The Destructors

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John Copenhaver English 102 Fiction Essay, Thesis and Outline Instructor Freshwater Thesis Statement: Both Greene’s “The Destructors” and Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner”, particularly the climax of each story, illustrate a powerful preoccupation with the ruining of lives because of a desire to control the material world. Outline: I. Introduction--thesis statement as well as introductory material regarding the two texts to be referenced. II. The Destructors--a discussion of Greene’s story a. major plot points from the story b. T.’s impulse to control the material elements of the house c. the obsession with materialism and its effect on Mr. Thomas’s life III. The…show more content…
Young Paul decides to take to gambling, specifically on horse races. In a bit of magical realism, Paul is able to accurately predict the winner of any horse race so long as he rides his own wooden rocking-horse while searching for the answer. But no matter how much that Paul earned through gambling, it was never enough. As the Derby drew near, “the boy grew more and more tense. He hardly heard what was spoken to him, he was very frail, and his eyes were really uncanny” (Lawrence 306). In the end, Paul made over 70,000 pounds on that race alone, but the stress of his divination costs him his life (Lawrence 308). Because Paul believed that more and more money was necessary for his family to survive, he continued to push himself harder and harder to win more and more. The stress of this path, however, was ultimately self-destructive and cost Paul his life. No matter how hard he tried to control the material wealth of the family, his underlying belief that there must always be more money would destroy his very life for the sum of more than 70,000 pounds. In both Greene’s “The Destructors” and Lawrence’s “The Rocking-Horse Winner” we see a pervasive, and perverse, need to control the material world in both the characters of T. and Paul. The former attempted to enact such control by destroying what he found beautiful, while Paul was driven to win more and more money. The end result of both actions, though, was remarkably similar: the material control sought
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