Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Gathering Storm

The Gathering storm, by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson is the twelfth novel of the long series The Wheel of Time. Robert Jordan intended to finish the series, but was inable to when he unexpectedly died from cardiac amyloidosis. Brandon Sanderson was then asked to step in and complete the bestselling series. The main conflict of the novel centers around the protagonist, Rand. He is living in a world that is dying and is in it's last days. Rand's main goal is to unite all of the countries in order to save the world. He begins by restoring order to cities and kingdoms in order to give them some stability. While doing so, he becomes a harsh tyrant. He turns away all his loved ones, and alienates them on a daily basis. Many of his followers fear him and try to escape; he catches and imprisons those that try. His girlfriend, Min, tries to show him that he cannot continue in this fashion. He is becoming cruel; he thinks with cold logic that is not tempered by emotions like compassion. Min knows that if he does not change, he will fall apart and fail. Desptie these warnings, Rand continues to terrorize his friends and creates many enemies. Throughout the novel, he destroys the lives of many people. Towards the end of the novel, Rand's father steps in to try to help him end his emotional isolation. Rand becomes angry when he discovers that one of his old advisors sent his father to talk to him; he sees it as an attempt to manipulate him. In his intense anger, he almost murders his father. After realizing what he was about to do, Rand is terrified of what he has almost done. He runs away to think for awhile. "What was he?...A symbol? A sacrifice? A sword, meant to destroy? A sheltering hand, meant to protect?" Rand asks himself these questions. At first, he thought if he was hard enough, emotionless enough, he wouldn't feel any pain. He thought he failed because he could not contain his emotions. Rand questions the meaning of all the pain and struggling, and he cannot come up with any reason to keep going. Why should the world be saved? Would that actually be doing anyone any favors? The novel ends with Rand coming to the conclusion that the reason to keep struggling is to have a second chance to make things right, a second chance for love, peace, joy, and hope. He finally smiles after months of emotional isolation.


1. Rand struggles to bring nations together to save the world. Why do people have difficulties putting aside their past wars and cultural differences to work together.?

2. During the novel, Rand stops being human and buries his emotions. He uses cold logic to make decisions about everything from who to trust and the fate of millions of people. Is this a good way to lead one's life and others? Why or why not?


3. One of Rand's main problems is that he holds in his anger so long that it blows up, and he almost kills his father. Have you ever held something in so long that it ended up hurting you or someone else?

10 comments:

Hayley D 11/12 said...

1. No one can really know for sure why people can't just put their differences aside and get along. But in some cases I feel that it's not that people can't easily put aside their differences, it's because they choose not to forget their differences. They feel that if they give in and work together in peace that they are a coward. It seems that pride takes over and continuously gets in the way.
2. No, I don't think that this is a good way to lead. Emotions can make life difficult at times but, in general, the emotions that you feel help you to make the right decisions in life.
3. I haven't ever held in my anger to the point where I physically harmed someone, but I have held in my feelings to the point in which I get angry at someone for no particular reason. Even though it's hard, we have to learn that life is a whole lot easier when we don't let our emotions get out of hand. We need to speak up when something is bothering us before we end up hurting others with hurtful words or worse, in Rand's case.

David G. 13-14 said...

In some cases I think that people's differences can get in the way of working together because they simply have different view points and outlooks on the same situations. Sometimes compromising is just not possible when people think so differently. In other cases I think that pride is the biggest factor that cannot be overcome simply because of people's egos.

Joe K. 11-12 said...

To answer question one, it is nearly impossible for some cultures to come together to work towards a common goal. Many people already have preconceived notions about others and what they represent before they even meet. This predetermined idea of how someone acts and who they are as a person is sometimes nearly impossible to change. Too many times we see each other as different and refuse to view one another as equal. This failure to tolerate one another leads to pointless disagreements and in turn breeds hatred for one another rather than embracing others for a common goal.

Erika B 13-14 said...

1. I believe people have difficulties putting aside their past cultural differences because people today are quick to hold grudges. Many are not good at forgiving and forgetting the past. Instead they just like to bottle up emotions, as you talk about in your second question. Also, I believe that people have difficulties of putting aside their past to working together because they are afraid of change. They just want things to always stay the same, no matter how bad they are.

Cassie M 11-12 said...

For question 1, I agree with all of you, and there's probably hundreds of reasons to add to the list. It's really sad that no one is learning from the past. Some leaders wouldn't even think about working with enemy nations to save their own people.

McKenzieM 11-12 said...

1. I agree with everyone too, I think that there are lots of reasons two nations can't get along. I just think people are stubborn and refuse to learn from past mistakes.
3. I have never held my anger in so long where I actually hurt someone but when I do hold my anger for too long I get mad at everyone! It's the worst feeling in the world and it could totally be avoided if I just dealt with the problem immediately after it happened instead of bottle it up.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

1. Many people have difficulties putting aside their past because many people have a hard time forgiving. That is the problem with our society. When something bad happens to a person, they hold it close to them, so noone else hurts them in that way.
2. This is not a good way to lead ones life. EMotions are one of the main things in life. If noone had emotions, then a lot of people would be similar. Emotions are what make people act the ways they do. For example, love makes a lot of people act in strange ways.
3. I have held things in for a long time; however, they did not really hurt anyone. I usually do not hold things in that will hurt someone more in the long run.

Brad S 11-12 said...

1. I believe that the main reason is change. Being humans, we do not willingly accept change if we are not comfortable with it. Being a very diverse world, there are many thinking that their views are correct and everything else is wrong. So by them thinking that they are perfect in every aspect, why should they change? I think that not being willing to try different things is why the world can not work together. An example would be a baby that is teething. New possibilities on what to eat, but they will not try everything.

Megan D. 11-12 said...

1) I feel that as people get older and become more set in their ways, they are not as open to change and learning. That being said, I think the older generation is less likely to forgive and forget. In order to bring nations together, schools need to focus more on the good aspects of all cultures and ethnicities and get rid of the "our countries the best" sentiments.

2) I do not think loosing ones emotions is the best way to lead. I feel that our desire to help others or our regret can help us accomplish things or find new solutions that would not be clear to someone who functioned only with their mind.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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