What is the significance of the setting in "The Destructors" by Graham Greene?

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Kristen Lentz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The setting in Graham Greene's short story "The Destructors" is definitely significant to the plot and characterization.  The short story takes place in England in the mid-fifties, approximately nine years after the end of World War II.  The boys in the Wormsley Common gang "met every morning in an impromptu car park, the site of the last bomb of the first blitz."

The most significant aspect of the setting is the way the destruction of London during World War II, the imagery of the bombed out car park and the ravaged neighborhood, affect the boys in the Wormsley Common Gang.  Surely these images of violence and destruction impact the boys' decision to destroy Old Misery's house, an act of rebellion against a society that has betrayed them.