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The Cone Gatheres - Critical Evaluation

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 08:23 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 67.8 
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The Cone Gatherers CEL by Robin Jenkins - Critical Evaluation of Literature

The Cone Gatherers written by Robin Jenkins covers many topics. The two topics I shall mainly focus on are the eventual insanity of Duror the gamekeeper and also his evil towards Calum and Neil, the two cone gatherers. As I read the book, I discovered that Duror was an evil and disturbed human being who was driven to insanity by his hate towards the cone-gatherers.

The evil inside Duror is the book’s focus, although other themes appear throughout the book. Evil is described in Chapter 8 as “a presence like air, infecting everyone”.

From the start of the book, Duror’s cold evil is made very clear. “Duror the gamekeeper, in an icy sweat of hatred.” This is referring to one of the opening images when Calum, who loves everything about nature, bends over to pity a poor rabbit caught in the gamekeeper’s trap. It says that Duror keeps his gun targeting the “hunchback” whilst Calum is bent over. Duror’s hate for Calum I assume, is because Calum is happy. Jealousy is apparent when he realises that although Calum is a hunchback, he is happy and loves everything about nature. Whereas, Duror’s marriage is not the happiest because his wife is ill and has to be helped to do everything.

In Chapter 2, Duror says that he wishes that he was Calum with a hunched-back and “hellishly beautiful face and idiots mind”. He feels that if he “could cleanse the wood of his defiling presence”, he would be all right and he would be happy again to see that no one lesser than him, was happier than him. I feel that Duror’s hate for the cone-gatherers deepens and becomes more complicated. I think that Duror feels that because the cone-gatherers are his inferior, they should not be happy if he isn’t happy. Although he isn’t technically their boss, he wants to feel power over them and this is the only way he can get the feeling of power he craves for so much.

To try to satisfy his...


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