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In " The Destructors" evaluate the reader's feelings concerning the character, Old Misery?

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ryanwong87 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 12, 2012 at 1:29 AM via web

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In " The Destructors" evaluate the reader's feelings concerning the character, Old Misery?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 12, 2012 at 3:01 AM (Answer #1)

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In "The Destructors" by Graham Greene, Old Misery is a sympathetic character; by the end of the story, most readers empathize with his loss and mistreatment at the hands of the neighborhood boys.  Although the Wormsley Common Gang perceive Old Misery to be a threat that exemplifies everything they detest, such as adults, authority, and the upper class, the reader can appreciate the difficulties and personal hardship of Mr. Thomas' daily life; after the war, it seems that all he really has to hold onto is his grand old house, and by end of the novel, the gang has cruelly stripped that away from him as well. 

The senselessness of the boys' planned destruction results in Old Misery being an even more sympathetic character.  One scene that really resonates with the reader is when Blackie and 'T' burn Mr. Thomas' money.  With his savings and his historic home both destroyed, Mr. Thomas decidedly earns the sympathy of the readers.

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