"The Destructors" written by Graham Greene.

Essay by triaura November 2003

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Graham Greene's "The Destructors" is a short story that takes place in London nine years after the conclusion of World War II. Post-war conflict had struck after that ("the last bomb of the first blitz") and because of this, situations such as the destruction of Old Misery's house occurred. The story uniquely conveys the boys' desire to destory, gain power and to gain acknowledgement ("The fame of the Wormsley Commen car-park gang would surely be reach around London"). They are out to show society they still exist, and doesn't like to be looked down upon ("Even the grown-ups gangs who ran the betting at the all-in wrestling and the barrow-boys would hear with respect") and they want to opress something that stands out in their impoverished world (Old Misery's house, the only house left standing in the bomb-site). This story not only shows a distinct power of the Wormsley Common gang but also shows everyone else's desire to gain power.

In the story Greene focuses on mainly the destruction of the house but looking past that the destruction of the house was merely a small piece belonging to a big puzzle. Destructions equal power, becoming the destructor means becoming powerful. The need for power had started it all. Beginning with the German's blitz because they wanted to become more powerful and rule which then led to other destructions. The struggle to gain power is once just a blurred image, a story within a story that can't be simply told.