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 ...
... middle of paper ...
... social class, era, and placement, the Wormsley Common
Gang does not seem that different from the boys on the island in
Lord of the Flies. They might have different symbolic
representations for the various common elements of their
cultures, but these elements are the same. Both stories have a
beast, a beast's lair, an honest leader, a manipulator figure, an
"underdog," and evidence of influence from the outside world.
The parallelism between these two works demonstrates the
constancy of human nature. Despite changing times, people
remain basically the same.
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies. London: Faber & Faber, 1954.
Greene, Graham. "The Destructors," Story and Structure.
Seventh Edition. Edited by Laurence Perrine, assisted by Thomas R. Arp. New York:
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988, 49-61.
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