When Nathaniel and his mother arrive, Nathaniel instinctively knows that something s not quite right. Nathaniel is there for a reason. He and the other members of The Chain must learn the power of friendship to defeat the evil Karen. The dark side of human nature is seen in many characters: Shunt’s headmaster Mr. Karee is a truly evil person. Although Mr. Karate’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 Chunter.
His goal is to become the ruler of the world, starting with Chunter. To make sure that The Chain does not defeat him, Mr. Karee defeats one member at a time. Mr. Karee 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. Karee taunts and mocks in an attempt to emotionally destroy those around him – he takes pleasure in others’ emotional pain.
He causes distress in Nathaniel when he tells him of his cold hearted father who was “Insanely jealous. Unstable. Violent” (page 263) and how Nathaniel mother learnt not to speak to anyone or smile in fear of what his father would do to her. When Mr. Karee reminds Indian that his sister is brain damaged because of Indian’s own mistakes – he does this knowing the heartache this will cause. He mocks Ninjas calling her “unfeminine and unattractive” and how “no one could love such a creature except out of pity” (page 246). Mr. Karee defeats one character at a time.
He is physically cruel and used force to hurt them. Mr. Karee embodies all that is the dark side of human nature, he is cruel both emotionally and physically “Then the Karen stepped forward and slapped her across the face. A trickle of dark blood ran from the corner of her mouth” page 249). He is corrupted by power, he is manipulative and in all this he takes pleasure. He is a true sadist. The dark side in human nature is also portrayed in many of the other characters, this is evidenced in Buddha – Isabella Caromed has used the name Buddha that represents peace and harmony and made him a killer.
He burns Nathaniel dog The Todd, who is Nathaniel only true friend and Nathaniel loves. “The match landed in his tail and flames swept forward up over him. Devoured him. He arched and coiled, yelping in pain and fright, and then he screamed, a long inhuman howl of agony and 214). When Buddha burns The Todd it is a vicious, cowardly act and is evidence of how dark man’s nature can be, that he can murder a poor, defenseless creature that is incapable of fighting back, also that the act was carried out in front of Nathaniel to cause him immense grief and feelings of powerlessness.
What is even more disturbing is that this is such a real act that could happen in our everyday life. How the people who are in a position to protect us and how they use this authority in a destructive way is also shown. The police, who are supposed to be good and honest are corrupt and evil. They protect the evil leaders and enforce their law, “The pamphlet stuck under the door the day We arrived had welcomed us to the neighborhood and urged my mother to join the Community Committee. It had a lot of by law information and the bit about the curfew was last.
It said no one was to be out in the streets after ten at night without a specific reason. ” (page 20). The police either stood aside and let the people of Chunter be intimidated and bullied or were doing the intimidating and bullying themselves. Seth is a part of the chain that is needed to defeat the evil – but Seth has given n to his dark side. He has a very weak character. Despite Seth being a “brain” (page 10), looking “like one of those perfect guys off Coke ads” (page 10) and coming from a good family, “His father is a policeman” (page 55) he is pathetic.
He is sneaky and drinks alcohol to escape facing reality. He can’t deal with his own problems (his parents are divorced and he can’t deal with being in the Chain and the effort it takes to defy Mr. Karee) and uses his weaknesses as an excuse to attempt to commit suicide, “Seth lay on his back between them, his face dead white. ” (page 142) He breaks promises ‘”You remised,’ Ninjas said icily. ” (page 138). He also betrays those around him “Mr. Karee gave Ninjas a radiant smile. Got him? But you misunderstand, Ninjas. Didn’t get Seth. He came to us. ” (page 250). Nathaniel father is a character who shows that man’s dark side does not vary over long periods of time. Nathaniel father was a violent jealous man who liked to have complete control over everything. He was jealous of Nathaniel and the attention he got from his mother, especially when Nathaniel was a baby “l had to sometimes hold your mouth to stop the crying” (page 264). Man’s darkest nature was shown when his father tempted to kill Nathaniel, “children should be seen and not heard,’ he said, and his big hands closed around my neck.