Does "The Destructors" portray a world without hope?    

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

This story is rather bleak and unyielding in the way that it presents us with a world where morals of goodness, decency and respect are completely absent. Of course, the most profound example of this is in the character of T., who shows himself to be so completely detached from life that the only thing he can take any pleasure in is the act of destruction. Note how T. justifies his burning of Old Misery's savings:

"Of course I don't hate him," T. said. "There'd be no fun if I hated him." The last burning note illuminated his brooding face. "All this hate and love," he said, "it's soft, it's hooey. There's only things, Blackie," and he looked round the room crowded with the unfamiliar shadows of half things, broken things, former things.

T. is presented therefore as a character who is completely detached. He neither hates nor loves and destroys without passion, anger or hatred. Greene therefore uses him as an example of the moral vacuum that he felt characterised British society following the Second World War. There is no hope in this short story.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial