The Gathering

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The Gathering.

Nathanial Delaney, the main character in The Gathering, is new in the community of Cheshunt. No one else seems to sense the sinister atmosphere in Chesthunt, except Nathanial. With the haunted look in people's eyes and the subdued aura around the school, Nathanial thinks that moving to Cheshunt is ridiculous. Suffering the recent death of his father, he lives with his mother and is finding it difficult to relate to children his own age, and is very mature. Throughout his life he has been moved from town to town, and is tiring of this ruthless string of new starts. "New friends? I never had any old ones. We never stayed anywhere long enough. In fact, my grandmother was the closest thing I had to a best friend. Besides, I couldn't relate to kids my own age…"(pg3) Nathanial has always had trouble making new friends, and he feels as if his mother does not understand him. "But I never managed to figure out how you made friends with total strangers. Maybe that was why I did well academically. I had no social life to distract me." (pg16) In the beginning of the book he is angry at the world, and he feels as if everyone is against him. Towards the end, he has made peace with his life, and is relaxed and philosophical, viewing the world as an ally and not an enemy. One night, Nathanial stumbles upon a group of teenagers fighting evil in Cheshunt, referred to throughout the novel as ‘The Chain' The development of character relationships in ‘The Gathering' is a slow process, with the relationships becoming more meaningful as the novel progresses. The style of writing used by Isobelle Carmody is elaborate and sophisticated, making the social interactions of each of the characters different and special. The three characters that Nathanial becomes closest to in the novel, Nissa Jerome, Danny Odin and Indian Mahoney, all share a personal experience with him that they have kept a secret for most of their lives. No one seems to sense the sinister atmosphere in Chesthunt, except Nathanial. It's the haunted look in people's eyes and the subdued aura around the school…

Indian Mahoney. One of the first people Nathanial meets in the novel is Indian Mahoney. "I looked over my shoulder to see a big guy with long dark hair drawn back into a pony tail… I thought it was a lot easier to bluff when you were six foot tall and built like the Terminator." (pg11-12) On Nathanial's first day at his new school, Three North, Indian helps him escape the reputable bully Buddha, who is giving Nat a hard time in his first week. Indian engages in a conversation with Nathanial, on his first day, making him feel welcomed and at ease. Nathanial's relationship with Indian in the beginning of the novel is awkward, and strange. But when Nathanial joins a group of teenagers from the school, ‘Three North', to fight the evil encompassing Cheshunt, Indian and Nathanial form a close and meaningful relationship, progressing from acquaintances to friends. Indian shares one of his most personal secrets with Nathanial about how he feels as if it is his fault that his sister fell from a slippery dip when she was five and now has an almost meaningless life. Indian was meant to keep an eye on his sister Jenny but he was fighting a group of bullies instead of watching her and while he was fighting, Jenny fell off the slide and hit her head. "She was in a coma for a week, and when she woke up, she wasn't the same. She used to smile and laugh all the time, but now she doesn't smile or look at you. She just stares. It's as if I did kill her, but the body was left behind." (pg157 Since this horrible incident, Indian has vowed to himself that he should not fight and the pain that he receives is to punish him for what he did for his sister.

Danny Odin "Danny Odin was the school's pet mad dog. He was one of those legendary bad kids you know about from the first day in a new school. His name was forever being called over the PA system. He was like some sort of...
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