Fifth Business

Dunny says Percy is his lifelong friend and enemy. Explain what he means by this.

In part one, dunny mentions percy as his lifelong friend and enemy. Can someone explain how they are both friends and enemies.

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Dunstan and Percy are, what you would call today, frenemies. Dunstan has always despised and hated Percy Boyd Staunton. Still Dunstan and Percy are shaped by each other. They share a complex almost intimate past and neither man wants to let that past go into adulthood. One of the running themes in Fifth Business is the way the past shapes the individual. Although characters like Dunstan Ramsey, Paul Dempster, and Percy Staunton expand their horizons and even re-brand themselves, that small town of Deptford never really leaves them. Try as they might to change, they are shaped by their childhoods and by each other. Here, Dunstan uses the benefit of hindsight (he is writing this entire story to the current headmaster) to explain his awareness of the futility of escape. For much of the novel, both men need each other because they have shaped each other's early identity.