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What are the imagery in "The Destructors" through the story? How do they apply to the...

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user4716272 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 7, 2013 at 6:04 AM via web

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What are the imagery in "The Destructors" through the story? How do they apply to the house, Wormsley Common, and to he characters ?

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

Posted February 7, 2013 at 11:51 AM (Answer #1)

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I would say that some of the examples of imagery used throughout the story is reflected in the employment of destruction and desolation.  Greene uses these images to reflect a hollowed out state of being that envelops the characters.  The bombed out parking lot that serves as the gang's meeting ground is one such image.  There is nothing constructive in this setting.  Everything has been destroyed.  This image helps to bring out how the gang, in general, represents broken youth, kids who really have little concept of that which is constructive living in a world of destruction.  The idea of tearing down Mr. Thomas' home is another such image.  Greene describes how the boys tear it down from the inside out, leaving nothing left.  Even T.'s desire to destroy it to absolute rubble is an image of how destruction is around these kids so much that it infiltrates the way in which they perceive the world.  There is nothing in terms of construction in this condition.  There is only destruction.  The conclusion of the story is another such image in which the lorry driver can only laugh at the emptiness that is around him.  The condition of absolute emptiness enveloping him is one in which there is nothing left.  There is "nothing personal" because those bonds and those conditions have been destroyed.  It is this vision of emptiness in which Greene uses imagery to convey a sense of hollowness and the void that exists in England and with the people who inhabit it.

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