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The Destructors - The Significance of Violence

Uploaded by CptRedemption on Nov 21, 2001

In serious fiction, no act of violence exists for its own sake. Graham Green, in his short story “The Destructors,” reveals certain intangible needs met through one central act of violence.

One need we all have as humans is the need to be creative, to express ourselves, to use our imagination. All little boys use their imaginations, which is based on what they see in their environment, whether that be television or their own neighborhood. The gang of boys in “The Destructors” witnessed destruction every day of their lives and played in the rumble of homes as they would a mound of dirt. The gang met every morning at “the site of the last bomb of the first blitz,” which hit when the leader of the gang was but a year old. Along with the destruction to the ground they met on, the house just beside it “suffered from the blast of the bomb and the walls were supported on wooden struts.” The gang was well accustomed to seeing destruction, therefore their imaginations were corrupted with it. In an attempt to be creative, to use their imagination, the gang collectively decided to destroy the house that survived the bomb. “Destruction after all is a form of creation. A kind of imagination had seen this house as it had now become.” The need to use their imaginations won over their logical thought.

Another need that plagues us all is the need to be known. Many people’s biggest fear is to die unknown and alone. We all try to make our mark in the world, whether it be through good grades, athletics, or putting gravy on the walls. We become known for our deeds, both the positive and the negative. The boys longed for the respect and the uniqueness that bringing a house down would give them. It is evident they were not getting the attention pre-teen boys need at home. Throughout the story, not one of the boys talks of the trouble they could get in with their parents if caught. Not one of them mentions having to be home at any certain time, to check in anytime throughout the course of the day. The boys were independent; they took care of themselves all day long, until they became tired and needed a bed and a roof. As a means to get five or ten of their fifteen minutes, they completely destroy the...

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Uploaded by:   CptRedemption

Date:   11/21/2001

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (748 words)

Views:   2399

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