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Word Count: 828
Fifth Business Search for Self Identity In Robertson Davies novel Fifth Business the authoruses the events that occurred in Deptford as a Canadian Allusion to revealcharacter identity Three characters in the novel from Deptford Boy StauntonDunstan Ramsey and Paul Dempster leave Deptford to embark on a new identityto rid of their horrid past The three main characters of the novel allof whom to some extent try to escape their small town background changetheir identity to become people of consequence All in some way take on anew identity Imbedded in this transformation is the assumption that onesoriginal self especially ones small town origins must be discarded beforeone can become significant in the world Firstly Paul Dempster grows up as an outcast in Deptfordhis mothers simpleness leading the tight social world of the townto cast out his whole family and forces Paul to leave the town and createa new image for himself Paul runs away to the circus in his early teensbecause of the mental abuse he took from the town because of his mothersincident with the tramp Dunstable comments Paul was not a village favoriteand the dislike so many people felt for his mother - dislike for the queerand persistently unfortunate - they attached to the unoffending son Davies40 illustrates how the town treated Paul because of his mothers actionsPaul leaves his past because of the actions displaced by his mother and theguilt he feels because his birth was what robbed her of her sanity Davies260 explains why Paul left Deptford However while Boy merely tries toignore his Deptford past Paul tries to create a completely new one and Paulasks Dunstan to write an autobiography that in general terms that he wasto be a child of the Baltic vastness reared perhaps by gnomelike Lapps afterthe death of his explorer parents who were probably Russians of high birthDavies 231 The scenery of this autobiography seems significantly Canadianbut Paul does not want his book to represent his past
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