The Destructors Questions and Answers
by Graham Greene

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In "The Destructors," explain Blackie's motivations for rejoining the gang after losing leadership.

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This is a very interesting section of the novel. After effectively having been fired from his position as the leader of the gang, Blackie initially looks as if he will take no part in the plans of T. to completely destroy Old Misery's house. He defers responsibility, saying in response to questions that T. will give orders to the gang. He withdraws himself physically, expressing his anger by kicking his stone against a car whilst contemplating "the fickleness of favour." However, as his thoughts develop, he begins to think more carefully about T.'s scheme and what could happen if it could be achieved:

He thought of going home, of never returning, of letting them all discover the hollowness of T.'s leadership, but suppose after all what T. proposed was possible--nothing like it had ever been done before. The fame of the Wormsley Common car-park gang would surely reach around London. There would be headlines in the papers. Even the grown-up gangs who ran the betting at the all-in wrestling and the barrow-boys would hear with respect of how Old Misery's house had been destroyed. Driven by pure, simple, and altruistic ambition of fame for the gang, Blackie came back to where T. stood in the shadow of Misery's wall.

Blackie therefore chooses to return to the gang and be part of T.'s scheme because he thinks how much fame the gang will earn for itself if it is successful in destroying Old Misery's house. Bringing respect and fame to the gang is more important than his loss of leadership.

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