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In "The Destructors," what images are used to describe the setting of the Wormsley...

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cenicienta | Valedictorian

Posted March 24, 2012 at 6:18 AM via web

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In "The Destructors," what images are used to describe the setting of the Wormsley Common car-park and its surrroundings?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 25, 2012 at 2:40 PM (Answer #1)

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The images of Old Misery's house sticking up like a "tooth" in the middle of the bomb site where the gang congregate and meet to plan their activities is a particularly important one. Greene wrote this story to explore the impact of war on the consciousness of the young children in London, who would have grown up only knowing the reality of war and the devastation that they could see evidence of every day around them. The rubble that surrounds them and the fact that they meet in an "impromptu car park" seems to symbolise so much of their childhood and the many different kinds of experiences that they would have seen in their few years of life.

The setting therefore is particularly important as it acts as a symbol of the kind of emotional desolation of the boys and their lack of a normal childhood. This is of course shown most clearly in the case of T., whose in ability to experience emotions and his complete detachment from life is something that marks him out as literally having a bomb site where his soul and spirit should be. 

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