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Ficton Essay Compare and Contrast - the Destructors and the Lottery

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Fiction Essay

ENGL 102: Literature and Composition

Fall B 2018


Fiction Essay Thesis and Outline

“The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson and “The Destructors” by Graham Greene both show the dark side of human nature. “The Lottery” looks at it from a cultural standpoint while “The Destructors” focuses on the development of characters.

I. “The Lottery” and “The Destructors” focus on human cruelty towards others.

A. Both stories involve meaningless crimes.

B. Both stories depict the dark side of human nature.

II. “The Destructors” looks at character development.

A. The theme of leadership is consistently revisited in the story.

B. The characters of Blackie and Trevor are the focus.

III. “The Lottery” looks at culture as a cause of the human cruelty.

A. Culture and traditions are explained.

B. Death is the prize for the winner.

“The Lottery” and “The Destructors” have many things in common while still presenting them in different ways. “The Destructors,” which is written by Graham Greene, is a story that shows the effects of war and boyhood mischievousness and the needless destruction of another person’s property. “The Lottery” written by Shirley Jackson starts out with what seems like a joyful event, but ends in needless human cruelty towards one person in the community. These authors are very talented in finding different ways of building the story, and keeping our attention, all the while not revealing the surprise twists that make the stories so great. They are able to show us how the situation that the characters live in shape their lives and lead them down the wrong path in life.

In “The Destructors,” we see those meaningless crimes orchestrated by the leadership of Trevor and Blackie. The story takes place in post-war England and looks at the shift and development of Trevor, or “T” as he is called in the story. We see the former leader, Blackie, fall from power but he still wants to remain as part of the gang. Even though he is no longer considered the leader, he still wants to be part of the big picture. He was willing to let go of his pride and ego in order to be connected to the infamous gang. In “The Destructors” each character’s background and personality is built up. The theme of leadership is brought up several times and we see it shift from the senior member of the gang, Blackie, to the newest and quietest member of the gang, Trevor. The fact that Trevor is the quiet type leads to a surprise twist in the plot. The way the author describes Trevor at first, and by simply looking at Trevor’s basic personality characteristics and age, one would not expect that he is capable of devising a plot to destroy Old Misery’s home. Old Misery is the name given to Mr. Thomas who is the innocent the victim this story. The author takes his time evolving the character so the reader can see Trevor’s true colors. The story unfolds depicting how Trevor becomes obsessed with destroying something of someone else. We see how important it is for both these characters to belong to a cause whether it’s good or bad, it is important to them. The reason for this is assumed because of the post-war environment and Trevor’s parents fall from grace.



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