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Transcript of Fifth Business
Dunstan starts to talk about Paul
He explains how his mother didn’t think that Mrs. Dempster would make it through the birthing process
The hit in the head with a snow ball made Mrs. Dempster go crazy
Paul is Really sick since he is pre mature
Dunstan feels really guilty about the whole situation so he confronts Percy about it
Dunstan Starts to help the Dempster’s around the house
Dunstan’s mother has been very helpful being a big part in Paul’s life, also spending time showing Mrs. Dempster how to tend for her family since she came from a wealthy background
Dunstan spends lots of time at the Demptser’s doing little jobs around the house
Percy becomes his rival
Dunstan starts to complain because all his help is killing his social life with school and the ladies
Dunstan starts to get protective about what people have been saying about the Dempster’s
Dunstan tries working with his father at the paper plant but fails! Instead he gets a job at the library but doesnt get paid
Dunstan starts to get an interest on saints and magic
Dunstan starts babysitting Paul and teaches him magic, he also starts to read him a book on saints and it becomes their favourite
Dunstan explains how Paul seems to be unpopular around town
Mr. Dempster finds out about Paul knowing magic and being the baptist of the local church wasn’t excepted
Dunstan gets banned from seeing the Dempster’s ever again
Mrs. Dempster is getting worse, she started wandering around town
One day she was reported missing, the town went to look for her and she was found having sex with a hobo in what was called a “Pit”
An investigation goes under way
Mr. Dempster gets fired
Section 3- My Fool Saints
Dunstan taught at an all boys school (he didn’t want to teach girls)
He describes a few women he had enjoyed the company of
Boy married Leola
Dunstan took a trip to Europe and ended up on the same ship as the newlywed Stauntons on their honeymoon, except he was in Middle Class and couldn’t be with them in First unless they came down to visit, which Boy did so he could brag
Section 2- I am Reborn
Dunstan is enrolled in The Great War
He is in The Great War for 3 years (1915-1917)
He’s not really interested in any of the tasks so he transfers to France
Regularly reads the bible
He gets the nickname Deacon
Starts to do Charlie Chaplin impressions and then they give him his new nickname (Charlie)
He impresses his superiors and gets promoted to the rank of ‘Sergeant’
1917 they get deployed to get the German machine gunmen
they are in muddy “no mans land” getting shot at
Running away from flairs he comes across German snipers and kills them out of his own protection
He gets hit in the leg and slowly starts bleeding to death
Looks at Virgin Marry monument and sees Mrs.Dempsters face
Thinks its a miracle
Section 1 - Mrs Dempster
Introduces Percy, Dunstan, the Dempster’s, Dunstan’s Parents, and Paul
The Boys were playing at the park, Dunstan Starts walking home after an argument
Snowball incident with Mrs. Dempster
Dunstan gets home late and gets in trouble, but after explain what made him late, his mom goes to see if she is okay
Paul Dempster is Born December 28 1908
Flips to the present of Dunstan’s life
He is writing a letter to his boss, angry about an article written about his life
Continues in the past, Dunstan talks about his small hometown town
Dunstan explains how Deptford is simple and how everyone knew each other
Dunstan explains how his family is respected throughout town
Explains how Mrs. Dempsters life is changing for the worse
We are introduced to the town drunkard Cece who starts teasing Mrs. Dempster
Dunstan starts to get busy with school
He starts to miss visiting the Dempsters and his mom finds out why he douse not go over anymore
Willie (Dunstan’s older brother) gets very sick
Becomes worse, the day of the festival and his parents were out Dunstan was watching is brother. He belives Willie stops breathing and the first thing he douse his go for Mis. Dempster
She prays by his bed and asks Willie to wake up and so he douse, from then on Dunstan belives Mrs. Dempster is a saint
Willie recovers over time and goes off to war
Dunstan gets in a fight with his mother and decides to go to war to get away, Dunstan is under age but ends up getting in
He finally gets his school crush Leola
Leaves for war
The novel's narrator and protagonist, is an intellectual man looking for meaning in his life, forever haunted by the effects of a wayward snowball that struck Mrs. Dempster. He plays the role of Fifth Business.
Percy Boyd Staunton,
Is a spoiled little boy who comes from Deptford’s richer families.
Is a kind lady, a shameless adulterer, a mentally unbalanced introvert, and for Dustan, a saint.
Is Deptford's Baptist preacher, wife to Mrs. Dempster, and father to Paul Dempster. Though he was always marked by a humorless nature, he becomes far more obsessive and fanatical after his wife is hit with the snowball and her simple-mindedness.
In Deptford, he is born pre-mature to a woman who is soon enough ostracized, and is himself teased for his physical shortcomings. Paul gets blamed for his mother’s ill state and feels guilty for it.
Strong-willed but judgmental, constantly criticizing, Her staunch morality is one of the main reasons Dunstan leaves Deptford.
Dunstan's father runs the printing business in Deptford when Dunstan is young, much weaker person than Mrs. Ramsay, who as a result runs the household.
Is Dunstan's older brother.
Is the prettiest girl in Deptford, and is used as a trophy between Percy and Dunstan.
, how Dunstan feels towards Mrs. Dempsters state
, Dunstan sees Mrs. Dempster as a saint for saving his brother
, Dunstan escapes his town and his past to go to war to try get away from it all
Dunstan went to University of Toronto in history and got a B.A & M.A
Sold the family home and the family business
Boy helped his father expand his sugar company and grow very rich
Dunstan lived menially, not rich but not poor, either
Throughout these years he was still jealous of Boy as he had been as a kid, not wanting what he had (the money, the clothes, Leola) but also not wanting Boy to have better than him
Boy and Leola waited to get married until he became a lawyer. During this time Boy cheated on her with various girls, but convinced himself that because he loved her it wasn’t truly being disloyal to her
Dunstan toured the old war grounds in Europe, where they had become open for tourists, with cement in them so the ladies wouldn’t dirty their shoes.
He searched for the Little Madonna statue he had seen that had re-awoken his obsession with saints and Mary Dempster, but he couldn’t find it. Instead he became fairly familiar with the statues and art
Dunstan became a schoolmaster and lived at the school. The boys he taught liked him and did well in their studies
Boy grew incredibly successful in his own sugar industry and began to teach Leola how to be a girl appropriate for his new society
Boy and Leola became Anglicans, which was a popular social movement at the time
His school brought in a guest speaker to talk to the boys, a priest of the Life Mission named Surgeoner. While listening to his speech, Dunstan realized that this man was actually the tramp that had been found in the ditch with Mrs Dempster. Dunstan didn’t believe him and visited him afterwards at Life Mission, where Surgeoner explained that sleeping with Mrs Dempster had changed him and his life and turned him to God
Returned to Dempster to ask the minister about Mrs Dempster and saints. He found out she lived with her aunt Mrs Shanklin in Toronto. The minister told him that, if anything, she was a fool-saint
“a fool-saint is somebody who seems to be full of holiness and loves everybody and does every good act he can, but because he’s a fool it all comes to nothing – to worse than nothing, because it is virtue tainted with madness, and you can’t tell where it’ll end up.”
Mrs Shanklin didn’t want Dunstan to visit, but after talking with her, she appreciated his kindness and loyalty to her and let him in, describing the poor match Mary and Amasa had been to marry and her sad accident
Mrs Demptser’s condition deteriorated, and because of this she didn’t remember much, except on occasion Paul
Boy saved Dunstan from the Great Depression by telling him in advance about the stock market crash
Dunstan wrote his first book and travelled Europe again hunting a saint called the Uncumber, or Wilgeforte
He found Paul doing card tricks in a little run-down circus called Le grand Cirque forain de St Vite. He hung around that night talking to the other performers and to Paul, and even though they became friends, Paul refused to reach out to his mother and didn’t want Dunstan to know that he’s seen him. When Dunstan leaves, Paul steals his wallet
Gyges and King Candaules
Regains consciousness in an England hospital
Disorientated with one leg amputated
Meets Pretty nurse names Diana MArfleet (Her fiance died during the war)
They become lovers and this is the first woman Dunstan sleeps with
Dunstan is awarded a Victoria Cross for killing the German sniper (something he did with no act of heroism)
Dunstan learns both of his parents died from the flu that swept through Canada in 1918
They both died thinking Dunstan died in the war
He feels relieved about their passing since this means he will not have to relive history after returning to Deptford
He feels “reborn”
While in the hospital dunstan still continues his relationship with Diana and even meets her wealthy parents
Dunstan travels to london to receive the Victoria Cross from the King himself
He plays off the role of the hero
Dunstan loves Leola but knows that it will not last because of his own feelings
He feels like he sees his mother too much in her
Dunstan leaves Diana in England because he wants to start his new life in Canada
He goes from Dunstable -> Dunstan
Dunstan returns to Deptford as a hero
The town throws a celebration for the veterans that have returned from The Great War
Leola had a ring around her finger now with Percy
Percy is upset that she did not tell Dunstan this althogh is not emotionally disturbed
Mrs, Dempster survived the Flu but her husband did not
Paul runs away to the circus because he is made fun of because of his mother's actions
Dunstan auctions off his house and leaves town for Toronto to go to attend a University
He loses himself in history & literature
First person Dunstan sees when he wakes up in the hospital
She is described as beautiful and devoted nurse to dunstan
Help Dunstan back on his feet, physically as well as mentally
She is clever, witty, and honest
She has a deep romantic relationship with Dunstan
Their romantic relationship doesn’t last as dunstan feels like he sees finds Diana too much like a mother figure like his mother that passed away
They break up but stay friends through the book
Boy is doing well with the sugar business
Leola starts to feel as if she was failing as Boy's wife
Dunstan gets put into an awkward situation, tells the story of Gyges and King Candaules
David is born
Dunstan continues to visit Mrs.Dempster
Dunstan gets the role of Guardian of Mrs. Dempster
Orpheus commits suicide
Dunstan continues to study saints, discovers a group of Jesuits know as Bollandists
Dunstan and Padre Blazon get together for deep discussions
Although he admires her very much, Dunstan is beginning to think his weekly visits to Mrs. Dempster are a chore to him.
He is now a senior master in the school, and has written his own book
A Hundred Saints For Travelers
, it is a well sold book which tourists could find all over Europe. The main objective of the book is to help people identify saints in art.
He becomes an ear for Boy as he has to listen to all his personal secrets, despite his disapproval he doesn't say anything
1963, things take a turn for the Stauntons
Dunstan has developed a strong spiritual view that has significantly shaped who he is
Born a Presbyterian but his interest in Catholic saints grows larger
His sense of morality is largely shaped by the very qualities in Mrs. Dempster that repel the others in Deptford. Her public displays of affection - both nurturing and carnal - and her simple goodness become benchmarks of true morality for him.
Dunstan still feels guilt over what happened to Mrs. Dempster, and so he feels obligated to have to be her guardian but after not being able to watch her and placing her in a mental institute he feels extremely guilty, but it was all he could do.
Religion plays a key role in Dunstan's life that his job and social life revolve around it. Mary Dempster initially sparked his interest in religion but many other characters like Padre Blazon and the Bollandists are all just as much involved in his search about saints.
The Soiree of Illusions
Dunstan and Eisengrim(Paul) are talking about autobiographies
Paul makes a point not to see his mother
Dunstan reveals why Mrs. Dempster is sick, because there was a rock in the snowball that was thrown
Boy is murdered by Paul
Dunstan quits,determined to no longer be Fifth Business
Denyse (Boy's new wife): While she isn't important too the story, she is a smart good looking woman (according to Dunstan) who is every outspoken.
Death: Some of the main characters die, and these events affect the other characters like Dunstan.
Competition: While this is shown throughout the whole book with Boy and Dunstan, Boy mocks Dunstan by telling him how he was jealous when he got Leola and Dunstan didn't.
Guilt: When Dunstan becomes depressed after telling Mrs.Dempster about paul.
Key Literary Theories
: Boy molds himself after the Prince of Wales, and Leola molds her behavior after her friends so she could be the way Boy wants her to be.
: Boy tries to force Leola to give up her ways and become different, changing her looks and her beliefs and her behavior to how he wants it to be according with his society.
: the women are treated inferior to the men in the novel. Boy and Amasa (Mr. Dempster) both treat their wives as meal-providers, cleaners, and mothers. They have to behave how they are “supposed to” (as decided by the men.) Dunstan also treats women inferior to him, assuming girls couldn’t learn the same way boys do, didn’t want to teach them, and rarely referred to women as more than a passing physical fad
WWII starts and Boy makes a lot of money off of feeding the troops by his vitamin infused foods.
Has many affairs with women around the world
Leola tries to kill herself after trying to make Dunstan love her.
Leola dies from pneumonia. It’s suspected that she caused it.
During war Dunstan serves as headmaster of Colborne School
Dunstan is in Mexico City to find the shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe
One day he decides to see a magic show
Paul Dempster is in magic show and he now goes by Magnus Eisengrim
He meets an ugly bearded but intelligent woman named Liesl while trying to see Paul
Paul is dismissive of Dunstan
The next day at lunch Dunstan realizes how intelligent Liesl is and that she read all of Dunstans books he has written on saints
Dunstan is asked to write a fake autobiography for Magnus (Paul) using as much artistic license he likes. (So basically he can make up whatever he wants)
Dunstan then joins the Carnival of Magic
During this (he is now 50) he undergoes another “rebirth”
Liesl becomes his therapist, guiding him to explore the darker side of his soul and parts of him that he tried to run from. (Mrs. Dempster, and the guilt from the accident, His family, the town.)
Meanwhile Dunstan falls for the young showgirl Faustina
To his dismay he eventually walks in on Liesl and Faustina making love.
That same night Liesl confronts him and accuses him from hiding from his desires.
She then aggressively comes onto him which leads to a “sexually charged fight” that leaves them both bloody
Once returning for her clothes, Dunstan tends to her wounds and she then tells him that he is suffering the “revenge of an unlived life”
She also explains that he plays a fifth business role in life
By the end of the night they end up making love. Willingly.
– Literary style in which magic elements blend with real world.
In this case, the magic show blends with Dunstan and his real world. He has spent his life obsessed with myth, but here he actually joins a carnival that specializes in evoking those mythical symbols in an attempt to move people.
– The re-birth of Paul to Magnus and the re-birth of Dunstan to a man in the magic show and also re-birthing to truly understand his placement and who he is in life.
- (Very intelligent, ugly bearded lady)
-(Showgirl, admired, Gay relationship with Liesl)
What is Fifth Business?
Those roles which, being neither those of Hero nor Heroine, Confidante nor Villain, but which were none the less essential to bring about the recognition or the denoument were called Fifth Business in drama and opera companies.
Good examples of Fifth Business:
The Genie from Aladdin