In the story "The Destructors", what sort of commentary does the story make about human nature? Is this an accurate assessment? 

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You have asked a very interesting question, and this is because it is clear Greene does not want to present a group of delinquent youths that are evil - he is careful to explain their motives and especially those of T. by referring to the post-war conditions of life that they have grown up in. These children are literally children of the war in that they have grown up surrounded by the debris of the London Blitz and in many ways they are victims of the social upheaval caused by the war and the class system. It is also clear that T. and the gang destroy Old Misery's house through no motive of hatred or revenge - think of how they care for Old Misery during his night of captivity in the outside bathroom and also how T. neither loves nor hates. However, images abound of hollowness and rotting from within, which perhaps suggests that human nature needs an appropriate context and setting with which to flourish. Given the bleakness of the setting, Greene is clearly pointing towards the moral malaise that has occurred and its impact on the youth who had never known a reality other than war and its aftermath.