The Destructors Questions and Answers

The Destructors

In Graham Greene’s short story “The Destructors,” in bombed-out post-World War II London, a group of boys known as the Wormsley Common Gang destroys the house of Mr. Trevor (a.k.a. Old Misery) as...

Latest answer posted March 27, 2020, 6:05 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

A main conflict in the story is between the old, ordered, pre-World War II way of life and the literal leveling and destruction the Wormsley Common Gang see all around them in the aftermath of the...

Latest answer posted October 10, 2020, 12:55 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

Graham Greene uses numerous literary devices in “The Destructors.” Three of them are allusion, personification, and metaphor. Blackie uses an allusion to a prominent historical figure when he...

Latest answer posted July 11, 2019, 6:25 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

No, this story doesn't have a happy ending. It is a sad story of teenage boys whose mission is to destroy an innocent man's home for no reason other than it is still standing in the town that has...

Latest answer posted July 10, 2008, 4:02 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Destructors

The plan to destroy Old Misery's house originates with Trevor ("T"), who supplants Blackie as the group's leader with his audacious proposal. T's motivation stems from his anger at how his family...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2017, 5:34 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

I would argue that T is the protagonist in that he's the one responsible for the main action in the story; he's the one who comes up with the idea of destroying Old Misery's house. That being the...

Latest answer posted December 11, 2019, 6:52 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

This is an interesting question. In a story that is famed for its dysfunctional, nihilistic teenagers, their good qualities are not really examined! Still, I guess you can think about this question...

Latest answer posted November 21, 2010, 7:11 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

Trevor's name acts as a constant reminder of his family's previous status in society. They've come down in the world, forced to move to Wormsley Common for unexplained financial reasons. But...

Latest answer posted January 15, 2018, 10:02 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

Remember, the climax of the story is the key scene in the tale - that tense or exciting or terrifying moment when our emotional involvement is greatest. Now we learn what the outcome of the...

Latest answer posted October 23, 2010, 4:51 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

The irony in "The Destructors" is that the teenaged boys in the story destroy what is left of the beauty of the world around them rather than using their energy and talent to preserve and improve...

Latest answer posted December 10, 2021, 12:31 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Destructors

The story suggests that destruction is part of human nature. It is infinitely more easy to destroy something beautiful, than it is to create it. The boys in the Wormsley Common gang are a...

Latest answer posted April 21, 2012, 4:51 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

One motive that you can eliminate is theft. When T. speaks to Mr. Thomas, T. rings the doorbell instead of breaking into Mr. Thomas's house, and T. doesn't pinch, or steal, anything. Instead, T....

Latest answer posted January 2, 2017, 1:20 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

I think the conflict here is not between T and Old Misery, or even between T and Blackie. What is truly at issue is brokenness and desolation of England after the war, as contrasted with the values...

Latest answer posted November 27, 2019, 3:59 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

From the introductory paragraphs in this story, we can see that the gang's values are based around rather trivial exploits that show their contempt for the normal values of society. They are a gang...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2012, 2:44 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

The destruction of Old Misery's house is much more senseless than the destruction of World War II because there is no real rationale for it; this act is simply one of illegal sadistic behavior by...

Latest answer posted October 15, 2015, 9:17 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

As T comes from a middle-class background, he knows he needs to do something out of the ordinary if he's to be accepted by the guttersnipes of the Wormsley Common gang. And what better way to do...

Latest answer posted November 1, 2018, 7:52 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

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...

Latest answer posted March 3, 2018, 9:38 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

A newcomer to the Wormsley Common gang, Trevor, or "T," as he is known to his mates, has some knowledge of architecture, since his father had been an architect until losing his position. T...

Latest answer posted May 20, 2017, 11:41 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

The main difference between the two boys lies in their respective motivations for engaging in criminal activity. Blackie's grown up on the wrong side of the tracks; his family has no money and he's...

Latest answer posted April 29, 2019, 6:55 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

Greene is very careful to build up the character of T. as being a boy who is dangerously disconnected from any emotions whatsoever. The experience of being brought up during war and its aftermath...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2012, 2:33 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

The images of Old Misery's house sticking up like a "tooth" in the middle of the bomb site where the gang congregate and meet to plan their activities is a particularly important one. Greene wrote...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2012, 2:40 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Destructors

Your question relates to the motivation of the boys for doing what they are doing. Repeatedly, the boys show that they aren't destroying Old Misery's house to steal or to do anything that they...

Latest answer posted May 17, 2010, 5:36 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

First of all, in terms of the age and beauty of the old house, the boys have no appreciation for it. They've grown up in poverty in the midst of a charred, post-war landscape pockmarked by the...

Latest answer posted November 10, 2019, 7:52 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

Greene is careful to point towards the setting as a serious factor in producing a generation of children who have known nothing but war and destruction in their lives. Given this and the way that...

Latest answer posted September 2, 2010, 9:03 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

I would say that some of the examples of imagery used throughout the story is reflected in the employment of destruction and desolation. Greene uses these images to reflect a hollowed out state of...

Latest answer posted February 7, 2013, 11:51 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

At the beginning of "The Destructors," the August bank holiday is mentioned as the time when Trevor or "T" joins the gang. The August bank holiday in London is at the end of August, that places...

Latest answer posted September 25, 2017, 8:35 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

Although Blackie is initially very angry about the way that he has been deposed from his position as the leader of the gang by the upstart T., and is aware of "the fickleness of favour," he quickly...

Latest answer posted April 12, 2011, 8:08 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

There is immense irony in the way that we are told that T.'s father is actually an architect. For somebody who devoted his life and earned his living through planning and constructing buildings,...

Latest answer posted March 25, 2012, 2:49 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

"The Destructors" by Graham Greene is set in England just after the end of World War II. The city is still ravaged from war, and there is a distinct lack of beauty around the area where the boys...

Latest answer posted November 24, 2018, 9:55 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

The exposition of a short story often includes the setting, backgrounds of the characters, and a reference to any events that took place prior to the beginning of the story. The setting of the...

Latest answer posted October 8, 2017, 8:44 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

The climax of the story is when Mr. Thomas, the owner of the house the boys are demolishing, comes home unexpectedly. He had told T. that he would be gone all weekend, but the weather turned, and...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2021, 12:12 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

Blackie looks upon his gang as a kind of extended family, something that provides security and protection against a harsh, unforgiving world. To a large extent, he is the product of his...

Latest answer posted May 16, 2018, 4:59 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

Blackie is a good example of a character type known as the "flat" character. Flat characters usually play a minor role in a work of fiction and exhibit one or two traits. Blackie, the erstwhile...

Latest answer posted November 3, 2017, 8:02 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

The suspense begins when the narrator raises a question at the end of the second paragraph: What but an odd quality of danger, of the unpredictable, established him in the gang without any ignoble...

Latest answer posted September 13, 2018, 10:56 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

It would seem that Graham Greene expresses in his story, "The Destructors" that the greatest irony of the World War II Blitz on London is that the children of this era do not find destruction as an...

Latest answer posted March 5, 2014, 7:02 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

What the story shows is how war can turn normally civilized societies upside-down—how it can erode the delicate social bonds that normally hold people together in times of peace. We see this theme...

Latest answer posted March 11, 2019, 6:04 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

Graham Greene's short story "The Destructors" does not fit into the genre of commercial fiction, or fiction written for profit, in part because of its absurdist language and theme. Absurdism...

Latest answer posted April 26, 2016, 6:29 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

In a sense, the Wormsley Common Gang represents the post-World War II generation in which nihilism prevails. For there is nothing in the boys that approves of the old social order represented by...

Latest answer posted September 10, 2016, 8:19 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

In Part 3 of "The Destructors," with saws, hammers, screwdrivers, and sledgehammers, the boys have reduced the centuries-old home that is the only house left standing after the London bombings to...

Latest answer posted February 26, 2014, 1:22 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Destructors

Graham Greene utilizes a third-person omniscient narrator to tell the story of how the gang of boys destroys Old Misery's home, which happens to be the only house still standing in Wormsley Common...

Latest answer posted January 19, 2018, 6:30 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Destructors

Trevor comes from a respectable middle-class family that's fallen on hard times, and it is his deep resentment at coming down in the world that transforms Trevor into T and turns a nice...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2019, 6:33 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

The story takes place against the backdrop of a war-ravaged London. The boys who make up the Wormsley Common gang are from poor, underprivileged backgrounds, and the bleak landscape in which they...

Latest answer posted March 19, 2018, 11:54 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

The Destructors

It's somewhat ironic that it's T, the middle-class boy from a good family, who comes up with the idea of destroying Old Misery's house, and not one of the guttersnipes of the Wormsley Common gang....

Latest answer posted January 15, 2021, 11:17 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Destructors

I think that part of the significance of the ending is that it helps to bring out the reality of the world following the wanton destruction that was the child of World War II. The effect of the...

Latest answer posted December 31, 2012, 12:51 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

The Destructors

This is a very interesting section of the novel. After effectively having been fired from his position as the leader of the gang, Blackie initially looks as if he will take no part in the plans of...

Latest answer posted February 2, 2011, 8:01 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

The gang of teenaged boys who has destroyed the interior of Mr. Thomas's beautiful home manages to attach the home's outer frame by ropes to a lorry (truck) parked nearby. When the truck driver...

Latest answer posted December 12, 2021, 11:56 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

The members of the Wormsley Common gang in Graham Greene’s short story “The Destructors” did not really know why they wanted to destroy “Old Misery’s” house—a structure that heretofore had survived...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2018, 12:42 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

The Graham Greene story "The Destructors" is set in London after World War II. The Wormsley Common Gang meets in a parking lot that was the location of the last bombing during the Blitz, which was...

Latest answer posted August 12, 2018, 12:56 pm (UTC)

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The Destructors

The above answer gives most of the similes, but there are a few more, and one of them is arguably the most significant simile in the story. Blackie realized he had raised his hand like any...

Latest answer posted September 8, 2018, 12:17 am (UTC)

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The Destructors

Graham Greene’s story of a group of young sociopaths cold-bloodedly planning and executing the total destruction of an elderly man’s beautiful old home – a home Graham’s central character Trevor,...

Latest answer posted March 26, 2015, 5:03 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

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