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Kaitlyn Vogel

Fifth Business Analysis Paper

In this passage, within ​Fifth Business , Robertson Davies shows us the universal

mask of heroism through archetypal roles. Davies is inspired by Carl Jung and his

teaching on the idea of masks. Throughout the book, Davies uses a serious tone to show

how people wear masks and how archetypes change the person in society.​ Dunny, the

main character, has several struggles that allow him to grow; therefore, he then takes on

the role of a hero. Dunny feels an obligation to take on the role of a hero because

someone has to take on the role. ​Robertson Davies uses the psychology principles

proposed by Carl Jung to prove the masks of heroism.​ ​Davies uses the character

Dunstan Ramsey to reveal the faults of society through the theme of heroism and Carl

Jung’s archetypes.

When Dunstan is on his journey he is constantly referred to as a hero. He is being

displayed as a hero by receiving recognition and medals at Buckingham Palace. Even

after all of this, Dunstan still questions if he should be a hero. Jung psyche principles

teach that society needs a hero so Dunstan feels obliged to fill that role. This causes

Dunstan to imagine the ideal characteristic of a hero and put on a mask in order to

create his ideal version of a hero and fit the role for society.

Carl Jung’s ideas state that a hero is needed for a society, no matter the

qualifications. This portrays the faults in society by showing they are willing to take

anyone regardless of their qualifications. Davies shows this in his work by justifying
Dunstan for wanting to be a hero in order to fulfil society; even though he does not feel

that he is a hero. Dunstan puts on a mask to portray heroic characteristics in order to

achieve the goal of society. By stating , “But it doesn't’ much matter, because people

seem to need heroes; so long as I don’t lose sight of the truth, it might as well be me as

anyone else.” Dunstan is accepting the ideology of people needing heroes as a duty for

himself. Dunstan is wearing the “heroic” mask for the benefit of society not for himself.

Davies uses juxtaposition when comparing Dunstan looking into the king’s eye to

a hero. “There was a moment, however, when the King and I were looking directly into

each other’s eyes, and in that instant I had a revelation that takes much longer to explain

than to experience. Here I am, I reflected, being decorated as a hero; but I know that my

heroic act was rather a dirty job I did when I was dreadfully frightened; I could just as

easily have muddled it and been ingloriously killed.” Dunstan uses this to represent that

although he does not deem himself qualified he recognizes the mask he must wear.

Dunstan continues to argue that he is more fifth business rather than a hero however, he

still puts on the mask for society.

Davies’ novel accurately portrays Jung beliefs of heroism through the eyes of the

protagonist, Dunstan. Throughout the book Dunstan looks at these beliefs and realizes if

anyone can be a hero, he can too. Carl Jung’s archetypes shape Dunstan into the hero he

needs to be. Even though there a faults in society Dunstan still​ submits to the demands

of society. Dunstan is inspired by the idea of heroism and puts on a mask making

himself a hero figure.