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You are watching: Old misery was too mean to spend money on his property


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In Graham Greene’s short story “The Destructors ,” in bombed-out post-World War II London, a team of boys known as the Wormsley Typical Gang destroys the home of Mr. Trevor (a.k.a. Old Misery) as an elaborate prank. Their motivations for demolishing the elderly man’s home, however, differ according...


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In Graham Greene’s short story “The Destructors,” in bombed-out post-World War II London, a team of boys recognized as the Wormsley Common Gang destroys the house of Mr. Trevor (a.k.a. Old Misery) as an intricate prank. Their motivations for demolishing the elderly man’s home, however, vary according to different characters.

Trevor, the group’s newest member, is from a higher class family members that has actually “come down in the human being.” Formerly an architect, Trevor’s father is now a clerk; his mother snobbishly looks dvery own on her neighbors. Trevor—who has actually attributes of “brooding silence,” and also “hazard, of the unpredictable”—commands the respect of the boys that dare not mock his name. Knvery own to them as “T.,” he is not the official leader of the gang yet wields his affect to convince the others—who seem intimidated by his upper-class expertise and haughty or “haw-haw accent”— to damage Old Misery’s house, which survived the Blitz.

To T., Old Misery’s house represents the previous social status and fortune took pleasure in by his parental fees. Like T.’s father, Old Misery is educated and also when organized a creative career as a builder and also decorator. When T. invites himself inside to see the house, he notes fine objects prefer the antique paneling and also the two-hundred-year-old corkscrew stairsituation hosted up by nothing however opposing forces. T. tells the gang, “It’s a beautiful house” and looks away, licking his lips via scheming incited by envy.

T’s incentive for damaging the residence appears to be jealousy of Old Misery’s status and also fine product possessions (prefer china, glass, pillows, parquet, accessories, and so on.) and also resentment, with the ensuing desire to annihilate and also erase another person’s opportunity at reclaiming beauty. T. desires to destroy the edifice totally because

Walls can be preserved. Façades were practical. They could develop inside aacquire more beautitotally than before. This might aacquire be a house.

His function is not to steal or expush hatred, but to make the allude that objects and money—T. burns Old Misery’s cash—are “just points.” It"s likewise a way to wield power over the various other boys in the gang (T. difficulties Blackie the leader by convincing the others to follow his plan).

He is virtually trancefavor in his machinations as if “he were absorbed in some dream he was unwilling—or ashamed—to share.” In reality, he feels like a wronged son and forms the mission to damage the residence.

It was as though this arrangement had been via him all his life, pondered through the seasons, currently in his fifteenth year crystallized via the pain of puberty.

Yet when this plan is disrupted by Old Misery’s beforehand rerotate house, T. reacts prefer a petulant child, whining, “It isn’t fair.” He additionally loses command also over the gang and relinquishes power ago to Blackie.

The gang members, on the various other hand, are urged to destroy the residence out of their desires to follow T., have actually fun and also avert boredom (after all, they were going to steal free bus rides for amusement instead), and expush animosity toward Old Misery. For instance, when Old Misery provides them chocolates, the boys do not understand just how to react; they wonder if the chocolates were uncovered or stolen. Not wanting to be managed, they present Old Misery that they cannot be bribed by relentlessly bouncing a ball on his wall. Finally, the demolition of the house supplies the boys function as they job-related diligently dismantling everything.

Blackie, the leader, is urged by possible fame for the gang. Even though he sees “the hollowness of T.’s management,” he concedes that T.’s setup would bring the Wormsley Typical Gang excellent notoriety.

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would certainly sucount reach approximately London. Tbelow would certainly be headlines in the documents. Even the grown-up gangs who ran the betting at the all-in wrestling and the barrow-boys would hear through respect of how Old Misery’s home had actually been destroyed.