Overskou” which defines “Fifth Business” as describing those roles that are not of the hero or heroine, confidante or villain, but are nevertheless crucial to the unfolding of a drama.
It portrays his quest for self knowledge, happiness, and ultimately fulfilling his role as ‘Fifth Business.’ This would not have accomplished without Liesl, an extremely graceful and intelligent woman imprisoned inside a deformed and gargantuan body....
He maintains that he has been cast in the “glorious role of Fifth Business” and scornfully maintains that the young author of the article probably couldn’t even comprehend the meaning of the Fifth Business if he tried.
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He contextualizes the opening quote by asserting that he has been cast in the role of “Fifth Business,” calling this appointment “glorious”—a word with a distinct religious connotation.
Meanwhile, the self blame that consumes him begins to give his life a lack of individual significance and is why he acquired the role of Fifth Business.
New York Times applauded Fifth Business – the first of the Deptford triptych – as "a marvelously enigmatic novel, elegantly written and driven by irresistible narrative force." How true this is.
In the novel Fifth Business by Robertson Davies, Boy Staunton -a successful businessman with a polished appearance but a tortured soul- took the ultimate plunge to his death.