Fifth Business

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Leola Cruikshank Character Analysis

Leola is the prettiest girl in Deptford, and early on develops a romantic relationship with Percy. When he goes away to boarding school after being caught having sex with their classmate Mabel, Leola promises to wait for him, but for a short time dates Dunstan before Dunstan goes off to war. Leola eventually chooses Boy and marries him, but as he grows more and more successful she realizes she is not a good match for him, and becomes depressed. She attempts suicide after finding out about Boy’s affairs, but survives. She becomes ill some years later, and dies. Dunstan suspects she left the window in her bedroom open to accelerate her own death.
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Leola Cruikshank Character Timeline in Fifth Business

The timeline below shows where the character Leola Cruikshank appears in Fifth Business. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: “Mrs. Dempster”
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...playing games after school or dating girls, though he does have a slight crush on Leola Cruikshank. (full context)
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...in school even more arrogant and argumentative. Dunny’s classmates have all grown up quite a bit—Leola is now the town beauty, and is known to be dating Percy. (full context)
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...away to boarding school (Colborne College, where Dunstan will eventually teach), and despite his betrayal, Leola still pines for him, which makes Dunny “cynical about women.” (full context)
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Though his parents are angry, his classmates admire Dunny for his brave decision. Leola, who still pines for Percy but who has not seen him since he left for... (full context)
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...not to be afraid, and soon enough his call comes and he boards a train. Leola does not come to see him off, for fear of how it might look. But... (full context)
Part 2: “I Am Born Again”
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...parents do not speak much. He longs to see Mrs. Dempster but knows he cannot. Leola admires him even more now that he is in his uniform, and they go “a... (full context)
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...Dunny’s future will be her future. Every two weeks, she delivers Dunny a letter from Leola, but never asks questions. Dunny always answers Leola’s letters, trying not to be rude but... (full context)
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...reception is elaborate. As he is sitting onstage during the ceremony, he notices Percy and Leola sitting together in the front row of the audience, and Leola is wearing a ring.... (full context)
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After the ceremony, Dunstan takes Leola in his arms in front of Percy and kisses her. Percy nervously tells Dunstan of... (full context)
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...is the barber. Milo updates him on town gossip, mentioning that no one ever thought Leola would end up with him—she was always plainly in love with Percy. He tells him... (full context)
Part 3: “My Fool-Saint”
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Boy, though he is engaged to Leola, carries on affairs with multiple women, having come out of the war with a diverse... (full context)
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3. Dunstan is Boy’s best man at his wedding. Leola is a radiant bride and Boy a fetching groom, who grows more powerful in life... (full context)
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...wife. He has proven himself to be a brilliant businessman, and is trying to make Leola into the kind of wife a wealthy businessman should have—elegant, educated, and refined. The Jazz... (full context)
Part 4: “Gyges and King Candaules”
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...Dunstan is the only one he feels he can talk to about his trouble with Leola. Boy has built a kind of relationship with the Prince of Wales, and receives a... (full context)
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...at school, gives him some pictures to develop. Among them are several nude photos of Leola. Dunstan is furious but he is not sure why—perhaps because Boy is dangling Leola in... (full context)
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...looking at them, and Boy insists on showing the pictures to him in front of Leola. Leola is mortified but Boy cruelly continues, making her wait and watch as he shows... (full context)
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...think the story stirred something in Boy, for he believes that that night Boy and Leola conceived their second child. Dunstan thinks Boy loves Leola in a complicated way, and he... (full context)
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...David and Caroline, according to their sexes—David must be manly, and Caroline must be sweet. Leola is the one person on whom Boy “spends none of his sexual force.” She is... (full context)
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On Christmas, Leola discovers a note in Boy’s coat pocket from one of his mistresses. She is distraught... (full context)
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...telling him he must call the Staunton’s number at once. Dunstan calls, and hears that Leola has tried to kill herself by slitting her wrists in the bath. She left a... (full context)
Part 5: “Liesl”
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...over WWII. Boy is made even richer and more famous by this war. In 1942, Leola dies. She had grown more and more listless as Boy’s fame grew, eventually falling ill... (full context)
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Dunstan feels bad for Leola, but his caring for her had been a “matter of duty.” Everyone in Deptford mourns... (full context)
Part 6: “The Soirée of Illusions”
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...to humiliate him in front of Paul, and says that Dunstan is simply jealous that Leola chose him. Paul interrupts, saying he needs to retire for the night. Boy is suddenly... (full context)