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In order to understand Dunstan's attitude about women, we must first ecamine his relationship with his mother.Dunstan understood Mrs. Ramsay; he even loved her. And yet he also loathed her, because of her controlling nature. This paradox haunts Dunstan for much of his life. Mrs. Ramsey is the archetype of the sensible Scottish mother, practical and efficient. However, she is also extremely conservative in her tastes and expectations. When Dunstan shows a predisposition towards the mythic and the fantastical, her authority controls and smothers him. Because of this tumultuous relationship, Dunstan has trouble not only with other women in his life, but also with societal expectations. He swears he is above the resentments towards his mother, and yet has trouble manifesting that remove into action with either women or his lifestyle, which remains mostly conventional. Ultimately, he himself embodies a similar paradox to that which he feels for Mrs. Ramsay, repudiating his mother's conservatism and yet somewhat conforming to it in spite of himself (at least until he meets Liesl).