Emma Fifth Business Character Analysis

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Emma Fifth Business Essay

1. Setting and character portrayal, not plot, are the essential elements of fiction. Referencing the two works, how far can you agree with this statement?

Two classic pieces of literature, Jane Austen’s Emma and Robertson Davies’ Fifth Business challenge one of writing’s most conventional ideas, that plot is the essential element to writing. However that is not the case in these two fictitious novels, where the essential elements are setting and character portrayal. Villages of Highbury and Deptford, the portrayal of Emma Woodhouse and Dunstable Ramsay, and the seemingly lack of plot in both books all lead to the fact that setting and character portrayal, rather than plot, are the essential elements of any work
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In particular, Emma is famously described as “handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition”. The character portrayal allows us to accept many unusual actions Emma does that we would not normally accept for any other character. When she takes over Harriet’s love life, telling her to marry Mr. Elton and leave behind Mr. Martin, we believe that her dictator-like actions are coming from pure, kind intentions because she is portrayed as having a happy disposition. Characters that are depicted differently, such as Mr. Knightley, would be unable to do such actions without the readers questioning the authenticity of the novel. Similarly, Dunstable behaviours are also an integral part to Fifth Business. He is not a man who likes attention and is what many consider boring. Heck, the whole book is based on the fact that he is offended that his retirement notice called his life boring. However, it is because of this lack of absurd behaviour that we can relate to Dunstable as we see him as an average joe. This leads us to believe that what we are reading is a true autobiography of a 20th century man named Dunstable Ramsay and not a fictitious novel written by Robertson Davies. His journeys across the planet, his unexpected encounters with acquaintances, his unusual recounts of his childhood, we believe every word of it because why would this …show more content…
It is more essential to have character portrayal and setting as demonstrated through Jane Austen’s Emma and Robertson Davies’ Fifth Business. Through the use of Highbury and Deptford, the portrayal of Emma and Dunstable, as well as the lack of plot, the two authors were successful in demonstrating that the essential elements needed in fiction are character portrayal and setting, not plot. They created a comfortable atmosphere and allowed us to connect to the characters which made the novels seem like they were really events and people that existed some time in the real world. These two timeless works of art will go on forever to inspire future fiction

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