The Cone Gatherers: Themes

Julia falconer
Mind Map by Julia falconer, updated more than 1 year ago
Julia falconer
Created by Julia falconer about 5 years ago


Mind Map on The Cone Gatherers: Themes, created by Julia falconer on 02/01/2015.

Resource summary

The Cone Gatherers: Themes
1 Good vs Evil
1.1 Duror
1.1.1 is a good 'stalwart' man according to the local doctor
1.1.2 becomes embittered, feeling everyone and everything is against him. "God knew how many inhibitions, repressions, complexes were twisting and coiling there, like the snakes of damnation."
1.1.3 withdrawn then angry as first his marriage then his career and his aspirations to be a war hero all crumble before his eyes. "For many years his life had been stunted, misshapen, obscene and hideous and this misbegotten creature was its personification."
1.1.4 blames Calum with his crippled body and angelic face and behaviour. If God is to blame for all Duror's ills, then Calum is God's representative on Earth and a target for Duror's hate. "icy sweat of hatred" wants to remove the cause of his hate and murders Calum before killing himself.
1.1.5 "The most evil presence of all."
1.1.6 “the overspreading tree of revulsion in him”
1.2 Calum
1.2.1 Childlike, innocent mind.
1.2.2 deep empathy with nature. The incident with the rabbit demonstrates that Calum can’t harm any living creature “I couldn’t Neil” "He shared the suffering of the rabbit."
1.2.3 “on the misshapen hump of his body sat a face so beautiful and guileless to be a diabolical joke” Oxymoron “diabolical joke” draws attention to the juxtaposition of Calum’s hideous shape on the outside and his beautiful nature on the inside
1.2.4 Hated for being a flawed character - through no fault of his own He is sacrificed that others may learn to do better and carry out more Christian acts with their lives.
1.2.5 He is a symbol of the child in all of us
1.3 Lady Runcie-Campbell’s conflict between trying to appear Christian and upholding her aristocratic ideals recurs throughout the novel
1.3.1 "Roderick knew that the struggle between good and evil never rested: in the world, and in every human being, it went on. The war was an enormous example. Good did not always win."
2 War: The Macrocosm
2.1 Not just ww2, but wars between classes, within nature, bewteen different genders and people in society.
2.2 background theme to the novel and sets the scene for the various conflicts between and within men and nature.
2.3 sightings of naval ships steaming away to fight the enemy, soldiers train in the local woods and the sound of their gunfire disturbs the peace and beauty of the forest.
2.4 reasons for the cone gatherers arriving are because of the war
2.4.1 the forest must die to help the war effort and the seed cones must be collected to enable the rebirth of the wood (and the local area) after the war.
3 Religion
3.1 Calum as a Christ figure, and Duror as a devil.
3.2 The various incidents that occur symbolise Eden and the loss of Paradise, the expelling of Mary and Joseph from the inn and finally the Crucifixion of Christ.
3.3 sacrifice as Neil gives up his dreams for his disabled brother.
3.4 Duror's happy marriage becomes a hateful experience for him is perhaps him being punished for various sins.
3.5 Lady Runcie Campbell tries and often fails to reconcile her wish for Christian treatment of her employees with her duty to maintain the class system
3.6 belief in an afterlife is also examined.
3.7 "This wood had always been his stronghold and sanctuary ... where he had been able to fortify his sanity and hope. But now the wood was invaded and defiled; its cleansing and reviving virtues were gone."
4 Class Conflict
4.1 LRC brought up as good christian w/ good values and respect for lower classes, but her husband believes the lower classes should know their place in society.
4.1.1 partially to blame for the way that Calum and Neil are treated and why Duror becomes insane enough to kill and then take his own life.
4.1.2 her son is conscious of the lower classes and their needs whilst the daughter is very class conscious and treats those she perceives as being below her in an awful way.
4.1.3 Car incident: "It's our car, dear boy. We can please ourselves whom or what we carry."
4.2 Neil has strong views on the class system and will not allow himself or Calum to be treated unequally by the so called upper classes.
4.2.1 Neil’s turning against the Runcie-Campbells and the whole class system that causes the crisis to erupt that result in Calum’s death.
4.2.2 "Those people represented the power of the world, and so long as he was humble it would be benignant.
4.2.3 "Yonder's a house with fifty rooms...every one of them three times the size of our hut, and nearly all of them empty."
4.3 Roderick wants to treat everyone equally which brings him into conflict with his mother and sister as this undermines their views about maintaining their social position.
4.3.1 "you would carry dogs in your car and yet you refuse those men"
4.3.2 "There was room for all of us mother"
4.3.3 "We didn't treat them fairly."
4.4 LRC Change of heart after death of both Duror and Calum
4.4.1 "She could not pray, but she could weep; and as she wept pity, and purified hope, and joy welled up in her heart."
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