Character Injury in The Gathering by Isobel Carmody

Topics: Novels

How does the author use the development of characters to effectively convey the novels central ideas?

Isobelle Carmody effectively uses the development of characters to represent the novels central ideas and themes. Through language techniques and features, Isobelle Carmody has used characters to effectively display how power can affect the way we think and lead the person to making terrible decisions.

This is evident through the trauma each character faces and the choices they must make to either follow the darkness or fight for good.

In the fight against the Kraken we are shown the importance of friendship and standing together as one helping you to defeat the dark forces. Nathaniel, for example, struggles to find his identity and discover what makes him so unique to others. With the help of those around him he is able to triumph over the obstacles faced with the dark forces that poison Cheshunt.

Danny has suffered great trauma throughout, the gathering. His experiences have caused him to become reckless and he puts up an emotional barrier because he finds it so difficult to trust.

Danny has been betrayed and hurt by so many people in his life that he now finds it difficult to place trust in anyone. At the beginning of the novel Danny is displayed as careless and someone who will break the rules for the fun of it. We are then introduced to a far more complex and emotionally unstable character as he finds it difficult to face his past and accept the tragedies that others have inflicted on him.

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Danny has a particular hatred for the police and Mr Karle as they symbolise the corruption through power in the town of Cheshunt. This is shown in the novel when he reveals his experiences with the police to Nathaniel and the reader is shown a more vulnerable side of Danny. When Danny speaks of his past, he refers to humans as the real savages. This indicates he believes that humans can inflict much more pain than any other creature.

Nathaniel is portrayed as the main character and hero throughout the novel, the gathering. However, despite his triumphs he is faced with numerous obstacles that force him to realise his past and figure out why darkness is spreading over Cheshunt. At times, Nathaniel feels he is alone with no support from anybody. This is until the circle took place which then allowed the reader to experience a more complex side of Nathaniels character.

Indians past trauma deeply affects him as seen throughout the gathering. He struggles with letting go of the mistakes he has made before which have created a chain reaction in his life. He blames himself for his sister being hurt and he refuses to come to terms with what he has no control over and what he can not change. This is the reason he allows Buddha and others to physically harm him because he believes he deserves it. This links to the sense he has no control over his life and by allowing others to hurt him he feels he can repay for his actions.

In conclusion, Isobelle Carmody has used the development of characters throughout the novel in order to portray the themes and ideas represented. She does this through focusing on the trauma each character has faced in their past and the challenges the group must face in order to overcome the force of evil.

Cite this page

Character Injury in The Gathering by Isobel Carmody. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from

Character Injury in The Gathering by Isobel Carmody
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