The Destructors Summary

What is a summary for the story ''The destructors'' by Graham Greene?

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The Destructors” is a story about a gang of teenage boys in post-World War II London when they decide to destroy a house just to see if they can do it.

When the story begins, a group of teenagers are meeting in an “impromptu car-park” trying to find...

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The Destructors” is a story about a gang of teenage boys in post-World War II London when they decide to destroy a house just to see if they can do it.

When the story begins, a group of teenagers are meeting in an “impromptu car-park” trying to find something to do.  They have recently been joined by a new boy named T. and their leader’s name is Blackie.  T shows up late one day and says he has been in the house of Old Misery, a man that tried to rebuild most of his house after the bombs fell.  T. proposes breaking into the house when the old man will be away.

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

The boys worry about the police, but since it is a holiday they are pretty sure they will be ok.  They agree to meet at the house.  Under T.’s leadership, they methodologically destroy it.

He had a sense of great urgency, and already he could begin to see the plan. The interior of the house was being carefully demolished without touching the outer walls.  When they are done, Blackie finally asks why they did it.

“There’d be no fun if I hated him.” … “All this hate and love,” he said, “it’s soft, it’s hooey. There’s only things, Blackie,” and he looked round the room crowded with the unfamiliar shadows of half things, broken things, former things.

Mr. Thomas arrives before the boys are completely finished, and T. distracts him by telling him that one of the boys is stuck in the loo.  Mr. Thomas is “scandalized” that the boys are so familiar with his house, but he follows.  They lock him in.  They even feed him.

The next morning, the house is destroyed when a driver pulls away and takes the house down.  He realizes that his truck was tied to it.  Mr. Thomas comes running out, devastated, but the driver just thinks it’s funny.

One of the main themes of the story is that life does not have inherent value to everyone.  As a people, we have chosen to follow a social contract.  However, not every person grows up with that sense of value.  Clearly the boys in the story grew up in a time and place where the wanton destruction of World War II left them morally bankrupt.

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