Fifth Business

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The Headmaster Character Analysis

The headmaster is the recipient of the letter the novel comprises. He was selected over Dunstan because he was perceived to be more “normal” and socially palatable. Dunstan writes to him after seeing an article about himself in the school paper that he believes does not do his life justice. He wants the Headmaster to know his story and therefore carry on his life’s meaning.
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The Headmaster Character Timeline in Fifth Business

The timeline below shows where the character The Headmaster appears in Fifth Business. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: “Mrs. Dempster”
Religion, Faith, and Morality Theme Icon
The Meaning of Success Theme Icon
History and Mythology Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Psychology Theme Icon
2. Dunstan explains to the headmaster , who is the ostensible recipient of this letter, why he begins his account with... (full context)
Religion, Faith, and Morality Theme Icon
History and Mythology Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Psychology Theme Icon
Dunstan concludes to the Headmaster that he must lay down his strange life, its truths and its illusions, so that... (full context)
Part 3: “My Fool-Saint”
The Meaning of Success Theme Icon
History and Mythology Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Psychology Theme Icon
...Masters in History from university, he gets a job teaching at Colborne College (over which the Headmaster now rules.) Dunstan goes into teaching so that he may live a certain kind of... (full context)
The Meaning of Success Theme Icon
History and Mythology Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Psychology Theme Icon
...larger life outside of it—and it is about this life that he wishes to tell the Headmaster , so that someone will “know the truth” about him and “do him justice.” (full context)
Part 5: “Liesl”
History and Mythology Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Psychology Theme Icon
...he can do some extended travelling through Latin and South America. Boy agrees, and appoints the current Headmaster —to whom this letter is addressed. (full context)
Part 6: “The Soirée of Illusions”
Religion, Faith, and Morality Theme Icon
The Meaning of Success Theme Icon
History and Mythology Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Psychology Theme Icon
...times before The Five make an end of us all.” Dunstan concludes the letter to the headmaster with this note. (full context)