“The Destructors” Questions and Essay

The Destructors

Belu Brito Peret and Sol Santayana

Questions: 

  1. The Wormsley Common Gang. Comment on membership, recruitment, enemies, activities, and motivations. How about gangs today?
  2. What do you see as the central theme of this story? Remember: a theme is not simply a subject like “love”. It is a fuller expression of what an author is trying to suggest about this subject. Write a paragraph explaining your interpretation of this story’s theme.
  3. Identify three important conflicts present in the story. Explain what exactly is causing the problem—and whether they are internal or external in nature. Finally, explain which of these conflicts seems to the central problem.
  4. Draw an image of Mr. Thomas’ house. Now explain the gang’s motivation to destroy the house by webbing out points and quotations to each of the ideas below:
  1. the age and beauty of the house
  2. the gang’s usual pranks around London
  3. what has occurred in the recent past with T’s parents
  4. Blackie’s reaction to the word “beautiful”
  5. The boys’ reaction to Mr. Thomas’ gift of chocolate
  6. Summers’ reaction to the word “please”
  7. the burning of the banknotes
  8. their consideration for Old Misery
  1. Of what significance is the setting of this story in blitzed London? Does the story have anything to say about the consequences of war? About the causes of war?
  2. Address the following quotation in the story by explaining its context and overall significance to the story:  “Streaks of light came in through the closed shutters where they worked with the seriousness of creators—and destruction after all is a form of creation. A kind of imagination had seen this house as it had now become.”
  3. Describe what happens in the resolution of the story. Why might Graham Greene have ended the story in this ironic manner?
  4. On the surface this is a story of action, suspense, and adventure. At a deeper level it is about delinquency, war, and the hidden forces which motivate our actions. Do you agree? Give reasons for your answer.
  5. Research a definition of the philosophy of nihilism. How might the Wormsley Common Gang actions in the story demonstrate a kind of nihilism?

Answers: 

  1. The Wormsley Common Gang’ members are Mike, Summers and Blackie who is the leader. Later on, Trevor joined that gang and took Blackies position and became the leader with an ambitious objective. His desire was to destroy Mr. Thomas, Old Misery, house. Trevor’ hatred toward him grew increasingly as the time passes. Competing his objective would satisfy all of his proud and envy. His lack of revenge took control of his mind and body to make him to destroy Old Misery’s belongings, as the war did to him. However, gang’s today are not the same as they were some time ago, today are more likely to be integrated by old man or kids playing. 
  2. The main theme of The Destructors is “Destruction is necessary for new beginning”. There are a lot of tension between classes, the social classes. Mainly from T’s perspective because of how the war had destroyed everything he had, his house. He wanted to take revenge on Mr Thomas because of the conditions of his house, damaging the physical conditions of it.
  1. Construction versus destruction: The gang members grew up seeing the destruction of war. They act as if destruction is a form of creation.In the story, not only the house of Old Misery was destroyed, but also the whole society after the war.The children, which are involved in the destroyed society, destroy the man’s house. Carrying out that act, it can be understand as if the children are ending with war. The house was the only thing that survived war, and destroying it means, starting all over again. The destruction of all, means the start of something new.
  2. Society postwar: This external conflict points out the fact that the society was broken down after the war. Every person in society saw themselves totally affected and prejudiced by the war and tried to build up their normal lives back. However, war left an atmosphere of unconfidence, untruthful sense.
  3. Building up society again would take a lot of time belonging: last but not lest this conflict could be understood in two different ways. On the one hand, it can be understand as if T wants to belong to the gang. He is looking to fit on a group and to feel comfortable in it. That is a internal conflict since it is the character’s feeling. On the other hand, the sense of belonging could be understood to becoming part of society. At that moment in history, the society was destroyed after the war. That is why belonging to society was difficult to achieve. In our opinion, the central conflict is a combination of all of them. The war have left a destroyed society, harmful, where the people could not find their place. The destruction of the society, creates a new beginning. 

Draw: 

  1. “Crippled house” 
  2. “ The gang met every morning in an impormout car-park, the site of the last bomb of the first blitz.”
  3. “It was the word “beautiful” that eoried him – that belonged to a class world that could still see parodied at the Wormsley Common Empire…” (for him a house is never beautiful; in fact, nothing is, due to the fact that he was a class boy, a poor boy.)
  4. “ Bet someone dropped them and he picked’ em up’” (nothing good can come from society)
  5. “But his authority has gone with his ambiguity. He was only one of the gang” “Summers mimicked him, and then suddenly struck home with the fatal name” (irony, he couldn’t believe) 
  6. “Old Misery’s savings”…”We aren’t thieves” T, said. “Nobody’s going to steal anything from this house. I kept these for you and me- a celebration”…” We will burn them”
  7. “Here’s a blanket” the voice said, and long grey sausage was worked through the hole and fell in swathes over Mr Thomas’s head”…”we want you to be comfortable tonight”
  1.  The setting of the story have a significant meaning. The author of the story is an English written and wrote this story in 1954, during the WW2. The war affected London and damaged it in a harras way. The streets and houses were destroyed and people living conditions decreases. This made Trevor to take revenge on Old Misery’s house  because of his envy and lack of resentment. The war destroyed T’s house and all of the other houses in the neighborhood, except Mr.Thomas house. 
  2. This quotation is refering the post war situation, and the ridiculousness of war itself. The quote is very ironic, as it shows the hard work of human people, to build whole cities, to destruct them in a short and fast time. It’s very ironic the the people make the same mistakes throughout our history, and we can’t learn about them, to prevent how to stop before happens.
  3. What happens in the resolution is that they locked down Mr Misery in the bathroom cubicle and a men who had the house tied down to his lorry broke the house down. What Graham Greene wanted to do with the ending of the story is that even though war had already destructed the London what would give the last straw that broke the canela back would be the british society.
  4. The kids are a metaphor of war and the house is a representation of London. The author wants to portray how war had destructed the society of London and how it had been damaged from the roots. The kids represent war and violence, that’s why they break the house, because the author wants to make a critic about the consequences of war in the society. The kids didn’t care about Mr misery, they only wanted destruction, which is what war represents violence destruction and hatred. And the house was london, it did not survived the “war”.
  5. Nihilism is a condition in which all ultimate values lose their value. That means that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is useless and senseless. In our opinion, the Wormsley Common Gang represent a society post war where the nihilism is present. Nihilism is based on a belief where conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility. That could be compared to the gang and to the society at that time.The situation was so destroyed, that the gang finish with the destruction, they end up with the only thing that survived war to begin all over again.They forgot about the moral values in society, because there was any value in society at that time.

 

Essay:

    

Graham Greene’s portrayal of human nature, in “The Destructors,” conveys the idea that people have the instinctive ability to distinguish, and make a conscience choice, between what they believe to be good and evil. This message is clearly projected by the characters and their actions: that children born to a traumatized society will grow rebellious. Comment closely on this.

 

         Graham Greene’s portrayal of human nature, in “The Destructors,” conveys the idea that people have the instinctive ability to distinguish, and make a conscience choice, between what they believe to be good and evil. This is clearly projected in the story by the main characters and their actions.

At the beginning of the story, we realize that children know, what is right and what is not. They just like to feel the adrenaline of being rebellious and doing something that is wrong. All this is related to the rite of passage and to the postwar crisis its consequence.

Moreover, we can notice that the author uses rite of passage along the story. This consist on the process of matureness, and it contains 5 different elements that must be accomplished. The 5 elements are; an object of desire; trespassing (defying authority); dare/challenge (construction of identity); the mischief (should be owned up and dealt in a mature way); atonement (confession, acceptance and regret). To specify more I will leave all the steps of the story in the context of the rite of passage. An object of desire: T’s desire to destitute power by proving himself what is capable of doing. He wants to turn into the leader of the gang by taking over Blackie.Trespassing (defying authority): Defying the law, defying the adults and lastly defying Blackie’s leadership by breaking into the house. T’s looking for power and respect. Dare/Challenge (construction of identity): Challenges the authority by planning to break inside the house. T wishes to have their orders completely followed. The mischief (should be owned up and dealt in a mature way): Rite of passage not completed. T and the other members of the gang did not feel sorry for what they did. They think it’s actually funny. The gang did not realize about what they have done and did not accept the consequences of destroying the house of a good man. Atonement (confession, acceptance and regret): Again the same. The gang did not apologize to Mr Thomas. The action of regretting and assuming responsibility and maturity is missing. No one feels sorry for Mr Thomas neither the gang nor the driver of the lorry.

          By analyzing each step in “The Destructors”, we can conclude that its not have been completed, so this means that they are just kids, but they know that what they have done was wrong, but still they thought it was fun, because they are still innocent kids and they don’t know the severity of the situation.

        Furthermore, the destruction of Old misery’s house was more senseless than the destruction brought about war. The war had an aim, soldiers fought to gave their lives for their people and country, while what the kids did with Old misery’s home had no sense for them, except for Trevor. He was just jealous that his house wasn’t destructed by war. 

         The story is set in London, which was extremely damaged after World War Two. The story complains about the consequences of war. Firstly, because it explains how war destroyed every house placed there. Secondly, because it affected people emotionally. In the story, the children did not trust that something good could happen and wanted to destroy the only house that survived the war, the members of the gang didn’t understand why Trevor wanted to destroy Mr Old mystery’s house. 

          In conclusion, Greene do not conveys the idea that people have the instinctive ability to distinguish, and make a conscience choice, between what they believe to be good and evil. Trevor and the other gang’s members are innocent kids that thought that what they did was good, they didn’t think of two sides, good and evil. They felt desire of destructions and anger, towards Mr Thomas’s house. This can be compare to the destruction and pain war caused in this kid, in a cruel manner. 

 

 

Art as a form of creation

Art as a Form of Creation

 

Slaughter of animals

On today’s factory farms, animals are crammed by the thousands into filthy, windowless sheds and stuffed into wire cages, metal crates, and other torturous devices. These animals will never raise their families or do anything that is natural and important to them. Not even feel the warmth of the sun on their backs or breathe fresh air until the day they’re loaded onto trucks headed for slaughterhouses.

The modern slaughterhouse has been designed to kill as many animals as quickly as possible. The industrial slaughter of animals is a gigantic business and some of these factories, more and more technologies and with increasingly modern and specialized equipment, lead to death to miles of them every day. The factory farming industry run most factory farms that make more money by squeezing as many animals as possible into tiny spaces, even though many of the animals die from disease or infection.

 

Moreover, antibiotics are used to make animals grow faster and to keep them alive in the unsanitary conditions. When they’ve grown large enough to slaughter or their bodies have been worn out from producing milk or eggs, animals raised for food are crowded onto trucks and transported, typically without food or water.

 

The social concern about the abuses suffered by animals in farms and slaughterhouses is growing progressively and the images of violence committed against them occupy more and more space in the media. These images are usually obtained by investigative activists who, can access to cameras of these places, or through the use and placement of hidden cameras, expose to the public the reality of an increasingly industry at the sight of the consumers.

 

Pigs in the Farming Industry:

Pigs live for an average of 10-15 years, but factory farmed pigs are sent to slaughter after just six months of life. In order to get the terrified pigs onto the trucks bound for the slaughterhouse. Pigs struggle to get air and are usually given no food or water for the entire journey. Furthermore, after being kept in an immobile state all their lives, their legs and lungs are so weak that the pigs can barely walk. But when they see space ahead of them, some of them begin running for the first time in their lives. They jump and buck, because of their first feel of freedom. Then, suddenly, they collapse and cannot get up. They can only lie there, trying to breathe, their bodies racked with pain from abuse and neglect on the factory farms. A typical slaughterhouse kills up to 1,100 pigs every hour. The sheer number of animals killed makes it impossible for them to be given humane, painless deaths. Because of improper stunning, many pigs are alive when they reach the scalding tank, which is intended to soften their skin and remove their hair.

Cows in the Farming Industry:

They are crammed onto trucks where they typically go without food, water, or rest for the duration of the journey, which can sometimes be days. Many cows collapse in hot weather; in the cold, cows sometimes freeze to the sides of the truck until workers pry them off with crowbars. By the time the exhausted cows reach the slaughterhouse, many are too sick or injured to walk. These cows, known to the meat and dairy industries, often have ropes or chains tied around their legs so that they can be dragged off the trucks.

Of those animals who arrive at the slaughterhouse healthy enough to walk, many are frightened and don’t want to leave the truck, so they are shocked with electric prods or dragged off with chains. After they are unloaded, cows are forced through a chute and shot in the head with a captive-bolt gun meant to stun them. But because the lines move so quickly and many workers are poorly trained, the technique often fails to render the animals insensible to pain. They also tooks cows milk that should be given to the calf that have recently born.

Testing animals

Right now, millions of mice, rats, rabbits, primates, cats, dogs, and other animals are locked inside barren cages in laboratories across the country. They languish in pain, ache with loneliness, and long to be free. Instead, all they can do is sit and wait in fear of the next terrifying and painful procedure that will be performed on them. Instead, all they can do is sit and wait in fear of the next terrifying and painful procedure that will be performed on them. The complete lack of environmental enrichment and the stress of their living situation cause some animals to develop neurotic types of behavior such as incessantly spinning in circles, rocking back and forth, pulling out their own fur, and even biting themselves. After enduring a life of pain, loneliness, and terror, almost all of them will be killed.

The solutions for this problem, such as animal slaughter, is the world become vegan, this means not consuming any kinds of animal either derivatives, such as milk, eggs and butter. It sounds impossible but it isn’t, I am vegetarian some month ago and I was vegan around 3 weeks, it is not impossible.

 

https://youtu.be/4E3lxIacTwg?list=PLV2RDOhiGtcQhXB5hXIOfwnPwxqkIHwiT

 

PORTOFOLIO: Activity 2

  1. Yesterday in class, Pato told us to get together in groups to discussed some material That we should bring in relation to the poems we read in class. We should bring songs, videos, articles or pictures. So, each member of the group explained the message of the material that brought to share.
  2. What I brought to class, it is a song from one of my favorite rock band, call “Cage the Elephant”. The song i chose related with the poems is one of the last album that they published some weeks ago, it is call “Goodbye”. This is the Lyrics:

 

All my life I read between the lines

Held on too tight, you know I tried

But in the end it left me paralyzed

It’s alright, goodbye, goodbye

Seems like yesterday, I was a child

Just a ripple in the folds of time

I wish you well, I want to see you smile

It’s alright, goodbye

Goodbye

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

I won’t cry, I won’t cry, I won’t cry

Lord knows how hard we tried

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

So many things I want to say to you

So many sleepless nights I prayed for you

My heart’s an ashtray and I lost my mind

You bring the smokes, I’ve got the time

I want to scream, I want to laugh, I want to close my eyes

I want to hide somewhere that’s hard to find

Stop wasting time trying to shape your life

It’s alright, goodbye

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

I won’t cry, I won’t cry, I won’t cry

Lord knows how hard we tried

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

My pretty bird, my favorite lullaby

How’d I become the thorn in your side?

All your laughter turned into a cry

It’s alright, goodbye

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

I won’t cry, I won’t cry, I won’t cry

Lord knows how hard we tried

It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright

It’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

 

  1. C) I can connect the lyrics of this song with the poem “The Death Bed”, because I imagine that is a soldier that is saying goodbye to life. “Held on too tight, you know I tried. But in the end it left me paralyzed, It’s alright, goodbye, goodbye”, he is saying that he tried in war, he fight for his country, but with only one accident like a shot he got paralysed without moving, dying. Also, the war poems are also related with religion, but in this song is not criticizing the church or either the religion,“Lord knows how hard we tried”, he is saying that god knows how they fight, that he put all his strengths at war. Moreover, he also makes reference to his childhood, “Seems like yesterday, I was a child. Just a ripple in the folds of time”, he remember when he was a child how fast time passed to the present while being at war. Finally, as this song is call “Goodbye”, I thought that the soldier is saying goodbye to war, to life and to the soldiers.

LITERATURE WAR POETRY PRESENTATIONS

  1. Information about the author
  2. Context in which the poem was written
  3. Presence of literary devices
  4. Connections to real life
  5. Themes and tones
  6. Important quotations
  7. Title
  8. Our personal opinion

Presentation:

Artwork analysis

ARTWORK ANALYSIS

          For this artwork I was inspired by Bordalo II, who is a talented Portuguese artist who creates, recreates, assembles and develops ideas with end-of-life material, trash. In this way he relates us to sustainability, ecological and social awareness, like pollution. 

          I decided to collect trash, like papers, pencils, pens…etc. As Bordalo works with animals, I decided to represent in my work how trash can kill animals, by choosing a turtle. I painted a cardboard with blue/black paint to copy the color from the sea. Later on, I draw the turtle in a separate piece of paper and pasted on the cardboard. In the artwork, the sea and trash are consuming the turtles body, training to kill her. This shows how much animals suffer everyday because of contamination and humans. We are the ones that kill animals by throwing trash incorrectly or consuming plastics.

This is my work:         

          

Portfolio 1

Activity 1!

Task 1

Notes from the text:

  • The ePortfolios “are a way to generate learning as well as document learning”
  • generating learning and documenting or recording learning are important, but the process of generating learning sometimes gets overlooked.
  • they provide an opportunity and virtual space for students to critically assess their academic work,
  • make connections among different courses, assignments, and other activities, such as work experience,
  • support students’ own knowledge construction, make otherwise invisible aspects of the learning process visible, and place agency in the hands of students, which fosters learners’ motivation.
  • ePortfolios fall within a learning theory known as social constructivism,
  • students construct systems of knowledge for themselves,
  • Social constructivism also proposes that another determinant of effective learning is that it happens in a social context
  • construct our knowledge through dialogue and interactions with others.
  • reflection originates as a solo activity
  • instructor, peers, mentors, and even family members respond to and provide commentary on those reflections
  • the process of critical reflection involved in the creation of effective ePortfolios as one that makes “invisible learning” visible. By invisible learning
  • By reflecting on these invisible stages, students can learn more
  • invisible learning is learning that goes “beyond the cognitive to include the affective, the personal, and issues of identity”
  • the process of learning something doesn’t involve just the rational mind; rather, feelings, personality, and sense of self are all involved
  • student-centered activity – one in which the student is free to choose what artifacts are included
  • free to reflect on the process of their learning
  • they are more engaged and motivated to move beyond simple information acquisition to try to gain an understanding of the subject
  • ePortfolios offer this opportunity for learner control and can support or promote deep learning
  • students are able to make connections between the learning that occurs in different contexts
  • learning occurs beyond the classroom

 

Notes from the video:

 

  • Building your own website
  • How to present yourself online professionally
  • Main purpose: enhance your learning
  • In the eportfolios you can keep ehat you learned and what you are learning

Summary:  The portfolio is a way by which you can present yourself to others online in a professional and personal way. In the eportfolio you can keep information and what you are learning. Is what t generate learning as a document learning. It give students to represent what the academic work in an artistic and personal way. This method of working, motivates the students to create and interact with others, this process of learning sometimes doesn’t involve just the rational mind; rather, feelings, personality, and sense of self are all involved, so they are free to choose how to promote the learning and to reflect on the process of their learning.

Task 2

  1. What I liked most about Victoria´s  eportfolio is how she related her work to real life. In her posts, she wants to transmit to readers how she is,  what she likes and to make readers understand topics that she explains. However, maybe she could add more posts and to relate other points of view of different people and to include more images.

 

  1. Other eportfolio that I also liked is the one of Rochi Vago. What I really liked t is that she can relate and connect the topics and poems that she learned in class with things that she likes and enjoy. That’s why i consider that a good eportfolio should include personals opinions. Including more pictures and videos could be a good idea and also showing the connections throw them.

Sonnet 18 : Inversion

Our teacher told us to look up for  a poem or a song that contains inversión on it. This is Sonnet 18 by William Shakespeare.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st;
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.