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Dunstan's Women

             Robertson Davies" Fifth Business creates, develops and explores the character of Dunstan Ramsay and his approach to life as a spectator sport. Davies uses the women in Dunstan's life to progress the search for an identity of this "odd man out".
             Fiona Ramsay.
             Dunstan Ramsay's mother, Fiona, has an impeccable good sense and a terrible need to have control over everything and everyone. As Dunny grew older he became aware of his mother inhibiting his independence and so they began to drift apart. After Dunny's interest and affection for Mrs. Dempster became obvious, Fiona threatens him with an ultimatum to choose between her or "that woman". This is a vital moment for Dunstan's character because this is when he first steps out of his Deptford world and goes to war at the end of which, he is to be reborn. Fiona's character helps Dunny understand the significance of his independence and the realization that "nobody-not even my mother-was to be trusted in this strange world that showed very little of itself on the surface" (pg. 30).
             Leola Cruickshank.
             Leola's character remains much the same throughout the novel. She is introduced and portrayed (however tragically) as a trophy girl, an object or prize that Dunny competes for (and wins one time) against his best friend and enemy Boy Staunton. After realizing he has lost her by going to the war Dunstan immerses himself in Leola and Boy's lives so completely it is almost like he is trying to live his life through them. This character's low self-morale further reduces her to nothing but a pretty face and she represents Dunstan's profound relationship with Boy Staunton.
             The Three of Colborne: Three women at Colborne College "who were sufficiently interested in [Dunny], to give [him] a sex life of a sort."(p.117). These three represent Dunstan's sexual growth and the fact that he samples women from different walks of life (as he continues to do through the novel).

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