Monday, October 22, 2012

"The Destructors"

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Trevor’s Revenge

In “The Destructors,” by Graham Greene one thing comes to mind Trevor. Through the struggles of a country and a cry for help a quiet boy turns into a possessed leader. Trevor changes the direction of the Wormsley Common Gang from pranks to disaster. Trevor’s destroying of Old Misery’s home has a more detailing reason behind it then a prank.

The story is set in London nine years after the end a World War II. The Wormsley Common Gang is a unity of twelve young boys. The newest recruit becomes a leader and gives the gang the biggest thrill on the eve of August Bank Holiday. A quiet boy who just joined the Wormsley Common Gang in the summer changes dramatically though the story. A boy who “never wasted a word even to tell him name until that was required of him by the rules”(Graham 116) sits back and just goes with the gangs boyish every day pranks. His name is Trevor or T. to the gang. Trevor’s father was an architect and became a clerk after the blitz. His mother was a woman who thought of her as better then the neighbors. This makes the story ironic, because Trevor has such a passion for destroying a home that Sir Christopher Wren built. Trevor’s hatred for the house could be that since London had been destroyed and Trevor’s father lost his job and two of Wren’s buildings stand he wanted to get even.

Blackie is the gang’s former leader. When Trevor comes up with the idea to destroy the last standing home on the block it makes Trevor a leader. When Trevor shows Blackie Old Misery’s savings “it is highly significant that T. and Blackie turn Old Misery’s cache of pound notes, printed with the colors green and beige, into “gray ash”(0) by burning them”(Kolin 158). When Trevor and Blackie burn a note by note instead of stealing it they are getting back at London. This shows that it’s not just the one house that is standing on the block, but that once they all had money and now they have nothing why should he. This shows Trevor’s hatred for London’s economy. This is a “vivid symbol of cultural identity, here an image of the country’s economic health, is transformed into the drab meaninglessness that gray suggest”(Kolin 158). He is not doing it for fun, but to get back at London for the loss that he has had. By them celebrating it shows the pride that Trevor is taking on his revenge for the blitz and the damage, and loss he has suffered from.

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The meeting spot of the gang shows a lot about why Trevor planned this attack on Old Misery. The boys meet there “every morning in an impromptu car-park, the site of the last bomb of the first blitz”(Greene 116). They meet there every morning and the only house standing is Old Misery’s house. Trevor goes to the house and sees what it looks like inside. When he returns with a plan to destroy it you can tell he is spiteful that Misery’s home is still standing. He tells the gang in jealousy that it is beautiful with two hundred-year-old stairs, and paneling like a Blue Boar. This makes the gang furious and jealous at the same time. Trevor is then speaking out for the first time. This is the point were Trevor grows into a character with built up frustration and hate. He demises a destroying of a man’s home without remorse. Graham hints this about the character when he says “T. was giving his orders with decision it was as though this plan had been with him all his life, pondered through the seasons, now in his fifteenth year crystallized with the pain of puberty”(Greene 10). This shows that Trevor has been planning this and that because Misery’s house is the only house still standing from the blitz it must come down like the rest. Trevor slowly destroys the house and does this with joy.

When the driver ultimately takes down the house when he is picking up his lorry and laughs at Misery and says “nothing personal, but you got to admit it’s funny”(Greene). It shows the town felt the same way. Trevor saw the house as a symbol of everything bad that has happened to him. To him the house was just more then an everyday childish prank, but London itself. By destroying the house Trevor feels a relief that now everyday when they meet he won’t have the reminder that not everyone was effected by it. Now to him he is not alone, and blitz affected everyone not just his family. From a shy boy to a possessed leader Trevor is characterized as a leader not for destroying the house, but for getting even with London.

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