Analysis (1) Fifth Business is so intriguing in large part because it synthesizes a romanticizes coming-of-age story with a more mythical undercurrent. From the very beginning, one senses a gravity to the work that is belied by the otherwise realistic descriptions of what Duncan calls “village life” (16). This unique approach is all centered around Duncan, who as a narrator is possessed not only of intelligence and sensitivity, but also of self-awareness.
The basic premise of the narration – that Duncan is offended to have been written off as ordinary in the school newspaper article – underlines a entrant message of the novel: even the ‘ordinary’ possesses a strong undercurrent of mystery and magic. What is important is the willingness to look for and notice this undercurrent. It is interesting that the fateful snowball incident of Duenna’s childhood provides the nucleus of his entire life. In effect, what could have been Just another moment in Deported life possesses an amazing centrality because of the way Duncan views his life.
The plot progresses from this event, in such a way that the moment gains more layers of meaning and relevance as the story continues. In fact, his part of the book is structurally unique from the rest of the Deported trilogy. The snowball incident is introduced even before our protagonist, suggesting that the individual is not necessarily the center of the universe. Instead, this moment becomes the impetus, since it is more powerful than the people involved in it. This idea – of forces and patterns beyond our superficial sight – is more fully developed as the novel continues.
In Part 1, these type of patterns are most notable through the contrast with Deported. Since Davies considered this book the first of his Deported Trilogy, he clearly saw the town as central to the thematic content. Deported is a town reminiscent of a Puritan Salem Massachusetts. Pregnant women are discouraged from being seen in public, Mrs.. Dumpster is considered too kind to be a minister’s wife, and the town has no less than five churches for a town of five hundred people. It is a place defined by social stricture, by firm expectations about behavior, and by a strong pretense of punishment and sin.
The contrast between Mamas Dumpster and Mary Dumpster elucidates the point. Mamas is a stern man who lacks imagination and curiosity. His only warmth comes from his doting affection towards his wife, which is criticized amongst Deported society and which he later ceases to show. His patronizing cruelty towards Duncan is nothing compared to that which he uses towards his wife, blaming her explicitly for Pall’s premature birth, and later tying her up in his home. Mrs.. Dumpster, on the other hand, is so unique not because of a complex personality, but precisely because of her simplicity.
In effect, she is the archetype of saintliness that Duncan spends his life exploring. Her goodness is all the more affecting because it is simple, unqualified, and innate. And yet Deported has no vocabulary to understand such a powerful presence. Even her virtues are resented, since people have no way to categorize such natural kindness. Her gift- giving is derided, her positivist is dismissed as idiocy, and she is entirely ostracizes after the encounter with the hobo. In the same way that Duncan gets in trouble for reading about saints and performing magic, Deported has no use for those parts of Tie.
Instead, Depositor Is assesses Walt ten supernal, wanly Is clearest In ten noon moment. That moment is central to Duenna’s development, for several reasons.
First, he sees something beautiful in it. Notice his description of the scene; it is infused with a sense of tenderness and mercy, not Judgment. Further, it is important because Mrs.. Dumpster has in effect merged the sacred and profane. Having no sexual experience with women (and being much in love with Mrs.. Dumpster himself), Duncan is overcome with the sight of the sexual act, and all the more affected because it possesses such a wonderful sense of simple kindness in it.
Where her much-quoted response – “he was very civil… And he wanted it so badly” – is mocked by most of Deported, it for Duncan reflects a more powerful and brave understanding of human experience. The lonely vagrant needed physical love and Mary Dumpster freely gives it to him. That the vagrant later becomes the respectable, philanthropic Joel Surgeon speaks to the validity of Duenna’s understanding. The aftermath of that incident is somewhat tragic. First, Deported becomes a rather cruel place by ostracize the Dumpsters. Mr.. Dumpster is cast out of the church, and Mrs..
Dumpster becomes a social pariah. And yet even in her suffering, Mrs.. Dumpster possesses a saintliness for Duncan. Her imprisonment by rope is in fact reminiscent of the tortured saintly or angelic archetype. Again, the contrast with Mr.. Dumpster is ever. Whereas she suffers her banishment with grace and charity, Mamas is broken. The religion that once flowed through his veins turns to poison. He emotionally flagellates his wife for ruining his life. The suggestion is that the world has its ways – how we respond to those ways is what defines us. And for Duncan, what defines Mrs.. Dumpster is her saintliness. Despite the hypocrisy of small town Ontario, she persists in her power, even bringing Willie back to life. It is no surprise that Duncan devotes his life to studying the mythic, to trying to understand the greater potential that humans have in this universe. When he is finally forbidden to continue exploring this in Deported, Duncan chooses to experience the wider world of warfare.
Finally, what is most fascinating is that the story does work so well as realism alongside this more magical undercurrent. It is easy to understand all of Duenna’s feelings about Mrs.. Dumpster as an extension of his guilt. Since he blames himself for the snowball incident, he arguably views the world in a way that can redeem him, seeing Mrs.. Dumpster as something special. He is later explicitly accused of this blindness. One other theme that grounds the mystical aspects in psychology is Duenna’s obsession with secrets. It is telling that the central incident – the snowball – is shrouded in secrecy. Percy refuses to admit his culpability, and later in life forgets entirely about the moment. Duncan, on the other hand, learns from this moment to keep his secrets close.
As a result, he has a tendency to view moments as arguably larger than they are, to let them consume him rather than telling them to others and hence freeing himself from the tyranny which memory sometimes has over us. Further, the novel’s realism manifests through its variety of specific observations on village life. Part 1 in particular – told from the vantage point of a boy – possesses a lot of innocence. Duncan learns to live with richer people through Percy, to deal with unrequited love through Leila, and to feel the power of mentors through the magic he teaches Percy.
All of these characters resonate throughout Duenna’s life, and the story is as powerful for its suggestions of myth as It Is Tort ten way tense snatchers change as ten years pass
Analysis (2) Duncan Ramsey comes of age in Part 2. Like many young men were, he is thrown into the chaos of war, baptized by fire at the front lines, a virgin with a rifle simply ring to survive. He is affected in many ways by his experience there. Though Dustman explicitly tries to gloss over the terrors of war, they have clearly transformed him. The first and most immediate way reflects the novel’s realistic tendency.
His attitude towards life and death is entirely skewed after the war, which helps to explain why he spends the rest of his life as interested in man’s spiritual nature as physical. Having witnessed so much destruction, Duncan finds it better to think on man’s potential than on his actuality; after all, the latter can be so easily annihilated. Secondly, the war deepens his conflicted relationship with religion. Though he remains an atheist throughout his life, his time with the pocket Bible establishes his sense of life as powerful but destructive.
More interested in the Old Testament saints – who brave difficulties for faith – than in the New Testament stories of redemption, Duncan clearly recognizes the world’s destructive power. And yet he is also aware that the power of myth can be redemptive. In the same way these stories keep him distracted from the war’s terrors, so can the mythic undercurrents of the world bring us solace. Finally, Duncan does not only come of age, but is in fact “born again” by the war. He is given a chance to remake himself, and this happens largely through what he considers Mrs.. Tempter’s second miracle.
While lying bloodied beside an old crumbling church, Duncan is shocked to see a statue of the Holy Virgin, with Mary Tempter’s face. While he will spend the rest of his life trying to understand this vision, we can already surmise that he has been so affected by her simplicity, her ability to suffer the world’s tortures with equanimity, that her image provides solace in the face of these terrible troubles. This revelation proves both blessing and curse for Duncan. He is able to survive the war and establish a new life because of it, but he remains always somewhat separated from life, unwilling to directly confront it, as Mrs.. Dumpster did. Not until he meets Lies will this attitude get challenged. The first encounter with unfiltered life that Duncan has after being “born again” comes through Diana. She is the first truly worldly woman he has ever met; while his mother was entirely provincial and Leila is a simple girl, Diana is intellectual, witty, socially assertive and self-aware. Further, she is not only sexually experienced but also willing to initiate Duncan into that world. For a young man, this makes her an abundantly important figure. Because Diana is there, Duncan is able to suffer his handicaps – a missing leg, terrible burns – as badges of a sort.
They are evidence that he has been reborn into a new, different life. Ironically, though, Diana also teaches Duncan that he is not fit for a conventional life. The idea of marriage and running a farm that entices her only frightens him. What he does not express, but the reader can see, is that Duncan is not only rejecting her, but also his mother. In effect, he is rejecting the role of a ‘leading woman,’ to use the ideas that Lies will later teach him. He does not Delano as ten Nero AT a story. Instead e SST e “TNT Business,” t supporting role.
He does not have such understanding at this point in his narrative, but his willingness to reject being the ‘leading man’ establishes a new path, one he will stay upon until Lies later challenges his assumptions. And indeed, Duenna’s ingrained alienation from the intimacy of women will haunt him for the rest of his life (at least in this novel). The moment is made explicit when Diana, after finally realizing hat Duncan is not simply capricious but in fact has a vision for his life, rechristens him, changing his name from the very Protestant “Denotable” to the rather Catholic “Duncan. In some ways, it seems that Diana understands Duncan better than most women in his life ever would. The new name underscores his continued fascination with saints, as well as his ever-present guilt. It is also a rejection of all things Protestant that shaped him and constrained him in Deported, and yet it also marks the way he is isolated from any faith community. He has rejected his Protestantism, but is not Catholic. Thus, Duncan accepts with this new name a perpetual outsider status, a sort of “Fifth Business” to religion. And yet Duncan is also ready to reject his past.
He feels little other than liberation when he learns of his parents’ deaths, suggesting that the shackles of small-minded Deported are anathema to him. His time in Deported, with its strange pageantry about the war, only convinces him that he wants to move on. He wishes to write away what he was. Of course, the novel suggests time and again that this is impossible. His life remains interlinked with those of both Percy and Paul, since the mythic undercurrents of it began in Deported. This desire to define ourselves, but the impossibility of fully doing it, is reflected in what Duncan realizes in meeting the King.
He discovers that we often try to fill the roles life gives us, even though we are not in fact defined by those. Similarly, Duncan will spend his life believing he has become someone different, only to discover much later on that he is both the person he wants to be and the person created in Deported.
Analysis (3) If Duncan comes of age in Part 2, he moves into an adult life in Part 3. The narrative here reflects a more mature protagonist than we have seen thus far. Duncan lets life unfold before him, willing to let circumstances guide him rather than trying futilely to control them.
There is a certain maturity in this philosophy – he has learned that the mystical undercurrents of life are greater than our own willpower, and thus can experience many fantastical things. For instance, he accepts a Job that is mildly fulfilling but hardly a great repository for his passions, all because it lets him wander Europe on breaks. Had he not lived this life, he would not have encountered Paul, and set in motion events that will change his future. His philosophy on life stands in tart contrast to Boy’s. Boy works mercilessly to control his own fate.
It is as if Boy Staunton wills things to happen and succeeds by sheer intensity of spirit. Boy believes that his destiny lies directly in his control. He invests in the right stocks, he makes connections with the right people, and he creates the ‘perfect’ family. Of course, tans ‘protection’ NAS a ark SSL e a . Because Is so Tattle on manliest Nils fate, he is entirely blind to what is happening around him. He cannot sense Duenna’s resentments, has little self-awareness about his phoniness, and worst of all drives his wife into a depression.
Whereas Duncan continues to recognize his connection to Deported, Boy refuses to admit it exists. Leila is clearly a small-town girl, and yet Boy assumes he can beat that out of her. He will not accept that those roots are impossible to sever. As a result, his entire life with her becomes only a commodity he can use to further his financial and social career, as his wife falls into a deep depression that will eventually lead to her death. Another character who set out to create his own path is Paul. Like the other two men from Deported, Paul has created his own, separate identity from the one he was born with.
And yet like Duncan, this identity has its roots in what he learned in Deported: magic. The Deported that he loathed and ran away from still flows through his art and profession. In many ways, Paul remains the same scared child he was, now trying to reinvent himself through magic. His conjuring tricks seem to provide a buffer between his traumatized childhood, locked in a Protestant Hell, and his adult dream of freedom. Ironically, like Percy and Boy, Paul has merely evolved rather than changed. Although Boy, Paul and Duncan seek to grow away from their childhood in Deported, their essential roots remain the same.
The most significant aspect of Duenna’s past remains Mrs.. Dumpster. In her lies the synthesis of the old – his guilt – and the new – his desire to be an expert on saints. Convinced that her simplicity denotes saintliness, he transfers his childhood feelings of guilt and longing into a career as academic and author. There is a part of Mrs.. Dumpster in the very mythology of saints that motivates him to make hagiography (study of saints) his lifelong passion. Thus, it is extremely clear by this point that Duncan has always had an inclination towards the metaphysical world.
Duncan sees a metaphysical pattern in everything that happens in his life: the snowball hitting Mrs.. Dumpster was not merely a random act of cruelty; Mrs.. Dumpster was much more than a simple minded preacher’s wife; Duenna’s boyhood magic tricks opened a window into hidden worlds that beckoned to be explored. Duncan even becomes fascinated in his own belief in saints and the mythic beyond. He consciously debates his own obsessive search for meaning. The primary question the novel poses, then, is what Duncan is hoping to find through his studies.
While no explicit answer is given, the suggestion is that he is attempting to understand himself, the feelings that defined him as a child, and hopefully through that to better understand the world. This is in itself a religious desire, even if he does not associate it with a particular church. In fact, Duenna’s attitude on religion is quite ambivalent. In some cases, he finds it downright silly; consider his response to Father Reggae’s dismissals. His decision to pose the question to the priest was itself a hope that the Catholic church might provide some help, but he is disappointed.
Further, his skepticism makes him initially hesitant about Joel. This skepticism almost costs him knowledge of his fool-saint’s third miracle. He has to get over his initial doubts before he can truly accept that Joel has been inexorably moved by Mrs.. Dumpster much like Duncan himself has. They are tied together by the same metaphysical pattern, even if Joel subscribes to a religion that Duncan has little use for. But as mentioned above, Duncan can only be affected Day tense metaphysical patterns IT en accepts Nils place crosscurrent to teem.
He must allow circumstances to overtake him, rather than attempting to force them into his own pattern, as Percy does. In this way, the older Duncan is merely a reflection of the younger Duncan, the perceptive boy who functioned better by watching from the background than in directly Joining the action. Because of his attitude, Duncan does indeed discover marvelous twists of fate. His discovery of Paul Dumpster seems serendipitous if not preordained. The chance encounter provides yet another part of the mythic thread that runs through Duenna’s life.
He is there to receive such miracles, even if he is not directly responsible for causing them to happen.
Analysis (4) As Duncan struggles to understand Mrs.. Tempter’s place in his life, he finds a mentor figure in Padre Gigantic Blazon, who turns out to be the father figure he never had. Unlike Duenna’s own father, Padre Blazon does not feel emasculated by women. He is an intellectual who understands that man’s search for meaning lies beyond his duties as a husband or even as a father. In this way, he is able to relate to Duenna’s search for transcendence, for the mythical underpinning that exceeds everyday life.
In the same way that Duncan suffers a relatively thankless Job and seemingly banal lifestyle so that he can focus on what he considers greater pursuits, Padre Blazons life as a Jesuit speaks to his own physical sacrifices in the pursuit of greater meaning. More than ever before, the reader can see that Duncan in many ways lives like a priest or monk: celibate, secretive, and obsessed with the vestiges of Catholicism. However, Padre Blazon also boasts a rebellious streak which Duncan cannot quite muster in himself. He is certainly amused and impressed by it, as Blazons mark of singular personality.
The priest dresses differently than the other Jesuit brothers, freely criticizes Catholic doctrine, and is willing to confront unpleasant questions. These are the qualities that keep Duncan back, that keep him ‘Fifth Business. ‘ Not until Lies will he confront another figure so forceful. However, while Lies explicitly challenges Duncan to push himself to this level of activity, the Padre does so only implicitly, by presenting Duncan with a model that he does not naturally imitate. However, the Padre’s theories are as equally important as his personality is.
Most crucial is the men’s shared belief that life is guided by a type of fate. Blazon is the first figure to acknowledge that Mary Dumpster does have a forceful, mythic presence in Duenna’s life. And yet he qualifies the theory – Mrs.. Dumpster is subjectively important. Duncan is obsessed with objective recognition – connotation by the Church – while Padre Blazon insists his attention has been diverted. He should be looking not for validation by the world, but rather for understanding within himself. Though the motif of “Fifth Business” has not yet been introduced, it is crucial towards understanding the priest’s theory.
The “Fifth Business” is always the supporting role, the foil. He is never the lead. Duncan continues to play a supporting role in the world, in the process ignoring his own self- exploration. The implication is that we can find transcendence equally well by exploring our own souls as we can by looking to find the greater workings of fate. The search Tort meaning Is Tie’s greatest pursuit, out can De contacted Walton one’s mall. Especially in terms of this theory, Padre Blazon is a definite foil to Boy. While the priest is content with exploring his own soul, Boy (like Duncan) is obsessed with external validation.
He needs to be recognized as an important social figure, and needs his value confirmed through affairs. Whereas Padre Blazon is humble – he admits when he does not have the answer, and despite his wisdom is always in search of a teacher – Boy is an unceasing flurry of ego. The title of the chapter makes sense in terms of this contrast. Basically, the myth explains how King Candles destroyed himself through his desire for external validation. He could not simply appreciate his wife’s beauty on his own, so forced Edges to confirm it. As a result, he was destroyed.
In this section, ironically, Boy’s prideful cruelty is only punished on Leila, who survives her suicide but entirely loses herself. However, Boy will eventually ay the price for his desire to be loved, first losing himself in his second marriage and then losing his life. Of course, the novel does not simply make Boy into a villain. Instead, he reflects another aspect of Duenna’s personality. Duncan might yearn for Padre Blazons insight and self-assurance, but continues to struggle with the same guilt and desires that he learned in Deported.
In this way, he is much more like Boy and Paul than like he is like either the blessed priest or his glorious fool-saint.
Analysis (5) It is in this section that Fifth Business comes closest to Magic Realism. Duncan has spent his life obsessed with myth, but always with an intellectual detachment. Here, he actually Joins a carnival that specializes in evoking those mythic symbols, in an attempt to move people in an archetypal way. His life comes alive, is hardly “unlived” while with the carnival, and thus is he finally beginning to live in the type of place he has always written about.
The carnival show is more immediate than Duenna’s studies on saints because it is theatrical. The symbols are not there to be interpreted, but instead confront the audience directly. Thus, Duncan explores the notions of DOD and evil more explicitly than ever before. And when he takes a part in shaping the show, he is giving himself the chance not only to communicate the power of myth, but also to utilize it. He is able to almost touch the power he has otherwise only speculated on. Similarly, Duncan sees this dichotomy of good and evil at play in his own life.
His relationship with Boy, for example, has always been a careful dance between the forces of good and evil. While Duncan finds Boy Staunton to represent many of the traits that he loathes, Boy has also provided crucial financial advice and confided deep secrets with him. Boy’s self-righteous greed – which Duncan on one hand rebukes – has also been crucial towards financing Duenna’s trips around the world. Though he has not admitted his own silent complicity before, he has acknowledged it implicitly. Consider his role in Aloe’s funeral and Davit’s upbringing.
He buries Leila (much as he was there right before her suicide attempt) and takes some responsibility for David. This is not his family, and yet he clearly feels connected to them, responsible in some way for what has happened. Much as he exercised his guilt over Mrs.. Dumpster, he takes a role in facilitating the Staunton arrival. If Boy has evil qualities – and that is arguably true, considering how tragically Leila ones up – teen Duncan NAS accepted tense Walt n little resistance. He has this epiphany about good and evil in Magnum’s show – and indeed, the realization is more about money and power.
It is about how the powerful mythic forces interact in all of us. No matter how much he places himself in the background, Duncan contains in himself an amalgam of powerful archetypes that he could spend his life exploring in lieu of his search for saints. In short, he is far more complicated than he eight have thought. All together, this is a version of the lesson Padre Blazon tries to teach in the previous section. Like some Faustian bargain, Lies offers Duncan a glimpse into his grandest imagination and the darkest recesses of his soul in exchange for his presence and his writing skills.
Lies is incredibly introspective but firm with Duncan. Like Mephistopheles, Lies guides him through the dark baggage of his soul, the baggage that he previously refused to open. What Duncan finds is certainly frightening, but is is also liberating. In effect, what she refuses to do is to lay his game of intellectual dodges and diversions. Instead, she aims for the truth: we all have desires and must work to realize them. Perhaps the most intriguing lesson she teaches him is that his insistence on keeping secrets is itself a diversion.
Early on, she refuses to keep his secret, suggesting that such hidden truths only weaken a person. The lesson is powerful, since it implies that Duncan has spent his life hidden away with the secrets of others, rather than truly pursuing his inner potential. And yet he confides his secrets to her anyway, thereby experiencing a resurrection of his spirit. Indeed, he experiences a sexual re-awakening as well. At the age of fifty, Duncan becomes unashamedly enamored with Engineering’s head showgirl, Faustian.
Through violence, sex and therapy, Lies takes Duncan to the primal darkness that he has previously run away from, forcing him to admit his animal nature and then to consider what great potential lies within that. It is not until he fully embraces this part of himself – through a sexually charged brawl with Lies – that he is able to hear the ultimate truth about himself. Indeed, Duncan is a part of the world’s mythic order, even if he always sat in the background. In fact, this itself is a part of the mythic order – it is the “Fifth Business,” the figures in life who play s purporting roles.
He is a confidant to others but without a life of his own. For once, Duncan can see himself come into focus. And yet the lesson has one final implication as well: he can also take control of his life. He does not need to simply accept where circumstances have left him. Like Paul has, he can create his own carnival around himself. Duncan describes his sexual experience with Lies as a healing one – it is a consummation less of their relationship than of his new legislations with life. He will make choices, and declare himself to the world.
Analysis (6) It is in this section that Davies and Duncan finally reveal all secrets. Until now, the reader has been led to believe that poor fragile Mrs.. Dumpster was the victim of a careless snowball thrown without any real malice. Some readers could be forgiven for wondering whether this snowball could actually have affected the woman to the extent Duncan claims it did. In actuality, though, the snow covered an egg-sized rock that violently struck Mrs.. Dumpster. Percy Staunton had meant to hurt Duncan that eight so many years before, and through that malice irrevocably changed many lives.
I en reader Totally Deigns to unreason ten complexities AT Duenna’s scene. Horst Is the level of guilt he has harbored. What has connected him to Mrs.. Dumpster is not just a simple twist of fate; it is the suggestion that he had somehow inspired a violent attack that accidentally struck another. The fact that he keeps the paperweight is also interesting. It is clearly a reminder – but a reminder of what? Is it his guilt over stepping aside and using Mrs.. Dumpster as a shield? Is it that Boy really meant to arm him? Is it that he has been “Fifth Business” to Boy all these years without ever really standing up to him?
We never get definitive answers to these questions but one thing is clear: the paperweight explains Duenna’s passive aggressive relationship with Boy, the underlying tension between both men. Whereas Boy has simply forgotten his past, Duncan can never leave it behind. This is a fundamental difference between them, and one that speaks to two different relationships with life. Both Boy and Paul have created a mythology around themselves, largely as a buffer to their respective pasts. Paul has become Magnums Generics, the conjurer of illusions and fantasy, and Percy has become Boy, the larger-than-life industrialist.
And yet Duncan has become his own mythology. Instead of ignoring his past in preference for a new mythology, he consciously pursues his own unanswered questions. Certainly, he externalities those fascinations, but in ways that are easily linked to the past. His obsession with saints is a barely-disguised attempt to understand the power Mrs.. Dumpster has over him. His obsession with life’s mythic underpinnings reflects his belief that the tragedies of his youth must have some meaning, some import in the world. In effect, he has always been doing what Padre Blazon challenges him to do: exploring himself.
The only thing that has changed through his narrative is that he has become more aware of it. Secondly, this secret of the rock ties into Duenna’s obsession with keeping secrets. He is so accustomed to keeping confidence that he has not told the headmaster (and reader) the truth until this point. It is in his nature to keep the secrets of others because he does the same for himself. Even in what is ostensibly a ‘tell-all,’ it takes the entire story before the tells the truth of the first moment. Clearly, his Journey towards self-appreciation – the place Lies wishes him to discover – is not complete.
However, he knows that he must undertake the Journey, and this in itself constitutes a major change. And to prove that he has changed, Duncan concludes his role as Fifth Business by providing finality to the narratives of the leading men he had otherwise supported. He tells them his deepest secret, leaving them to use the information either to reconcile their pain or to simply dismiss. With the unveiling of the stone, Duncan ceases to merely be a passive observer, the mere holder of confidences. He sheds his identity as Fifth Business to become the hero of his own story.
And indeed, he changes the story considerably through his decision. Becoming his own hero also means taking responsibility for his own actions. In the final scene with the Brazen Head, Duncan comprehends that he was as much a part of Perry’s death as Paul was. Lies had connected Duncan with his dark side, the other half of his personality that would make him whole again. In effect, she taught him to accept the devil, much as Padre Blazon encourages him to do in this section. The fact that she is the voice of the Brazen Head only underscores her importance in reminding him that he has the devil inside him.
The heart attack is not only a recognition that he let the devil in tongue Nils Interference, out also a chance to De Odor again. He NAS already Eden reborn – from Denotable to Duncan – but here becomes even more full, a human who can reach his full potential by accepting his contradictions. He then consciously accepts this new identity by accepting Lisle’s invitation to Join the carnival in Switzerland. At the end of the novel, Duncan has admitted no explicit culpability in anything. He did not intentionally hurt Mrs..Dumpster, nor did he intentionally aid in Boy’s death. And yet he is complicit in these acts and so many more, because the world’s mythic underpinnings operate by involving us through both our angelic and demonic sides. The reader thus understands the complexities of Duenna’s psyche. He recognizes both his dark and light shadows, that Jungian dichotomy in its eternal dance. We, like the headmaster, need not doubt that Duncan Ramsey had an interesting life; on the contrary, we should celebrate it for reflecting the complexity of feeling of which we are all capable.