Story Analysis: the Destructors Essay examples

789 Words Nov 15th, 2011 4 Pages
The Destructors
Short Story Analysis

This short story written by Graham Greene depicts a group of teenage boys, who call themselves the Wormsley Common Gang, after an area where they lived in. The story takes place in Post-World War II. England, almost everything in their part of town is destroyed, with the exception one house that stands with minimal damage. The house is owned by Mr. Thomas (or Old Misery) an old man who lives there alone. The boys do not trust Mr. Thomas, despite his charitable offerings of candy. Trevor, or T, becomes the gang’s leader, taking Blackie’s place, he organizes them, and the boys are eager to follow. However, the youth do not want to be known as common thieves, instead aim to prove a point, to take
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Thomas comes home unexpectedly. “Just give me a minute and I’ll fix it. I swear I’ll fix it.’ But his authority had gone with his ambiguity.” (pg. 374) It is there that we sense a bit of confusion and panic in T, but his confidence and cunning return to him very quickly when he devises a plan to occupy Mr. Thomas. All this evidence supports the fact that T is somewhat of a complex character, also being given very little background on him helps to give him a sort of mysterious and omniscient tone. The dominant atmosphere of the plot, I think, is a mix of liberation and heroism. Liberation due to the fact that the boys created a symbol by tearing down the house, somewhat liberating society from it’s constraints to social and economic categorization. And heroism due to the fact that the boys themselves risked many dangers and hazards to prove a point to society.

By looking at the Thematic Structure of the piece, we see that Trevor is aiming to prove a point, he wants to get revenge on middle class society, and in his mind the only way of doing so is by tearing down the nearest house that took the least damage from the bombings. The image of the house being torn down from the inside, somewhat represents what the war did to the gang’s childhood, it destroyed and disrupted their lives causing much pain and sacrifice. The house itself represents middle class society and the adult world, and the reason why T wants to tear it down is because the war (which he considers an

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