How are the boys in "The Destructors" isolated? 

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Greene's depiction of the boys in the story reflects children who are isolated from much of consciousness.  The most evident aspect of isolation is that they are cut off from emotional understanding.  There is no nurturing or constructive affect in their world.  They are isolated because of how they see themselves and their reality.  They are isolated from emotional bonds of fortification.  In its place, the boys are only able to see destruction as their only outlet.  It is to this in which they find connection.  The idea of destroying the house is embraced because of their own isolation from anything constructive.  Yet, even here, the boys waver in their commitment to finishing the job.  For the boys, their desire to destroy the house is reflective of how isolated they are from that which is good, pure, and constructive in their being.

At the same time, the boys are also emotionally isolated from other human beings.  Their association is one in which they are emotionally isolated from the world.  The feel no connection to Mr. Thomas in the destruction of his home.  At the same time, they are isolated from a moral sense of right or wrong.  The lack of ethical guidance in their construction of the world and their place in it results in isolation.  They are isolated from others and their own sense of purpose in the world.  All that the boys can connect to is destruction and decay, a reflection of how emotionally isolated they actually are.

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The Destructors

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