Dick Prosser Essay, Research Paper
In The Destructors the Wormsley Common Gang lashes out in a terrible manner. The gang starts off as a few young boys looking for ways to occupy themselves. At first the activities that they part in are illegal, but not hateful or mean spirited. The boys would do meaningless things like steal bus rides and calculate who stole the most at the end of the day. When T. comes into the picture things start to change. T. takes control of the gang from Blackie. The gang members follow and listen to T. and accept him as leader. Once T. is in control the plans for daily activities become quite serious. The plan T. comes up with is to destroy Old Misery’s house. The boys collect tools for their job and the first night Old Misery is away; the destruction begins. Methodically, the house is ripped apart bathtubs and sinks are smashed, wires a torn from the walls, all the glass and china is busted, and the only things untouched are the outer walls. ” Blackie realized these were no longer the happy careless days under his leadership.” (Greene 54)
Finally the house is nearly destroyed inside. The word of Old Misery’s return spreads quickly and the boys end up trapping the man in his own outhouse. The gang finishes their work inside the house, tie a rope around the supports of the hose, tie the other end to a car, and then they take off. In the morning when the car leaves Old Misery receives the pleasure of watching his house fall to the ground.
In The Child by Tiger Dick Prosser is an older black gentleman. Dick is an ex-soldier and now lives with the Shepperton family. Dick is a very intelligent person, ” He cooked, tended furnace, and he even drove.” ( Wolfe 25) Dick is an excellent marksman
and can box too. Dick knows all about football and always helps the kids around him, giving them pointers on the game. Mr. Shepperton said once, ” Dick is the smartest black man he had ever met.” (Wolfe 27) Dick lives in the Shepperton’s basement, he enjoyed sitting and reading his bible often. Mr. Prosser often recites Biblical phrases in an emotional pattern and was always very gentle. One day Dick gets into an accident with Lon Everett. Lon was drunk and proceeded to punch Dick in the face a couple of times. This is the first sign of aggression from Dick. “Suddenly the whites of his eyes went blood red and his lips bared back to show his teeth.” (Wolfe 27) Once while the kids were wandering in the basement they see a rifle sitting by Dick’s Bible. Dick startles the boys and once again Dick’s eyes seem to house something horrible. Later that same night the entire town is awoke to news of a crazy man shooting people in black town. Dick had gone to Pansy Harris’ place; he liked Pansy and was drinking heavily. When Pansy’s husband came home all hell broke loose. Dick shoots the husband, grabs Pansy, locks the door, and waits inside. Once the police arrive Dick ends up killing them both. Dick goes off the deep end and commences running down the street killing people indiscriminately. Finally Dick is mobbed and shot over 200 times.
The Wormsley Common Gang and Dick Prosser have a few things in common. The gang is set in Britain shortly after WWII. Destruction surrounds them and reminds them everyday that they aren’t safe at all. The destruction they create mirrors and is a direct result of what surrounds them. The society around them is falling apart or so it
seems to the gang. Dick Prosser is set in the U.S. in the 1930’s. He is black and of course that lead to a lot of his problems especially in the 1930’s. He lived in a basement and was only respected by a few people. Society for Dick is almost non existent. So, after years of being mistreated, Dick finally snaps. Dick crosses the line just as the Wormsley Common Gang does. Dick kills people and the gang destroys an old man’s house. Dick is killed for his crimes and displayed for everyone to see. The Wormsley Common Gang must live on with the memory of what they did to this old helpless man who couldn’t defend himself.
The gang being from a poor lower class is generally good kids, until they all get together. War, poverty, and rejection of society influences the boys. For instance, when the boys found Old Misery’s money and burned it instead of keeping it. This was played off as if the kids had some kind of honor for not being thieves. It just shows how hell bent on destroying things these kids are.
Dick Procure was also from a poor lower class i.e. Blacks. The actions of those around him and a good bit of alcohol influenced Dick more. Dick also killed out of anger and drunken retardation. Both Dick and the gang were feeling betrayed by society and lashed out in horrible ways.
That just goes to show how people react when they’ve been pushed to far.