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What do you make of the paradox at the heart of the story, namely, that the act of...

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jeetghodasara017 | eNoter

Posted August 31, 2013 at 6:58 AM via web

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What do you make of the paradox at the heart of the story, namely, that the act of destruction is a form of creation?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 31, 2013 at 12:28 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that the story does explore the dynamic of destruction and creation.  Whether or not the act of destruction is a form of creation is a bit more challenging.  A case can be made that the destruction of Mr. Thomas's house results in the creation of a new social order, one in which Mr. Thomas recognizes that the vestiges of the past in which he once believed are now gone forever.  Just like his house, the construction of the past upon which he relied and understood are absent.  The new conceptualization of the world is what can be seen as created out of something destroyed.

By the same token, a case can be made that there is only destruction.  The gang themselves meet in a destroyed parking lot of rubble and what they do is not creative.  Even if one accepts that Trevor was able to make a position of leadership out of the destruction of the house, it is a temporary one. There is nothing sustainable and lasting in this world of destruction.  Power is shifting, plans are abandoned, and the only constant is that there is emptiness and barrenness all around everyone.  The laughter of the lorry driver at the end of the story in which he says, "Nothing personal," is a statement as to how nothing is really created out of this destruction.  Certainly, there is much to be said about the creative and destructive dynamic.  Yet, it might be a challenge to fully assert that this reality is one in which destruction equates itself with creation.

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