The Destructors Comprehension Questions
In our Literature class, we read and analysed the story “The Destructors” by Graham Greene. Then, we had to join in groups and aswer seven comprehension questions. I was with Francisco Lusso and Felipe Vidal.
1) What they do have in common with modern American gangs is that gangs are formed by juvenile delinquents. The ages of children joining a gang in the US keeps dropping. Between 9 and 12 years old. Moreover, children who belonged to these gangs in the US, commit small crimes such as intimidating people or robbing 24/7 shops. Also, youth gangs are prevalent in schools. Another characteristic is the use of colloquial english pointing out words such us “dude” or “homie” and in “The Destructors” phrases like “pinched ‘em”. However, what they do not have in common with the story is the buying and selling of drugs in schools or carrying sharp knives in their pockets. Graffiti ( graffiti did not appear until 1970) is very popular among gangs. Is not just art. Is a way of marking their territory and bring intimidation to rival gangs and the community. Usually a cryptic combination of letters or symbols, gang graffiti also is responsible for millions of dollars of damage to public and private buildings in most North American cities. Gangs act wherever young people congregate, at bus stops, parks, schools, and on the streets.
2) We see the central theme of the story, as the former division of upper classes vs lower classes as a result of the blitz hardships. We believe that Mr Thomas represents the upper classes at that time whereas they had great money despite losing everything. We are supposing that the kids pulling down Old Misery’s house suggests a symbol of taking down the social hierarchy which was very divided at that time in London.
5) The significance of the setting of the story portrays a bombarded London and how it has been bombed as a cause of the blitz. and how Londoners struggled to live in the underground shelters. Moreover, the story provides information about the boys who met together at an “impromptu car park” the site of the last bombs of the first blitz as well as the houses nearby (not able to survive). Only Mr Thomas’s house was the one that was still intact. The causes of the blitz began when on August 25th, by the orders of Winston Churchill to flow a retaliatory raid on Berlin. Hitler responded by telling the British that the Luftwaffe would drop I million kg of bombs on London if that was what was required. Two weeks later on September 7th, the first raid took place.
8) As Mr Thomas was pushed to the loo by the kids, he spent the whole night there while the boys finished destructing his house. Although he begged to be set free, T told him to be quiet and that is no necessity for him to be uncomfortable that night. He brang some sandwiches and a blanket. Despite the fact that Old Misery cried, no one heard his desperate yellings, only the sound of resemble carpenters coming from his house. The next morning, a lorry driver came to get his truck. As he pulled out, he had the feeling something tugging on at the back. Then there is enormous crash and debris everywhere. He heard Mr. Thomas yelling from the loo and set him free. Mr. Thomas cried when he saw that his house has been pulled down, but the lorry driver cannot stop laughing due to the situation he was living. We think Graham Greene added a lot of humour to a serious and tragic atmosphere since it wanted to show how the life of a polite and considered man has been changed by a group of young folks. Young boys who wanted to teach Old Misery a lesson of who they are and what they are looking for. We believe they were jealous with the idea of his house not being affected by the bombs especially T. T was the one who planned all this and probably he was looking to end with the remained house, to show Old Misery that not everyone had the pleasure to live in a house yet. London still did not recover at all.
9) Yes, we totally agree.
First of all, the kids were totally proud of what they did. They had the feeling they were the heroes of the day. At that point, we see that all of them had hidden forces in which they release their anger by destroying the house.
Second of all, the theme of the war is essential for the story since all started there. The kids were troubled by knowing that house was the only one in the whole neighborhood that wasn’t destroyed during the WW2 so they destroyed the last house intact.
Finally, delinquency for my its the main drama in the story because as I said in the first argument , the kids were filled by anger that they unfortunately used it in a negative way by adding more delinquency in a place which was completely destroyed.
10) Clearly, the destruction of Old Misery’s house is much more senseless than the destruction and impact of World War II. This is because, the destruction of Old Misery’s house was a simple ilegal or vandal act or prank made by teenagers and the war was something bigger, more important more chaotic and blooded, it can’t be compared with a childish and illogical act.
11) Nihilism: The rejection of all religious and moral principles, in the belief that life is meaningless. In the story we can find this, because the main act of the story is that the kids destroy old misery’s house, the house of an innocent man, so they reject all moral and religious principles to make an evil, illogical and stupid act.
I really liked this story, not only for the story itself, but what it leaves to the readers. This story makes me feel there, in England, in that society, in the mind of that teenagers, in that exactly moment. Its a real interesting story because we can see reflected in this kids, the society of England and particulary this new generation, post war. I found that, that is very similar to a tv show that i watched, called Peaky Blinders. The Peaky Blinders are a british gang mainly compound by the Shelby brothers. They went to the first world war, as England soldiers and after that bloody event, they didnt know what to do, so they had the brilliant idea to deliver their lives to the criminal world. First they started entering violently to bars, seizing this bars and then, they end being one of the family of gangsters most famous of England. I know that this is something very exaggerated, its an excessive example but this Peaky blinders had to deal with such a bloody and terrible event like the first world war, and then they end as very violent people. This is like this new generation of kids as The destructors show, This kids that were born with violence and this provoke all the anger and evil that they have.