To an extent The Gathering portrays the dark side of human nature. A dark side of a human is the side that tells that human to do evil and bad things. The Gathering is a novel written by Isobelle Carmody. When the main character Nathanial and his mother move to a new town called Cheshunt he realises that something is terribly wrong. He soon finds himself in a group with four other people called the chain, fighting the dark, ancient evil that bruised Cheshunt a long time ago. A long time ago Cheshunt was bruised by an ancient evil which caused bad things to happen there.
In Cheshunt, there were people with power over others and their power corrupted them. Mr Karle, a teacher and the leader of the school youth group tried to manipulate people by using their fears against them. Even though The Gathering shows the dark side of humans it also displays the good side of humans. An ancient evil bruised Cheshunt a long time ago and this caused bad things to happen there. When Nathaniel decided to walk his dog for the first time since he arrived at Cheshunt, he met a security guard who told him about Cheshunt.
He said that “some places are made for trouble. Years ago some bad things happened here”. This shows that bad things happened at Cheshunt. An old lady; named Anna, who used to live in Cheshunt for a long time told Nathanial that Cheshunt “was a bad place”. This shows that Cheshunt was a bad place. The girl by the name of Lallie, who united the chain, told the group that “Long ago terrible things were done in Cheshunt. These deeds bruised the earth and a cycle of darkness has grown in Cheshunt”. This shows that terrible deeds bruised Cheshunt a long time ago.
Cheshunt was bruised by ancient evil long ago and because of this many people displayed their dark side and committed evil deeds. In addition, the corrupting force of power exhibits the dark side of people. One of the members of the Chain named Danny was physically hurt by the police; who have power over the citizens of Cheshunt. He told Nathaniel that “power makes the police into Gorillas”. As Gorillas are stereotypically ferociously violent and are inhumane creatures, this shows that the police’s power corrupts them.
When Nathanial and his mother were at the zoo Nathanial asked her if she thought that “a policeman could be evil”. She told him that anyone who has power over others can be evil. This shows that anyone who has power can be evil. She also quoted that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. This shows that anyone who has power can be corrupted. People who have power over others can be corrupted and when they are corrupted the show their dark side. Furthermore, Mr Karle attempts to manipulate people by using their fears against them.
Nissa Jerome was a member of the chain and her weakness was love. Nissa was scared of admitting or giving in to love. Mr Karle used her fear to his advantage and said to her that she was “unfeminine and unattractive” and that “no one could love such a creature except out of pity”. As love was Nissa’s fear this shows that Mr Karle was trying to manipulate Nissa by using her fear against her. Danny was scared of the police and the power of authority. Mr Karle used Danny’s fear against him when he said “I think you must truly have damaged your brain in that field. The dog must have bitten into it”.
As on the night that the police hurt Danny, Danny was being hurt by the police’s dog, this shows that Mr Karle tried to manipulate Danny. Nathanial was scared of turning out like his father. Mr Karle used Nathanial’s fear against him when he told Nathanial that he “is going the way of his father”. This shows that Mr Karle tried to manipulate Nathaniel by using his fear against him. Mr Karle tried to manipulate many people and by doing this he is displaying his dark side. Although The Gathering exhibits the dark side of people it also displays the good side of people. Throughout The Gathering, Nissa and Nathanial build up their relationship.
Eventually their relationship became so good that Nissa “leaned forward and pressed her lips on” his. This shows that The Gathering displays the good side of human nature. Seth was another member of the chain and when the group was at the beach; Seth nearly drowned. The reason he didn’t drown was that the group worked so hard to save him that “by the time they reached the sand none of them had the strength to walk”. As the group used all their strength to save Seth this shows how much the group cared about Seth. This also shows that The Gathering displays the good side of human nature.
The Gathering displays both the good side and dark side of people. A long time ago Cheshunt was bruised by an ancient evil which caused bad things to happen there. In Cheshunt, there were people with power over others and their power corrupted them. Mr Karle, a teacher and the leader of the school youth group tried to manipulate people by using their fears against them. Even though The Gathering shows the dark side of humans it also displays the good side of humans. In the end the Chain stayed together, defeated Mr Karle and rid Cheshunt of the evil that bruised it a long time ago.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 1 October 2016
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