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Copy of The Destructors
Transcript of Copy of The Destructors
Trevor or "T"
Mr. Thomas or "Old Misery" Blackie-leader of the gang.
Mike-floater of the gang.
Old Misery-prey. The boys have a mission: To destroy Old Misery's house while he's away.
Things go wrong when Thomas comes back a day early. The boys lock him in his outhouse so they can finish destroying the house.
At the end of the story, Thomas believes a man pulled down his house by a rop tied to his car. OutCome The
Destructors Summary: Setting 1954; 9 years after WWII London Old Misery's house was demolishedby the boys' doing.
Question 1: Who is the gang's leader at first? Who takes over? Why? Answer: Blackie is the leader at first,
but then T. takes over because of his
idea to demolish Old Misery's house. Question 2: What is T.'s family background? Answer: His father was a former architect and then became a clerk. His mom was "snooty" (thought she was better than her neighbors). Question 3: Why is Mr. Thomas's house valuable? Answer: It had lasted through WWII. Question 4: Describe how the house is destroyed. Answer: They tore the house apart starting with the inside. Then, they tied the frame of the house to the back of a man's car. When the man went to drive away, the frame fell down, making the man believe he tore Old Misery's house down. Answer: The boys burn the money because they claim they aren't thieves. T. didn't want to steal from Mr. Thomas. He just wanted to destroy the house so that Mr. Thomas' house was just like everyone elses. Question 5: T's motives for destroying Old Misery's house are important. What motives can you eliminate based on what T. says to Mr. Thomas and what the boys do with the money? Question 6: What are T.'s actual motives? Support your answer with details from the story.(Your reading notes will help.) Answer: T.'s actual motives were to make the house look like everything else around that was bombed. T. thought that the house wasn't any better than any other house simply because it was beautiful. T. wanted to prove a point: that in any moment something you value can be taken away from you and you can't do anything about it. Question 7: A gang is a social group with a shared set of values. What are this gang's values, and from where do you think they spring? Answers: The gang's values were to cause mayhem and chaos. Their values spring from their surroundings and way of life. The places around them and the way people reacted to certain situations is what made them want to destroy things. Question 8: Describe the setting of the Wormsley Common car-park and it's surroundings. How does the setting contribute to the story's emotional atmosphere? What larger idea or concept might the setting symbolize? A gang of boys want to destroy Mr. Thomas's hosue. T., the new leader, desides to tear down Old Misery's (Mr. Thomas) house as a way of revenge. The gang enjoys damaging things and would just like to destroy the house from the inside out. They have two days to demolish the house while Thomas, Old Misery, is away for Bank Holiday. When Thomas returns, the gang is not finshed destroying the house. Answer: The car-park is run down due to the war. There are old cars lying around and bombed house surrounding the area. The setting contributes to the story's pessimistic mood. The gang's surroundings make them have a negative veiw on the world. All they can see are the bad things possible of happening.
A larger idea that the setting could symbolize would be that a person's surroundings really does affect their outlook on life. Question 9: When Blackie asks T. whether he hates Mr. Thomas T. answers, "Of course I don't....There'd be no fun if I hated him." How would you explain T.'s answer? In what sense does T.'s response reveal what might happen to people-even children-in the aftermath of war? Answer: If T. hated Mr. Thomas, destroying the house would be out of revenge and not for fun. For T., destroying the house was merely a game. After war, people begin to cope in ways of destruction. T. doesn't hate Mr. Thomas. He was brought up around viloence and to him, there's nothing wrong with tearing up someone's house. Question 10: How do you think Greene wants his readers to see T.-as a vicious criminal who should be punished, or as a disturbed victim of society who deserves understanding? In which way do you see him? Why? Evaluate T.'s character in the light of the political and social influences that might have shaped him. Use evidence from the story to support your opinions. Answer: T. should be viewed as a disturbed victim of society who deserves understanding. He was raised in world where crime was accepted. After the war, people's idea of value changed. With things having no value, it didn't matter if it was destroyed.
Political: After the war, it seemed that people just gave up. They didn't make an effort to build the place back up to its original beauty. The worn down setting was all the gang ever knew.
Social: It seems that everyone resulted to shabby violence after the war. The gang followed in the footsteps of those around them. ignoble adj.: shameful; degrading. impromptu adj.: unplanned. exploit n.: daring act. daunted v. used as adj.: intimidated. implacable adj.: inflexible; relentless; stubborn. fickleness n.: changeableness. altrustic adj.: unselfish. exhilaration n.: excitement; high spirits. abstain v.: refrain from. stealthy adj.: secret; sly. No one felt sorry for Old Misery. Presented By: Jamie Bradley,
& Danielle Benton They lure Old Misery into the outhouse behind his house and lock him in there while they finish. When they are done with the inside of the house, they tie the outside frame to a man's car. As the car tries to pull away, the rope that attached the car to the house had pulled what was left of the house down. The man driving the car was convinced that he, somehow, destroyed Thomas' house. He then followed Thomas' screams and went to let him out. Thomas was upset about his house and thought the man had destroyed it. The man simply laughs at Mr. Thomas and says, "There's nothing personal, but you got to admit it's funny." His explanation supports the theme of the story: When things go wrong and are taken from you, sometimes you just need to laugh and move on, because that's all you can do. Graham Greene- authour of The Destructors
Graham Greene experienced destruction himslef.
House was blasted during air raid
Wife was defastated
Greene was relieved
"It's sad because it was a pretty house, but oddly enough it leaves one every carefree" -Greene
After their house was blasted, Greene felt that he no longer had to pretend that his marriage to his wife was perfect, just like their house.
Background of the story