"The Gathering" by Isobelle Carmody portrays the dark side of human nature. It shows that man's behaviour does not vary over long periods of time and across different cultures. It shows that each and every single person has an evil or dark side to them and it is whether they succumb to this evil or follow the paths of light and goodness that decide what kind of person they are.
Cheshunt, where the story is set appears to be a fairly normal town. When Nathanial and his mother arrive, Nathanial instinctively knows that something is not quite right. Nathanial is there for a reason. He and the other members of The Chain must learn the power of friendship to defeat the evil Kraken.
The dark side of human nature is seen in many characters: Cheshunt's headmaster Mr Karle is a truly evil person. Although Mr Karle's only role in the community is Deputy Principal of Three North, he has manipulated those who do have a major role in the community into making himself the main power over all Cheshunt.
His goal is to become the ruler of the world, starting with Cheshunt. To make sure that The Chain does not defeat him, Mr Karle defeats one member at a time. Mr Karle portrays the dark side of human nature - he has attained power that he then uses to control all those around him. He has become corrupted by this power and with it he is able to manipulate the other characters to perform vicious acts.
Mr Karle taunts and mocks in an attempt to emotionally destroy those around him - he takes pleasure in others' emotional pain. He causes distress in Nathanial when he tells him of his cold hearted father who was "Insanely jealous. Unstable.