How does Trevor show that he is different from the other boys in the story "The Destructors"?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Trevor is quiet and has an air of mystery and danger to him that keeps him apart from the others.

Trevor is mysterious.

“T”, or Trevor, is the new kid in the group.  Everyone recognizes “possibilities” to him, because he is full of mystery.  One way that Trevor is different is by his “brooding silence.”  He almost never talks, even to tell people his name.

He never wasted a word even to tell his name until that was required of him by the rules.  When he said “Trevor” it was a statement of fact, not as it would have been with the others a statement of shame or defiance.

The other boys consider his name tease-worthy, and this is why they substitute the initial “T” for his name, because nothing about him seems to deserve teasing.

Trevor's family is strange.

Another reason why Trevor or “T” is different is his family.

There was every reason why T….should have been an object of mockery—there was his name … the fact that his father, a former architect and present clerk, had “come down in the world” and that his mother considered herself better than the neighbors.

In other words, the other boys should make fun of him because his parents consider themselves better than everyone else, even though they have fallen on bad times and are facing financial hardship.  These are all good reasons to tease someone, but Trevor seems dangerous, so they don’t dare.

Trevor is unusually interested in the Wren House.

Trevor provides information about the Wren House, when normally he supposedly only votes "yes" or "no" to leader Blackie’s plans.  He surprises them further when he shows up late and they ask him where he has been.

“I’ve been there,” T. said. He looked at the ground, as though he had thoughts to hide.

Trevor suggests destroying the house.

The boys are only interested in stealing things from the house, but Trevor is the one who proposes destroying it, even though he says it is beautiful.

T. raised his eyes, as gray and disturbed as the drab August day. “We’ll pull it down,” he said. “We’ll destroy it.”

There is no reason to destroy it.  He proposes destroying the house for the sole purpose of destroying it.  The other boys are only interested in having fun.  They do not have an interest in kicking Trevor out of the gang, although his position is tenuous once he goes rogue on them.  He had no need to propose anything this rash to maintain his position.

Trevor takes over the gang with this proposal.

Blackie gives up his leadership when the boys decide to follow T.'s lead and destroy the house.  The gang has never done anything as serious as this, and Blackie still does not believe that it is possible.  He ponders "the fickleness of favor" and leaves the gang to their devices.

He thought of going home, of never returning, of letting them all discover the hollowness of T.’s leadership, but suppose after all what T. proposed was possible—nothing like it had ever been done before.

Amazingly, the boys are successful.  They destroy the house for no reason at all.  It is a house that Trevor, the quiet and mysterious outsider, admitted was beautiful.  It is an amazing story of the fickleness of the mob mentality.