The Signficance of Violence in Graham Greene's The Destructors

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The Signficance of Violence in Graham Greene's The Destructors

In serious fiction, no act of violence exists for its own sake. Graham Green, in his short story “The Destructors,” reveals certain intangible needs met through one central act of violence.

One need we all have as humans is the need to be creative, to express ourselves, to use our imagination. All little boys use their imaginations, which is based on what they see in their environment, whether that be television or their own neighborhood. The gang of boys in “The Destructors” witnessed destruction every day of their lives and played in the rumble of homes as they would a mound of dirt. The gang met every morning at “the site of the last bomb of the first blitz,” which
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Not one of them mentions having to be home at any certain time, to check in anytime throughout the course of the day. The boys were independent; they took care of themselves all day long, until they became tired and needed a bed and a roof. As a means to get five or ten of their fifteen minutes, they completely destroy the house. Blackie is the first to realize the respect that will be gained from following through with the plan. As he is walking away from the gang after he just lost control of the gang to T., he turns and rejoins the gang. “Driven by the pure, simple, and altruisive ambition of fame for the gang, Blackie” returned to where the gang stood conniving. The need to be known won over the (lack of) the morals the gang had.

Finally, all humans need a place where we can feel comfortable, a place where things go the way they want them to, a place of familiarity, a place where we can be content and happy within a bubble. It is human nature to get rid of the things that make us uncomfortable. We go to the chiropractor whenever anything aches. We avoid certain people because they look at life a little differently than we do. We discriminate, exterminate, and annihilate anything that makes us feel uneasy. The gang was comfortable in all the ruin and desolation, as mentioned in my second paragraph, because that’s all they knew. When T. came up to the group

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