How does Graham Greene portray the shift of power in the short story "The Destructors"

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In William Golding's Lord of the Flies set in World War II, Simon flees from the other boys who, like him, having been stranded on an island because the plane they were in was shot down have regressed to savagery. Near his secret place, he is confronted with the Lord of the Flies, who tells him,

"You knew, didn't you? I'm part of you? Close, close, close! I'm the reason why it's no go?  Why things are what they are?"

In the aftermath of the terrible destruction and horror of the London bombings of World War II, a gang of boys from the lower-class district of Wormsley Common gather to idle their time together in some mischief. A new recruit named Trevor, whose name is reduced to T. takes the lead of the gang from Blackie. 

"What but an odd quality of danger, of the unpredictable, established him in the gang without any ignoble ceremony of initiation?"

This "what" is the same as that which Simon of Lord of the Flies recognized:  the inherent evil in humans. Without consciously conveying this, the seditious T. affects the boys quickly. Since his parents have "come down in the world," T. may, perhaps, perceive the majestic old home constructed by the famous architect Christopher Wren, who designed the prestigious St. Paul's Cathedral as representative of the world from which his family has descended. His appeal to the boys is that of what Shakespeare termed "the green-eyed monster," the envy of someone whose house stands in the midst of all the razed ones. By surreptitiously destroying the edifice of propriety, the boys feel empowered and wreak their resentment of their social position. Indeed, it is T.'s subconscious appeal to their darker sides that causes the swift change of power from Blackie to him in the Wormsley gang.