English 28 Essay #1: Commercial vs. Literary Fiction Graham Greene’s “The Destructors” is a story that uses elements found in both commercial and literary fiction. Some of the story is...

English 28

Essay #1: Commercial vs. Literary Fiction

Graham Greene’s “The Destructors” is a story that uses elements found in both commercial and literary fiction. Some of the story is action-oriented while some of it focuses on more symbolic and philosophical material all centering on a gang of youths committed to the destruction of a home.

In a 3 page essay answer the following question:

Is “The Destructors” more a work of commercial or literary fiction? Why? (Give at least three reasons).

  • Introduction should first introduce topic of the essay (commercial vs. literary fiction). Then introduce the subject (“The Destructors”) by using the summary steps.

  • Thesis statement should come at the end of the introduction answering the questions in the prompt briefly but specifically.

  • Body paragraphs should each focus on a single point (such as characters or ending) that work to support your thesis.

  • Specific quotes from the story should be used to support your points in each paragraph.

  • Conclusion should show reader the significance of the topic. In this case perhaps: Why is it important or useful to analyze the difference between commercial and literary fiction?

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

[Although it is not the policy of Enotes to provide students with essays, educators are glad to offer advice and instruction on the writing process.]

  • Introduction

An introduction contains a "motivator" that invites the interest of the reader, and the thesis statement. Often an observation or a quotation intrigues a reader and motivates him/her to read the essay; also, this observation or quote should reflect the thematic pulse of the essay. For instance, since you mention the symbolic and philosophical implications in your thesis, you may wish to suggest these ideas in the motivator.

e.g. There is an innate violence in human nature that, once released, is not easily harnessed by beauty or culture.

  • Thesis Statement

Then, you write the thesis statement. This thesis statement is a "blueprint" of the essay; it should contain one main idea with three opinions. This "blueprint" will answer one of the questions "Why?" "How?" and "When?" Yours answers the question "Why?":

[Example of Thesis Statement] Since Graham Greene's "The Destructors" is a story that employs elements found in both commercial and literary fiction, there are popular elements for a compelling tale, and there are elements of allegory or parable as well as an exploration of psychological and sociological realities in Greene's narrative.

[3 opinions of thesis] 1. commercial fiction (elements listed in Feb.23 response) 2. literary fiction: allegory/parable  3. literary fiction: psychological and sociological ("social and cultural realities" as mentioned by the educator of February 23. In your essay, you will then explain why the story is allegorical, psychological/phiolosphical and sociological]

  • Body of the essay

Let the ideas of each of the 3 opinions construct the topic sentence of each of the body paragraphs. If you are writing more than a 5-paragraph essay, two paragraphs are often used to explain just one of the 3 opinions of the thesis. Use lines and passages from "The Destructors" to support the topic sentences. Assuming that you are going to make use of the two responses on "The Destructors" of February 22 and February 23, you can construct your paragraphs around ideas given to you, but be careful not to plagiarize!) 

Here is an example of a topic sentence for 1. allegory/parable (you may need 2 paragraphs to thoroughly explain this):

[Topic sentence] Removed from the cultural elements of beauty and refinement of manner in society by the horrific bombings of London, the boys of World War II revert to the primal level of man and follow their innate urges to ravage what lies around them.

[Supporting sentence] When the gang meets to think of how to spend their time, a new nihilistic member emerges as leader; even his name is reduced to a mere letter: T. After he tells the others about Old Misery's (allegorical name--give its significance here or somewhere in your essay) and describes the beautiful staircase, "T. a product of the rubble of London,

raised his eyes, as grey and disturbed as the drab August day. "We'll pull it down," he said. "We'll destroy it."

Further, the boys......(continue with supporting details and quotes from the story)

  • Conclusion

After developing the blueprint in the body of the essay, reword the thesis statement and add a "clincher," which is an idea that extends from those you have discussed. Here is an example of a clincher:

An intense, dramatic narrative, "The Destructors" reminds readers of the innate forces which propel humans to create acts of inhumanity.