I did it with Lucas Campion and Benjamín Mayol
The Destructors – Rite Of Passage
- An Object Of Desire: T. wanted to be the leader of the Wormsley Common gang. He wanted protagonism.
- Trespassing: breaking into the the house, defying the law, the authority, Blackie’s orders.
- Dare / Challenge: destroying the house with his smart plan.
- .The mischief: they didn’t realize that what they were doing was wrong. “You got to admit it’s funny.”
- Atonement: there is no regret or confession. “It was my house, my house”.
Find quotes to prove the following themes:
- the individual affected by the social crisis: “a former architect and present clerk”
- the aftermath of the war (how destruction leads to more destruction): “destruction after all is a form of creation”
- the evil nature of man: “We’ll pull it down. We’ll destroy it”
- loss of compassion (as a result of war): “i’m sorry. I can’t help it, Mr Thomas. There’s nothing personal, but you got to admit it’s funny”
- class struggle: “we’ll burn them”
- destruction for the sake of destruction: “who cares? It’s only Old Misery’s”
- Mr Thomas’ house: it symbolises the remaining hope in the hearts of those who knew about the home after the war. If the wooden house could stand after a blitz, than there’s hope for more.
- Mr Thomas and the children: each represent a different generation, pre-war and post-war. Mr Thomas is hopeful and can trust the kids while the children can’t trust no one. This is an effect of war upon many, especially younglings.
- Old Misery: the children projected misery in Mr Thomas, someone who wasn’t miserable at all and was trying to help the kids.
- The Debris of the House: the impact and destruction of London, the Blitz.
- Money Burning: shows how money destroys society, the ones who don’t have much want the see the fortunate ones lose what they have.
- The Laughter of the Driver:
For us, the central theme of the story is humans’ true nature. To start with, the story is set in blitzed London, just after the Second World War. First, the obvious reasons for war were and will always be: the repetitions of mistakes, which the man will never learn about them and will always keep repeating them, and the disagreements between the powerful men in the world.
So after the war, a huge consequence, apart from the fact that every city and nation destroyed, is how the man shows it’s true colours, or true nature: everyone stops being friendly with the other ones, as if you weren’t human or something. There is no empathy left in one single person. We can see this through all the story. Like when the gang decides to destroy the entire house. Or when after the kids destroy the house, the driver that accidentally destroys the house taking part in the plan of the kids, starts laughing despite the sadness of Mr Thomas: ‘“How dare you laugh,” Mr. Thomas said. “It was my house. My house.” “I’m sorry,” the driver said, making heroic efforts, but when he remembered the sudden check to his lorry, the crash of bricks falling, he became convulsed again. One moment the house had stood there with such dignity between the bomb sites like a man in a top hat, and then, bang, crash, there wasn’t anything left—not anything. He said, “I’m sorry. I can’t help it, Mr. Thomas. There’s nothing personal, but you got to admit it’s funny.”’ There is definitely nothing funny on seeing someone getting his home destroyed. This clearly shows how people, although they are of the same country and they had suffered because they were in a war in which other country bombarded their city some months ago, don’t care about no one. They should clearly be helping each other. So now, it is obvious why the central theme of the story is humans’ true nature, which is shown as a consequence of war, that’s why the setting is in a clear post war place.
- Modern American gangs and other gangs, such as the Wormsley Common Gang, have something in common and it is that they´re formed by young delinquents. The ages of children joining a gang in the US drops by the decade, ranging between 8 and 13 years old. Moreover, children who belonged to these gangs in the US, commit small crimes such as intimidating people or robbing 24/7 shops. Also, youth gangs are prevalent in schools. Another characteristic is the use of colloquial english, otherwise known as slang, pointing out words such as “dude” or “homie”, “bruv” and “man´s” in English slang (man´s stands for “man is”. speaking in third person) and in “The Destructors” phrases like “pinched ‘em”, which means to mug. However, what they do not have in common with the story is the buying and selling of drugs in schools or carrying sharp knives in their pockets. A way of communication between gangs is by graffitis, which are painted shapes, words and symbols seen on mostly any public surface a gangster could reach.
8) Finally, T. reaches his goal. As T. reaches his goal, Old Misery stays locked in the loo throughout the night and gets out when the damage has been done. In the morning, a man came to get his cab from the car-park in front of Old Misery’s house, and began to drive away innocently, without knowing what would happen next. The car came to a jolting as if being pulled from behind or towing something. The house falls apart, resulting into debris and rubble everywhere.
10) The destruction of Old Misery’s house by the boys seem more senseless than the destruction brought about by the war that had destroyed London because the irony in “The Destructors” is the opposite of what we expect. We see destruction as a way of life for the Wormsley gang and we gain a sense that this level of destruction must have happened for a reason. However, it is the opposite of what we expect as we learn that destruction is senseless.
11) The philosophy of nihilism is the viewpoint that suggests the denial or lack of belief towards the reputedly meaningful aspects of life. This viewpoint can be seen represented in actions of the Wormsley Common Gang because of their mentality towards the things that happen during their life. To begin with, when Old Misery gave the kids candy, instead of accepting it, they believed that Old Misery was trying to harm them. This can be considered nihilism because the kids were in denial that Old Misery was doing something rise for them.
And here is my essay:
The setting for this story is London, nine years after the city survived a series of bombing attacks during WWⅡ. How does this setting contribute to the development of the story?
The setting in ´The Destructors’, by Graham Greene, is blitzed London after the Second World War. This setting contributed to the story a lot. The story wouldn’t be like that if it wasn’t in a post war setting.
There are several reasons for war, but the most obvious reasons which will always appear are: the repetitions of mistakes, which the man will never learn about them and will always keep repeating them, and the disagreements between the powerful men in the world. After the war, there are also some consequences present in society which are: the fear of everyone or the incapability of trusting others and how man shows it’s true nature.
This story shows the two of these consequences. First, everyone is mistrustful about the other ones, every piece of happiness or solidarity is fake, and if someone is “a good person”, he or she is lying. This is present when Mr Thomas offers chocolate to the kids, nothing out of the normal. The kids every day play outside his house, so he thought of giving them something. But the kids were very suspicious and didn’t accept it. They even thought he was trying to bribe them because they always kick the ball against his wall. Instead of accepting the chocolate, they decided to go and kick the wall against the wall again. ‘ He said glumly, “You belong to the lot that play in the car-park?” Mike was about to answer when Blackie stopped him. As the leader he had responsibilities. “Suppose we are?” he said ambiguously. “I got some chocolates,” Mr. Thomas said. […] “Bet someone dropped them and he picked ’em up” […] “We’ll show him we don’t take bribes,” Blackie said, and they sacrificed the whole morning to the game of bouncing.
Then the other consequence shows all throughout the story. Everyone stops being friendly with the other ones, as if you weren’t human or something. There is no empathy left in one single person. We can see this through all the story. Like when the man who accidentally destroys the house taking part in the plan of the kids, starts laughing despite the sadness of Mr Thomas. Or when the gang decides to destroy the entire house: ‘“We’ll pull it down,” he said. “We’ll destroy it.”[…] ‘“Who cares?” Blackie said. “It’s only Old Misery’s.” They are kids, and they really don’t know what they are doing and how harmful they can be. But kids learn from the older people which surrounds them. This means that they are like that because they learnt to be like that from other people, who all clearly selfish. So, this clearly shows how people, although they are of the same country and they had suffered because they were in a war in which other country bombarded their city some months ago, don’t care about no one. They should be helping each other, not destroying each other’s house.
In conclusion, if the setting wasn’t a post war setting, it would clearly not be like this. Selfish people who show the evil nature of man are present in the world, but war makes almost every pour soul show the true colours of man.