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Fifth bussiness religion/theatrical imagery

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diana castellanos

on 19 April 2013

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Transcript of Fifth bussiness religion/theatrical imagery

Theatrical Imagery The title of this novel portrays a visual illustration. "Fifth Business" refers to "those role which, being neither Hero nor Villain, are nonetheless essential to bring about the recognition" in classic drama and opera plays.

Just like in classic theater plays, there are five main characters in the book: Mary Dempster, Leola, Dunstan Ramsay, Boy Staunton, Paul Dempster

Dramatic Component of novel is comparable to that of the one is theatrical dramas or plays Imagery: "But what hit me worse than the blow of shrapnel was that the face was Mary Dempster's face" (pg. 68) Religious Imagery As the story begins, it weaves itself around the concept of religion. The five churches of Deptford compete amongst themselves for the souls of the faithful. The town was divided between five different Christian religion / churches : Roman Catholic, Methodist, Anglicanism, Presbyterian, and Baptist. These religions develop characters and drive the plot. They create a religious mood and image throughout the novel. Religion and Women In Robertson Davies' Fifth Business, the life of Dunstan Ramsay is the backdrop and the thread connecting to religion which is reflected in part by the images created on his involvements with women throughout the novel. Every major female character in the novel has a relationship with Dunstan that parallels his involvement with a religion. Diana, Karl, Liam Religious and Theatrical Imagery in Fifth Business This novel explores the outlook on life shaped by religion with a combination of theatrical components throughout the novel. Dunstan realizes at the end of the novel that no matter how faithful he is, he will always be looked upon as the mere fifth business to the rest of society. Imagery is the visually descriptive or figurative language in a literary work. They are "mental pictures" that readers experience with a passage of literature. Fiona Ramsay's influence in Dunny's life lies parallel to that of Calvinist Protestantism. Like the religion, Fiona Ramsay is restrictive, demonstrated when she chases Dunstan through the house with the intent of delivering righteous punishment. As Dunstan is relatively unattached to the Protestant church, he is relatively unattached to his mother. The feeling he describes upon hearing word of her death was one of relief, not one of loss and despair Dunstan's affair with Diana can be related to the christian religious image of rebirth or "resurrection". His experience with Diana is comparable to the influence of Dunstan's excessive Bible reading during the war; where he forms opinions and gains understanding. However, in the end, he does not remain a Christian -- just as he does not marry Diana. Leola Cruikshank, Dunstan's childhood sweetheart relationship, can be another image parallel to Protestantism. When Dunstan returns from Europe, he has discovered both that he does not love Leola and that he is not a devout Protestant. However, both Leola and the protestant religion remain part of his life: Leola as a friend, and Protestantism as a permanent psychological influence) Also, when Leola discovers Boy's infidelity, and says to "love" Dunstan, he no longer wants to be involved with her, just as he no longer wants to be involved with the religion of his childhood.

"Of course I did not love her. Why would I? It had been at least ten years since I had thought of her with anything but pity" (p.175) Dunstan's infatuation with Faustina during his middle aged years also is comparable to his time with the Jesuit Bollandists. However, in both cases, Dunstan does not feel to be completely conformed. He cannot stay indefinitely with the Bollandists, just like he cannot be only with Faustina ( because he does not share her youth and enthusiasm) Eventually, Dunstan resigns himself to belonging to either Faustina or the Bollandist. The particular relationship Dunstan shares with Mary Dempster images one of the most important aspects to the novel. The only constant image of Dunstan's religious and love life is the combination of saints and Mary Dempster. From his early youth to his old age, Dunstan is interested in saints, and feels responsibility and at time "love" towards Mary. This connection is further put together because of Dunstan's perception that Mary herself is a saint. This perception leads Dunstan to spend much of his life learning about saints. Eventually, before Dunstan come to true with himself, all the issues surrounding Mary Dempster throughout the novel are resolved: Mary dies, and Dunstan confronts Boy Staunton and Paul Dempster with the stone. It is only when he deals with the feelings and thoughts that surround Mary Dempster and her possible sainthood that can resolve other issues. "Ah, is dying was are there was to it! Hell and torment all at once; but at least you know where you stand. It is living with these guilty secrets that exact the prize."

Dunny's life is strongly influenced by religion throughout the early stages of the book and is what caused him to feel guilty about the snowball incident; creating his "life time involvement" with Mary Dempster. Religion Drives Plot Religious Imagery: Is a visually descriptive or figurative language in literary work that contains religious themes. The 5 main denominations of Christianity in Deptford Roman Catholic:
-Began to develop a few centuries after Christ
-St. Peter was the first Pope
-Beliefs include Hell and punishment for the damned
-Hold doctrine of Trinity, Divinity of Christ, inspiration of the Bible

Anglicanism:
-King Henry VIII wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon but the pope refused
-Values are similar to Roman Catholics
-Does not pray to Saints

Presbyterianism:
-Originated due to 16Th century Swiss reformation, founded by John Know
-A large branch of Protestant Christianity
-Comes from Greek word "Ruling Elder"
-Leaders are elected and referred to as elders
-Infant baptism
-Believes in Predestination

Baptist:
-Founded in 1609 by John Smyth
-Believes strongly in baptism as adults
-Must be done by immersion, not sprinkling
-No church hierarchy
-Believes in providence
-Strongly against idols and statues

United Methodist:
-Founded by John Wesley in 1739
-Infant baptism
-Has 2 Sacraments instead of 7
-No Church hierarchy
-Belief in Providence The Stone In the beggining of the novel, Mary Dempster gets hit by the snowball that had a rock inside. This causes the premature birth of Paul Dempster.
Mrs. Dempster's image can be compared to Marie Magdalene in the Bible. Just like Mrs.Demspter, Mary Magdalene was persecuted and singled out for not being considered "virtuous".
The stone thrown at her can be correlated to the stones attempted to be thrown at Mary Magdalene. Who was going to be "stoned" to death. "I stepped briskly-not running, but not dawdling-in front of the Dempster's just as Percy threw, and the snowball hit Mrs. Dempster in the back of the head" (pg. 33) Just like Jesus stopped the people who were going to stone her, the only person that can fit this figure is Dunny.
Even though he did not stop the snowball incident, he feels that he should have taken that role and prevented the incident, but he did not, and now Dunny becomes attached to Mrs. Dempster.
Just like Jesus as well Dunny does not judge Mary Dempster or any character in his life. Dunny in Relation to Jesus and St. Dunstan "After the preliminary mysterious talk, it came out that he was accusing me of putting playing cards-he called them the Devil's picture book-into the hands of his son Paul. But worse-much worse that that-I had taught the boy to cheat with cards, to handle them like a smoking car gambler, and also to play deceptive tricks with money" (pg. 33) "Devil's Picture Book" When Dunny was using Paul as an audience for his magic tricks, Mr. Dempster got upset with Dunny, accusing him of teaching him to cheat and gamble.
Mr. Dempster accused Dunny like this because of him being the Baptist parson and being strongly against Idols.
Mr. Dempster and the Baptist Church is strongly against money and gambling, as an idol and playing cards as an evil object. Mother Mary The religious imagery that surrounds Mrs. Dempster's character is connected to the religious aspects of this novel
She is seen as a saint because of the three miracles that Dunny believed she had performed; that is 1) bringing Willie back to life 2) The transformation of the Joel Surgeoner and 3) saving Dunstan from the war.
Mary Dempster's share several similarities with the religious figure of Mother Mary. This is only true when looking at Mary Dempster through the eyes of Dunny, as others viewed her as a crazy woman. Dunny views her as his savior and good deed.
Dunny was assigned to take out a German machine gun nest and succeeds, but coming back, he gets wounded, disoriented and forced to crawl because of how weak he was.
He was lying near what was the remains of of a church. He sees a statue of the virgin and child, and on the virgins face, he sees Mrs. Dempster face. Then a flare hisses towards him and looses consciousness.
Mary Dempster is also seen and described as a "fool saint" who seems to be saintly, but in reality, does not display the prudence to be one. Mary Dempster is one of these people, she cares, and tries to do good when and where possible, but does not show prudence in her actions. Resurrection Image "It's hard to say, for one thing, " said she," and it sounds like a cart rumbling over cobblestones for another. You'll never get anywhere in the world named Dumbledum Ramsay. Why don't you change it to Dunstan? St. Dunstan was a marvellous person and very much like you - mad about learning, terribly stiff and scowly, and an absolute wizard at withstanding temptation." Dunny was in the fist world war from 1915 to 1917. He read the New Testament so much that he earned the nick name "Deacon". He said if he had one book only to read he would have preferred something thick like the Old Testament. The quote "Only my testament could be kept in my pocket without making a big bulge, and I read it to the bone, over and over" (pg. 62) explains the significance of Part 2 Title. The title of Part 2 is "I Am Born Again". This is a popular phrase that Christians say when they leave their faith and then return to it. "I Am a Born Again Christian" is the phrase that is commonly known. Dunny throughout the war, reads the New Testament constantly and understands the faith much more.
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