The Destructors Theme

Evaluate themes of Graham Greene's "The Destructors."

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Graham Greene's short story "The Destructors" utilizes the contrast between Old Misery's house and the Wormsley Common gang to depict the theme of Old England versus the new up-and-coming, post-war generation.  With salient details concerning the richness of the architecture like the spiral staircase and imagery that compared the house to a gentleman's top hat, Greene constructs a metaphor for Mr. Thomas' house representing the old, wealthy upper class society of the pre-World War II era; meanwhile, the boys in the "Wormsley Common gang" are exactly what their name suggests--common boys, the lower class. 

By the end of the story as Mr. Thomas' house collapses ruinously to the ground, Greene suggests that the former division between upper and lower class have shattered as a result of the shared hardship of post-war England; the boys' defiant act resonates as a rebellious step toward ending the social hierarchy.

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