The Gathering Text Response

Topics: Conflict between good and evil, Good and evil, Feral Pages: 2 (697 words) Published: May 13, 2001
Text Response – Good Vs. Evil

Good vs. evil is a widely explored theme in Isobelle Carmody's novel 'The Gathering'. It is most evident in the battle between the Chain and the Kraken, however the more sinister, subtler acts of evil occur when he attempts to make each member vulnerable by breaching their weaknesses. While the physical examples such as the final battle, the murder of The Tod and the violent acts by Buddha and his gang could certainly be classified as evil, it is my belief that the brainwashing of the students and the fanatical powers of illusion Mr. Karle wields are more insidious, swiftly inhabiting and manifesting in the minds of people in a way that is more powerful than any outright acts of violence.

An example of how the evil within Cheshunt and Mr. Karle are influencing residents to commit heinous acts can be found on page 214 when Buddha murders Nathanial's dog in an attempt to render him susceptible to Mr. Karle's attempts to manipulate him. The Tod was ruthlessly killed by being doused in kerosene and then set alight. Page 214 reads as follows, "The match landed in his tail and flames swept forward up over him. Devoured him. He arched and coiled, yelping in pain and fright, and then he screamed, a long inhuman howl of agony and terror. For one terrible second, his eyes looked at me from out of the flames, bulging and pleading." This horrific and terrifying event was interpreted by Nat as punishment due to Lallie's intervention of the night before when he was being chased by feral dogs. Nathanial's reaction was one of revulsion and horror as he witnessed the murder by Buddha.

Another example of evil occurs on page 247, when Nathanial recalls his father trying to kill him "‘Children should be seen and not heard' he said, and his big hand closed around my neck. And squeezed." This could be evidence that an ancestral streak of violent behavior could also be tainting Nathanial's blood. Perhaps this is why Mr. Karle struggles to convert...
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