– The Significance Of Violence Essay, Research Paper
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 house. Blackie is the first to realize the respect that will be gained from following through with the plan. As he is walking away from the gang after he just lost control of the gang to T., he turns and rejoins the gang. ?Driven by the pure, simple, and altruisive ambition of fame for the gang, Blackie? returned to where the gang stood conniving. The need to be known won over the (lack of) the morals the gang had.
Finally, all humans need a place where we can feel comfortable, a place where things go the way they want them to, a place of familiarity, a place where we can be content and happy within a bubble. It is human nature to get rid of the things that make us uncomfortable. We go to the chiropractor whenever anything aches. We avoid certain people because they look at life a little differently than we do. We discriminate, exterminate, and annihilate anything that makes us feel uneasy. The gang was comfortable in all the ruin and desolation, as mentioned in my second paragraph, because that?s all they knew. When T. came up to the group and commented, ?It?s a beautiful house,? this made some of the group, Blackie in particular, worried and uncomfortable. Subconsciously, the gang worked to remove this uneasiness close to them.
All of us have certain intangible needs that must be met, either in a positive, constructive way or in a negative, destructive way. Through a negative, destructive act, Graham Green highlights how a gang of boys meets the intangible necessities. Being a person who chooses to fulfill my needs through positive, constructive actions, I understand there is a better way to be creative, to be known, and to be comfortable without bringing a building down with my needs. I choose to be creative through music, to be known as one who helps rather than hinders, and be comfortable with what I have or do not have. Through analyzing this short story, I can now understand and sympathize this those who choose a different path than my own.