumonia.
Poor Leola had become more and more listless since the outbreak of war; as Boy grew in importance and his remarkable abilities became increasingly manifest, she faded. She was not one of those politicians wives who lets it be known that her husband’s competence is kept up to the mark by the support and understanding she gives him. (183)
On the flip side, Milo Papple said “Poor Leola. It’s the end of a great romance. You know we always thought her and Percy was the handsomest pair that ever got married in Deptford. And I know why you never got married. It must be tough on you to see her go.”(185).
Ironically, Dunny felt no remorse because he felt that the better man has won (Percy).
Its also ironic that Milo thinks that’s it’s the end to a great romance and that they were the handsomest couple that was ever married in Deptford. When I fact it was one of the ugliest marriages and the complete opposite of a great romance because on the inside that was no romance. It was simple pleasure and appearance.
Paul, Mrs, Dempster pre-mature son, was exposed to cruelty since the day he was born, in fact he was the result of it. His pre-mature birth was the result of a cruel incident, the snowball. He was exposed to magic my Dunny because he felt that it was his duty to “babysit” Paul in-order to attempt to re-pay a debt that he felt that he owed to Mrs. Dempster. Paul latter ran away with the circus not because there was trouble at home, but because the kids in the town were mean to him, another act of cruelty. He soon becomes a wonderful magician and calls himself “Eisengrim”, but due to a over whelming feeling of self-justice he kills Boy. Boy once said that he had everything that he could ever want. He just wanted to get into his car and drive away form it all, and that’s exactly what he did. On Monday, November 4, 1968 at about 4 o’clock in the morning, Boy Staunton drove his Cadillac off a pier and into Toronto harbour. Boy was found with a stone (or paper weight of his in his mouth).
Davis' 'Fifth Business': Death of Boy Staunton Submitted by: Johnny Jimenez Guilt can only be suppressed for a limited time before it comes out in unwanted ways. In the novel Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, Boy Staunton -a successful business man with a polished appearance but a tortured soul- took the ultimate plunge into his death. His decision was not merely his own, but was influenced by a ...
It is not until later that we discover that Paul was responsible for his death, the stone represents the way the Boy inflicted Paul’s mother to go into pre-mature labour. Boy dies in the same fashion as Paul was born. This was Paul’s way of overcoming his sub-conscious, in this, he killed it.
Percy “Boy” Staunton continuously exemplifies cruelty via Robertson Davies puppetry. After the snowball incident the relationship between Boy, Dunny, Paul, and Mrs. Dempster will never be the same. Boy completely excommunicates himself from the incident while Dunny takes full responsibility. Through the act of small instances of cruelty, one’s life can be changed forever. On December 27 1908, at 5:58 p.m., Dunstan Ramsay’s was changed forever, living in complete guilt and in the shadow of the one who caused all of this anguish, Percy Staunton. Everyone has the moments in their lives. What yours, and what toll has it taken on your life thus far.