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The Destructors and the Rocking Horse Winner

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Compare and Contrast Essay
Liberty University

Character/Plot/Structure Outline

I. Introduction to the Conflict/Plot/Structure II. Destructors

a. Conflict of Trever vs himself b. How did the conflict unfold and the characters affected. c. How are the conflicts concluded? d. The effects of the reader

III. The Rocking-Horse Winner

e. Conflict of Paul vs his mother f. How did the conflict unfold and the characters affected. g. How are the conflicts resolved? Does the protagonist succeed in achieving their goals? h. The effects of the reader

IV. Conclusion

The conflict of The Destructors by Graham Greene and that of The Rocking-Horse Winner had some similarities and differences in regards to the conflict, plot, and structure. Both display a very invigorating tale and a mystery regarding the conclusion of each story. These shorts stories were both about children who did not have an understanding and were naïve to the ways of the world. Each displayed a very disturbing outcome and some more than others. The conflict lead to a surprising turn of events displayed itself as the stories were depicted.
The Destructors by Graham title clearly described and assisted the reader in the series of events to come. One is lead to assume that in some way or form destruction will take place. The conflict that leads to the destruction is the internal turmoil going on with (T) Trevor. He was upset about his family’s current living situation. The narrator makes statements such as “The fact that his father, a former architect and present clerk, had “come down in the world” and that his mother considered herself better than the neighbors Greene (1954). This statement means at one time things were very different for him and his family and that it wasn’t until the War that things changed dramatically. The story depicts this vivid picture of the damage left behind after the war. “A smaller boom and some incendiaries had fallen beyond, so that the house stuck up like a jagged tooth and carried on the further wall relics of its neighbor, a dad, the remains of a fireplace Greene (1954).” As a result the war left many houses to their bare bones and some hardly standing. But through all of this there was one house that was left untouched by the raining bombs; this house was old Misery’s.
The conflict unfolds as Trevor conveniences the gang to destroy Old misery’s house while he is a way out of town. He organizes the gang in an orderly fashion as the demolition takes place. The Wormsley Common Gang became a well oil machine under the operation of Trevor. The change in conflict takes place as the gang receives word that Old Misery is on his way back home prematurely. Trevor states 'He told me ...' He protested with the fury of the child he had never been, 'It isn't fair.' Greene (1954) His sudden outburst causes him to loose leadership of the gang. Blacke resumes ownership of the gang and helps Trevor carry out the rest of his plan.
These series of events are concluded by taking everything old misery had and destroying it. A key incident in the story was the burning of Old misery’s money when asked were they going to steal it by Blacke. Trevor states “We aren't thieves,' T. said. 'Nobody's going to steal anything from this house.” Green (1954) the fact that they can destroy property but not steal is puzzling. Trevor even mentions “All this hate and love,” he said, “its soft, its hooey. There's only things, Blackie…” Green (1954) it leaves the reader wonders the meaning behind such a statement. Trevor wanted Old misery to suffer the same fate as him and his family. Makes you wonder how his heart could have harden at such a young age.
The Destructors resulted in an older man losing everything he had. Granted that he can always build another home, but he was already up in age and Trevor had destroyed his life savings. The fact that T and his accomplish burned the money rather than stealing it makes a very bold and accurate statement as to what T wanted old misery to feel. Trevor’s statement, “I’d like to see Old Misery’s face when we are through” (Green 1954). It’s hard to think as though Trevor didn’t have hate for Old Misery. It is interesting that the children called Mr. Thomas Old Misery, when it fact seems as though Trevor was the one who was miserable.
In the Rocking Horse-Winner the main conflict unfolds as Paul does not feel that his mother loves him. His mother’s heart is hard and cold displays and all Paul wanted were for his mother to love him and be happy. Paul’s mother states that they are poor “It’s because your father had no luck” Lawrence (1926). This statement reflects that they need to have luck in order to have money. Due to this need there is a constant whisper in the house “There must be more money” Lawrence (1926). Paul and his siblings experience this first hand as they constantly hear the whispers coming from the house.
This conflict in the Rocking-Horse Winner was different from that of the destructors. Paul was young boy who was attempting to alleviate the issues taking place in his house. The overwhelming want for Paul to be lucky and also win his mother’s love took a center part in the story. Paul receives a rocking horse for Christmas for which he obtains supernatural powers to predict the outcome of the horse races. Paul then takes his new found luck and bets 5 shillings that had been given to him by his Uncle Oscar. From that point on Paul partners with Gardener (Bassett) and his Uncle Oscar and predicts the outcome of the horse races. All partners involved seemed to have benefited from Paul’s new found sense.
Unlike the Destructors the conflict was not resolved. In the Rocking Horse Winner Paul attempts to resolve these issues. Paul takes his winnings and secretly gives them to his mother. The thought that having luck and providing more money didn’t make his mother happy nor did it halt the house whisperings. Unfortunately, due to his mother greed the whispering gets worse and is now more profound... As a result Paul attempts to predict another race and rides all night until he dies of a seizure. The protagonist (Paul) succumbs to the needs of the antagonist his (Mother).
Paul has my deepest sympathy as I cannot fault a child for loving his mother and attempting to make her happy. The Rocking Horse Winner actually resulted in a death of a young boy as he attempted to give his mother what he thought would repair any issues. Paul’s closing statement “Malbar! Malabar! Did I say Malabar, mother?” displayed that he was willing to do whatever it took. This was not good enough and her greedy ways lead her son to his death.
These stories together depict the story of material possessions and that these alone can have an enormous impact on our friends, family and society as a whole. Both of the short stories experiences very bad endings as a result of greed or envy. It is horrible to think that one would destroy ones person possessions out of jealousy and that a young boy has to die as a result of trying to gain his mother’s approval and to make her happy.

References
Gramham, G (1954). The Destructors. Retrieved from http://media.pearsoncmg.com/pcp/pcp_97542_lit_lu/ebook/media/greene_destructors.swf Lawrence D.H. (1928). The Rocking Horse-Winner.

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