Essay on The Cone-Gatherers by Robin Jenkins

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The Cone-Gatherers by Robin Jenkins

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
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Yet another of Duror’s plans is put into action. He suggests that the cone-gatherers should be used as beaters. She asks if one of them is a ‘cripple’. Although Duror has an immense dislike toward Calum, he replies by saying “He’s a hunchback, but as agile as any monkey.” She rang Mr. Tulloch the overseer of the Ardmore men’s (cone-gatherers) work and he said it should be all right. As Duror was about to leave, the telephone rang. Mr Tulloch was explaining that Calum had certain sensibilities, especially towards the deer drive. Duror, when asked by Lady Runcie-Campbell if Calum and Neil were really needed, he insisted they were so Lady Runcie-Campbell told Mr Tulloch the same.

In Chapter 5, Duror seemed to take great pleasure in telling the cone-gatherers about their necessary attendance of the upcoming deer drive. Neil got very irate about it and said that Duror was deceiving them by trying to get them to do things, that they don’t particularly want to do. Neil knew that Calum was never asked to take part in deer drives because of his particular sensibilities and then accused Duror of deceiving them. “Duror was silent. His triumph was become a handful of withered leaves” He thought that to deliver this “deadly message to them in the eyrie where they fancied themselves safe” would be

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