Fifth Business

Percy “Boy” Staunton: The Greater Life 11th Grade

Though some may appraise the worth of a life on the basis of intrinsic values, the qualitative nature of such values themselves makes it difficult to make an objective comparison. The value of a life, then, is best defined through the yardstick of the quantifiable: measures like material wealth, overall accomplishments and the contributions that an individual makes to society at large. Percy “Boy” Staunton best fulfills this description in the world of Fifth Business. As a business savvy tycoon and later as the Minister of Food during the Second World War, Percy’s contributions and hand in guiding the Canadian economy far outweigh the value of Dunstan’s own contributions to the academic sphere. He was also instrumental in the life of Dunstan Ramsay himself, to whom he provided the “financial advice and…modest financial security” (Cameron 92) necessary to finance Dunstan’s expeditions across the globe. Even in his personal life, the combination of Dunstan’s social ineptitude and Percy’s natural extroversion gave Percy a social edge, thereby exposing him to a world of things Dunstan never had the opportunity to experience. Though Dunstan accumulated a wealth of experience in Deptford and in his treks across the globe, it is easy...

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