Explain the causes of the gang's deliquency, including their reaction to the name Trevor and their reaction to Old Misery's gift of chocolates.

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davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are always a number of factors involved in juvenile delinquency, and most of them are on display here. The members of the Wormsley Common gang have virtually nothing; they're about as poor as it gets. They come from impoverished, working-class backgrounds, born and raised in a rough part of town ravaged by air raids. There's a strong chance that they come from broken homes and so look towards their gang as a kind of surrogate family. Their world is small, and anything that intrudes into it from outside is to be treated with suspicion, mockery, and contempt. The name "Trevor" isn't part of that world; it clearly carries connotations of a higher class. So in order to fit in, Trevor has to become T.

Their poverty is not just material, but cultural; they have no understanding of anything of value or beauty. Destroying a beautiful old house is literally child's play to them. It's not that they hate anything culturally refined; they simply don't understand what it means. Beauty is an alien concept to them. So is kindness. It's likely that the boys have never received much in the way of love or affection at home, so when Old Misery offers them a gift of chocolate, they are immediately suspicious. They live in a world in which you don't get something for nothing. If Old Misery's giving them candy, then he must be up to something. The act of giving, like beauty, is something they simply cannot comprehend.

jameadows eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The gang's delinquency is caused in part from growing up in post-World War II London, which was destroyed in the Blitz, and from their anger at the class system. They react to the name Trevor with derision because it is a rather posh or upper-class kind of name. Trevor, or T. as he comes to be known, is from a family that is higher up in the class structure than the families of the rest of the gang. T.'s father is a former architect, now a clerk, and his mother considers herself above the other people in their working-class neighborhood.

The gang reacts to Old Misery's gift of chocolates with anger and suspicion. They think he is trying to bribe them or that he picked the chocolates up off the street. Their suspicion arises partly because Old Misery is from a higher class, and the gang doesn't trust people like him. 

podunc eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Wormsley Street Gang, made up of young boys who grew up in post-Blitz London, have lived in a world full of destruction. They are so entrenched in the hardship and difficulties of post-WWII life that they are at a loss when confronted with beauty or kindness. When Old Misery offers them chocolates, they cannot understand a kind gesture, but rather suggest that the chocolates are dirty, stolen, or a bribe. As far as T's real name, he drops it because "Trevor" is an upper-class name, and the boys have working-class disdain for anything of that sort. These attitudes are the foundation of their decision to destroy a beautiful and historically-important home built by Christopher Wren.

saharm | Student

the Trevor's name is a high class name, and in that poor society that they lived it was funny to use that upper-class name. their reaction to old misery's gift was because of the hard and cruel situation they lived in it, and kindness was something unfamiliar to them.

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The Destructors

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