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“The Destructors” by Graham Greene Essay

Graham Greene the author of “The Destructors” and Richard Connell the author of “The Most Dangerous Game” both used a similar mood in their stories. Connell placed his story on an island in the Caribbean that was dark and scary, it had a reputation of death and separation. Greene placed his characters in a post war zone in London where there seemed to be little hope of life. Greene’s setting was urban with many young English boys as his main characters; Connell contrasted that with a sole island with only two main inhabitants and a pack of dogs. Both authors wrote stories that have very troubled characters. The characters also reflect a dark mood to go along with the setting. The Credibility was reasonable for both stories and I believed both stories could happen. Rainsford and “T” were good characters and the setting a great deal influenced them both.

I related more to the atmosphere of “The most Dangerous Game” but did not have any problem picturing either one while reading the stories. “The Destructors” took place in London post world war II 1939-1945 on Bank Holiday, which is a 3-day weekend that takes place in Britain a few times a year. “The Most Dangerous Game” took place on a remote tropical island in the Caribbean and was sometime after the First World War. The first similarity between the two stories is the dark mood that both setting portray, nighttime on an island in the middle of the ocean and post war stricken London. Another similarity is how both setting portray a holiday or vacation idea. The Setting of “The Most Dangerous Game” is exactly the kind of setting you would need to pull of the kind of “game” secluded from the day to day bother of other people who might be passing by, no law enforcement to bother you with the accusation of murder. “The Destructors” setting is a little harder to believe that this could happen and that a group of kids could pull it off. I have done a lot of demolition and I know how hard it is and how long it can take.

Rainsford was a great hunter even before he got marooned on this island but I’m sure the fact that he was now the prey raised his level of survival necessity. If he was on the island and he needed to rebuild a boat to escape he might not have faired as well but that is only conjecture. With “T” his character is total based on the setting of the story. If you change the setting you will change “T” and his whole objective and attitude. The atmosphere or the pervading tone or mood of a place, situation in “The Destructors” was depressing and dark. I envision rubble and burnt remains of buildings all around with only a few homes left standing in the area. On the Island I see a wonderful tropical paradise that is very inviting although dark and lonely when Rainsford falls from the boat and a wonderful place to visit with lush forest and flowers with sandy beaches. This to me the biggest difference between the two stories, one is set in the busy city while the other is secluded.

One symbol I see in “The Most Dangerous Game” is the Island being an image of being alone and needing to survive on your own, one man and his fight against one man. In “The Destructors” I felt like the symbol was the Wormsley Common Gang against the world or at least against Old Misery. This was a symbol of mans need to sometimes break the rules just because we can get away with it. Greene and Connell both used a similar mood in their stories. Connell placed his story on an island in the Caribbean that was dark and scary, it had a reputation of death and separation. Greene placed his characters in a post WWII zone in London where much hope for the future was lost. The setting for “The Destructors” was urban with many young English boys as his main characters; “The Most Dangerous Game” contrasted that with a lonely island with only two main inhabitants and a pack of dogs.

References:

Connell, R. (1924). The most dangerous game.
Greene, G. (1954). The destructors.


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