At a deeper level it is about delinquency, war and human nature. Try to sum up what the story says about human nature in general.

2 Answers

susan3smith's profile pic

susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

"The Destructors," by Graham Greene, is a haunting short story in which a gang of boys destroy a beautifully made house.  What is so disturbing about this story is the time, effort, coordination, and teamwork that is used to destroy Old Misery's house, one of the few grand houses left standing after the war, presumably WW2.

But the story is not about greed, revenge, or anger.  Instead it is purely about delinquency--destruction for destruction's sake within a society that is accustomed to such things being destroyed--post world war England.

The boys are merely following suit.  Just like the adults before them in war, they are using their talents to destroy rather than create.  It seems as if Greene is showing man's potential and choice to do either. Creation and destruction require hard work, and people will choose one or the other depending on their surroundings, morality, and upbringing.