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Fifth Business Symbols

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Stephanie Ramirez

on 29 April 2014

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Transcript of Fifth Business Symbols

Names represent different stages in Dunny and Paul’s lives

Dunstable: proper, formal & rigid exemplifies his mother and her serious nature and how she has controlled Dunny.

Dunstan: The name changes when Diana Marfleet voices her desire to marry him,
which he declines. This leads to her naming him Dunstan after St. Dunstan who
resisted the Devil’s temptations just as he is resisting her love. When he becomes
Dunstan, this marks when he is free from his mother’s control which his new name reflects.

Dunny: This simplified & almost slang like name shows the lack of formality and control in his life. Dunny is finally free from his mother and Boy’s control as well as others, free of his guilt and free of the institution he worked in that did not encourage or allow his interests.

Paul: The name “Paul” being such a plain and simple name represents Paul’s childhood as he was claimed to be small and slow and born of a simple woman. The name also portrays the deeply religious undertones of Deptford, it’s people and the novel as a whole.

Faustus LeGrand: Meaning “the big magician” reflects how Paul wants to be much more than what people think of him, which was that he was small and slow. His name is a parallel to who he actually is.

Magnus Eisengrim: Meaning “great angry iron” symbolizes how Dunny’s guilt has magnified. Paul takes on an even grander name that represents how he is Dunny’s shadow in the sense that Dunny has abandoned magic though he loved it and Paul’s identity is founded on magic.


Symbols & Allusions
The Snowball/ Stone
If Boy hadn't thrown the snowball at Mrs. Dempster,
she would not have become simple and Paul would
not have been born prematurely.

Without the stone and snowball, Paul would not have become a magician, because if Mrs. Dempster never became ill, Mrs. Ramsay would not have sent Dunstan to help take care of the Dempster family.

If the snowball was never thrown, Dunstan would not have felt guilty his entire life for dodging the snowball that was meant for him, so he would not have been obsessed with Mary Dempster his whole life.

If Boy hadn't thrown that snowball, there would have never been a Fifth Business.


Name Changes
Psychology & Jung
After Mary Dempster’s death, Dunstan thinks, “I begged forgiveness for myself because, though I had done what I imagined was my best, I had not been loving enough, or wise enough, or generous enough in my dealings with her” (245).

“Too bad. But if I may say so Dunny, I think you’ve let the thing build up into something it never was. . . I threw the snowball –at least you say so, and for arguments sake let that go- and you dodged it. I’ve precipitated something that was going to happen anyhow . . . The difference between us is that you’ve brooded over it and I’ve forgotten it” (263).

Although Dunny was only protecting himself when Boy threw the snowball, Dunny feels more of the guilt whereas Boy does not even admit to his wrong doing.
Boy
Dunny
Faces the harsh reality of life
Soft, delicate, & pure much like how Boy would like to be perceived, until he 'melts' away.
Boy created a "snowball effect", where Dunny took this one moment and made it into something that took control of his life and became an obsession.

The Un-Changing Name

“Ramsay” remains the constant throughout Dunny’s changing identity.

Liesl reminds us of this as she never uses his first name. “Ramsay” is a standard that does not dictate Dunny nor does it place him within a specific mold with certain expectations or roles to fill.

By using “Ramsay” Liesl allows Dunny to be whoever he wants and not what other people make out to be. She gives him the freedom to take charge of his identity/character.
Dunny kept changing his identity while Boy did not, both figuratively and literally.

The more that Boy had his name the unhappier he became while the more Dunny changed his name the freer he became. Dunny is satisfied with his life in the end while Boy is not as he commits suicide

Both characters have gone through 2 changes but Dunny has gone a step ahead as with his last name change he reaches psychic wholeness and begins to truly live his life and figure out who he really is.
Like with Dunny, the names also reflect the personality of Boy

Percy -> Boy

He changes his name after learning how to manipulate the stock markets.



Boy learns how to get what he wants and be successful and manipulate and control people and situations while his name is meant to offset his personality with his new sweet, innocent, and charming sounding name.
Once again there is a dichotomy between Boy’s real character and his new name.
Dichotomy/parallel between Boy & Dunny

Percy -> Boy

Dunstable -> Dunstan -> Dunny

Love Life-

Mary Dempster: The first woman Dunny falls in love with due to her kind and simple personality. Due to Dunstan’s guilt of causing her son to become a premature baby, he feels as though he owes her his time. Throughout his entire life, Mary Dempster does not leave his mind (77).

Leola Cruikshank: Dunstan’s childhood love and who he promises to marry after he returns from war. During his time in the war, Dunny realizes that he does not love Leola (187).

Diana Marfleet: Dunstan falls in love with the nurse, but later feels as though they should be friends. Although Dunstan thinks highly of Diana, she reminds him too much of his mother and therefore wants nothing to do with her (88).

Liesl: The woman whom Dunstan forms a sexual relationship with. This relationship is significant towards Dunstan’s personal development. The relationship he has with Liesl helps Dunstan to realize the meaning of his life and who he truly is as a person (227).


As a child, Dunstan is introverted and reserved; he does what he is told to do and questions nothing. As a young adult, Dunstan is still an introvert and faces his challenges as a fifth business (267). As a grown man, Dunny finally comes to realize that he is his own person and begins to leave his fifth business personality behind.
Mrs. Ramsay (Mother) -Dunstan’s mother raises him in such a way that negatively affects who he becomes in the future and his relationships with other women (36).
Carl Jung’s Theory:
From being a young boy who does what he is told to a man who takes control of his life, Dunstan is able to break through from his fifth business personality.

Carl Jung’s psychological theory applies to Dunstan as he slowly begins to find himself by the end of the story.
Christina, Ishtar & Stephanie
Childhood vs. Adulthood
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