The Destructors Questions and Answers
by Graham Greene

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What's ironic in Graham Greene's short story "The Destructors"?

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It would seem that Graham Greene expresses in his story, "The Destructors" that the greatest irony of the World War II Blitz on London is that the children of this era do not find destruction as an aberration. Rather, it seems to them the norm.  This is why the boys who are lead, significantly, by an architect's son, imitate what has occurred to buildings throughout their city; for Old Misery's house to be standing seems somehow wrong to them. Their act of taking the house apart in such an ingenious way is, in effect, an inverse form of architecture, a deconstruction.

Streaks of light came in through the closed shutters where they worked with the seriousness of creators--and destruction after all is a form of creation. A kind of imagination had seen this house as it had now become.

The underlying climate of war is present in the descriptions:

  • "They squatted in the ruins of the room...." Later, "the doors were all off,,,the furniture pillaged and ripped and smashed...."
  • "...the slow warm drops...

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