A Comparison of The Destructors and Lord of the Flies
In Graham Greene's "The Destructors," the author presents the
Wormsley Common car-park gang, a group of adolescent
delinquents who commit petty crimes for fun. William Golding, in
his novel Lord of the Flies, presents a slightly younger group of
boys who are wrecked on an uninhabited island and develop a
primitive society that eventually collapses and gives way to
despotic savagery. Although these two cases seem rather
different, the boys in both situations show common
characteristics. They react to the outside environment of their
worlds in similar ways. There are also trends in the development
of the dynamic characters in each story. Each account presents
a conflict of interests between two dominant characters, a
leadership struggle, a predefined goal set by the boys, and a
mystified enemy. There are even parallel characters. For
example, Blackie in "The Destructors" resembles Ralph in Lord
of the Flies. In Graham Greene's "The Destructors," the boys'
behaviour, thoughts, and social-development patterns parallel
those of the boys in William Golding's Lord of the Flies.
One of the main characters in Lord of the Flies is the "beast."
This mythical creation is a product of the boys' collective fear of
being plane-wrecked on an uninhabited island. They also have
a few unreliable "sightings" to support their suspicions. The
beast eventually develops into a totem, a pagan god for Jack's
simple religion. The boys fear this beast, because it manifests
itself in the boars that roam the island, both a danger and a
source of food. The beast of "The Destructors" is not imaginary:
a retired old builder and decorator, Mr. Thomas, or, as he is
called by the boys, Old Misery, is simply a nice old man. The
boys, who hate all that is of a class above theirs, do not trust
him, and see him as a mean old tyrant. A simple kind act is
grossly misinterpreted by the boys, who have hardly ever
"I got some chocolates," Mr. Thomas said. "Don't like Ôem
myself. Here you are. Not enough to go around, I don't suppose.
There never is," he added with somber conviction. He handed
over three packs of Smarties.
The gang were puzzled and perturbed by this action and tried to
explain it away. "Bet someone dropped them and he picked Ôem
up," somebody suggested.
"Pinched Ôem and then got in a bleeding
funk," another thought aloud.
"It's a bribe," Summers said. "He wants us
to stop bouncing balls on his wall."
"We'll show him we don't take bribes," Blackie said,
and they sacrificed the whole morning to the game of bouncing
that only Mike was young enough to enjoy. There was no sign
from Mr. Thomas. (Greene 50)
This complete lack...