“Fifth Business” a novel written by the author Davies Robertson which is successfully able to center on the life of a character which 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 Dunstan get’s older he realizes that his decisions, interests and experiences are keeping him in a life of isolation with no interactions. The guilty of Dunstan’s conscience and the irregular interaction with women lead him in a world of isolation.
Many characters in “Fifth Business” live lives of isolation. In the novel “Fifth Business” isolation exist, it has an enormous role during the novel and take place in three aspects, social, emotional and physical. One might interpret that isolation does not exist in “Fifth Business” and guilt exist and plays the principal role during “Fifth Business”.
Dunstan feels a lot of guilt during his life. He feels guilty for the premature birth of Paul Dempster, he feels guilty for his role in Leola’s early death, and the most of all feel 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 “simplicity”. “As a child, I had felt oppressively responsible for her, but I had thought all that was dissipated in the war. Was not a leg full and fair payment for an evil action? This was primitive thinking, and I had no trouble dismissing it – so it seemed. But the guilt had only been thrust away, or thrust down out of sight, for here it was again, in full strength, clamoring to be atoned, now that the opportunity offered itself” P152. 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. Dunstan feels guilty because he is related to Mary Dempster accident. However, Dunstan’s infancy causes him to have constant feelings of isolation which causes him t olive a life of isolation in which he tries to make amends with his past mistakes.