Any text is a construction, rather than a reflection of the real world. In other words, it has been made by someone, designed to achieve certain effects, convey certain meaning. Regardless of whether or not the text achieves what the writer set out to, meaning is made from the way in which the language and images are "read".
The scene shocked readers and alienated many: Something of a writing prodigy, she began The Obernewtyn Chronicles, perhaps the best known of her fantasy series, while still in high school, and continued to work on the first volume, Obernewtyn, while completing a BA in literature and working as a cadet journalist.
It was published inwhen she was still in her twenties. The seventh and final volume in the series, The Red Queen, will be published at the end of this year. Here the battles take place on playing fields or in the gym, or between deserted classroom blocks at night, while packs of feral dogs growl in the darkness.
A single mother who works a lot of night shifts in a nursing home and is rarely home to supervise her son, she particularly approves of the town curfew: He does, however, find himself mysteriously drawn to a small group of four other misfits in the school who seem governed by a prophetic wraith called Lallie.
This is reflected in the various objects or symbols each of them feels compelled to acquire: Nathanial has felt compelled to steal a flat metal disc from a sculpture on the desk of Mr Karle, and this is the circle of time.
What do all these symbols mean, and what possible antidote can they be to the institutionalised evil that operates in the heart of Cheshunt? This is where the novel enters fantasy territory, but before it does it introduces the chief villain who, chillingly, is the vice principal of Three North.
If there is a principal, he or she is never mentioned. Comparisons with Hitler spring readily to mind.
The packs of feral dogs that roam the borders of Three North — which, we remember, has all the concrete unloveliness of a concentration camp — are killers and are there to instil fear in the townspeople and to actively discourage explorers and curfew breakers.
His mother is shocked at the comparison but later in the story, when the two have mended some of their differences and are on the path to reconciliation, her views have modified. Nathanial asks her if she thinks a policeman could be evil, and she replies: I think wanting to control things is where evil begins.
In the end there is only one way to defeat evil, as Lallie explains: You have to believe in the light, or you live in darkness.
Believing is the magic. At one point, The Tod saves Seth from walking into the path of a pack of feral dogs. Nathanial keeps him inside the house when he is in school, fearful that his chief tormentor, Buddha, and his gang of bullies might use the little dog to wreak revenge on him for refusing to join The Gathering — as, inevitably, they do.
Carmody pulls no punches in describing this gruesome scene, which occupies almost four pages.
Would any writer for young people include a comparable scene today? If they did, the deed would be committed off-stage, not described in detail and witnessed first-hand by the distraught teenage narrator: I screamed in utter horror, helpless. The match landed in his tail and flames swept forward up over him.
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|Study Pack||It is most apparent in the conflict between the Chain and the Kraken, nevertheless the more sinister, elusive Acts of the Apostless of evil occur when he attempts to do each member vulnerable by transgressing their failings. While the physical illustrations such as the concluding conflict, the slaying of The Tod and the violent Acts of the Apostless by Buddha and his pack could surely be classified as immorality, it is my belief that the brainwashing of the pupils and the overzealous powers of semblance Mr.|
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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.The Gathering wasn’t the first of Carmody’s fantasy novels.
Something of a writing prodigy, she began The Obernewtyn Chronicles, perhaps the best known of her fantasy series, while still in high school, and continued to work on the first volume, Obernewtyn, while completing a BA in . “The Gathering” by Isobelle Carmody portrays the dark side of human nature.
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