“Fifth Business” a novel written by the Canadian autor Robertson Davies. Published in 1970, the novel explores the life of the narrator who is Dunstan Ramsey who spends all his life in a world of isolation in a way that secludes him from the rest of the society. As Dunny get’s older he realize that his decisions, actions interets and experiences during his life are keeping him in a life of isolation . The guilty of Dunstan’s conscience and the irregular interaction with woman leave him in a world of isolation. Many characters in “Fifth Business” live lifes of isolation not just Dunstan Ramsey. In the novel “Fifth Business” isolation exist also it has an enormous role during the novel and take place in three aspects, physical, emotional and social.
One might interpret that isolation does not exist in “Fifth Business” and guilt exist and plays the principal role during the novel “Fifth Business”. Dunstan feels a lot of guilt during his life. He feels guilty for the premature birth of Paul Dempster but he most of all feels guilty about his responsibility for Mary Dempster’s condition. Dunstan’s experience with Mary Dempster leaves him with a feeling of guilt because he feels responsible for her accident with the snowball and her “simplicity”. “As a child I had felt oppressively responsible for her, but I had thought all that was dissipated in the war. But the guilt had only been thrust away, or thrust down out of sight, for here it was again, in full strength, clamouring to be atoned, now that the opportunity offered itself” p152 this quotation was say by dunstan in the novel “Fifth Business” by Robertson Davies, in this quotation Dunstan feels guilty for the “simplicity” of Mary Dempster. After Mary Dempster prematurely gives birth to Paul, Dunstan feels guilty because of his association with her accident. “I learned all the gynaecological and obstetrical details as they were imparted piecemeal to my father; the difference was that he sat comfortably beside the living-room stove, opposite my mother, while I stood barefoot and in my nightshirt beside the stovepipe upstairs, guilt-ridden and sometimes nauseated as I heard things that were new and terrible to my ears” p13 this quotation is say by Dunstan Ramsay. Dunstan feel guilty because he is related with Mary Dempster accident. However Dunstan’s infancy causes him to have constant feelings of isolation wich causes him to live a life of isolation in wich he tries to make amends with his past mistakes.