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What would you say is the "perspective" of the gang in "The Destructors" by Graham Greene.

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teacher7121 | eNoter

Posted December 9, 2011 at 11:02 AM via web

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What would you say is the "perspective" of the gang in "The Destructors" by Graham Greene.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted December 9, 2011 at 11:57 PM (Answer #1)

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The idea of "perspective" in this story comes from within the gang. One thing this story has been particularly praised for is the mystery and ambiguity that surrounds the motivation of the boys to be so destructive, which heightens the sense that these boys have a very narrow perspective of their world.

Certainly, the context and setting provide one mode of perspective for these boys. They are young, and they live in the aftermath of destruction; they have no knowledge nor appreciation for a sense of life as anything whole or beautiful. Their perspective of the world, from birth, is one of destruction. It is all they know. Therefore, the desire to ruin the one last house that is standing, in their minds, is simply creating balance and order. As young boys, their imaginations will stop at nothing and they are presented as having little fear of consequences.

Another sense of the narrow perspective of the gang is their desire to remain included in a group which otherwise brings them neither individual prestige nor power. Though there is essentially one leader (Blackie and then T.), the boys tend to go along with the group. One member of the group, Mike, is a clear example of how this gang tends to be manipulated by one another and seems to go along with any idea as long as it is presented with a tone of verbal confidence. In this way, each boy’s perspective seems highly influenced by his peers only, with very little outside vision.

Finally, as T steps up into leadership, the perspective of the boys is directly guided by him. He is the one who provides a description of the inside of the house to be destroyed. Further, he comes up with the perfect plan of destruction. Without question, the group listens and agrees with T's plans. There is no argument at all. The group acts as a unit from within the narrow perspective of just one member.

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