Cone Gatherers - Dark Side of Humanity

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The Cone Gatherers Essay

"The Cone Gatherers" is a novel written by Robin Jenkins. The novel is set on a country estate in Scotland, during World War Two and features two brothers, Calum and Neil who are collecting cones for the war effort. The kind hearted Calum is disabled in mind and body and relies on his brother to care for him. Whilst on the estate they encounter the gamekeeper, Duror, a handsome, seemingly stoic character, who takes an instant hatred to Calum. Throughout the novel, it dawns on Duror that he and Calum are not as different as he first anticipated. He sees himself in Calum. Before even realising this, he tries to get rid of the brothers by persuading Lady Runcie-Campbell, who is head of the estate where the brothers work - that Calum is evil and dangerous. Eventually, Duror sees no other option other than to kill Calum. This novel deals with the dark side of humanity through the character of Duror, and develops the theme by dealing with appearances and the idea of the external and internal.

As the novel begins, we are introduced to the external of Duror: a handsome, respectable, composed man. However internally Duror had endured years of hardship which have turned him into a bitter, spiteful man, who's full of hatred. Duror takes a trip to the doctors where the doctor comments on Duror's "lean, smooth, handsome, tight-lipped face. For all its composure he suspected a sort of fanaticism lurking in it." Although Duror seems perfectly normal and as sane as everyone else, the doctor looks past his exterior and notices that not all as it seems. He notices Duror is hiding his emotions and believes it's not because of his obese wife Peggy but because of something much more sinister. The doctor however, does not realise it is because of his hatred boiling to the surface because of Calum. During the war the horrid actions of the Germans were coming to light, and the Doctor comments on this: "He had read that the Germans were putting idiots and...
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