“The Destructors” by Graham Greene


I worked with Otto Kreutzer:

Comprehension questions:

  • American gangs are usually more violent and are involved in criminal stuff like drug and gun dealing. Their enemies are people from a close neighborhood that fight for being better than the other one.
  • The centre theme is that the people at the post war aren’t able to trust anyone, no matter how kind and good he is. These people want to let everyone know about their suffering.
  • Firstly, Trevor enters the gang and the rest of them want to initiate him, through this, they wanted to make fun Trevor. The second problem is when Trevor and Blackie are fighting for the leadership of the gang. At this moment, Trevor tries to show that he is better leading the gang, and wants to prove that his plans are more interesting than Blackie’s plans. The third and last conflict starts when they are about to destroy the house and “Old Misery” appear earlier than expected.
  • The setting of the story is that the story is on a post-war situation where people were very insecure about everything; they weren’t able to trust anyone. So when they meet Old Misery, who is kind, from a higher class and his house isn’t destroyed they can’t stand that he isn’t suffering.
  • At the end of the story, the gang is able to destroy the house by locking Old Misery in the loo. When he was able to get out, he saw his house destroyed. We believe that Graham Greene has ended the story like this because no one can escape the suffering from the post-war.
  • From the POV of the gang, the destruction of the house was not senseless as they couldn’t understand how a house survived the blitz without getting any damage while momñny their houses were totally destroyed and they were forced to move house. Then, as a reader we think that the destruction of the house is senseless and that it is just a kid’s prank which went out of control.
  • “Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence. A true nihilist would believe in nothing, have no loyalties, and no purpose other than, perhaps, an impulse to destroy” In this definition we can see Nihilism as a very pessimistic point of view about world and life in general. We can see this attitude in kids gang and their behaviour and destructive impulse
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