The Destructors

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Summers Character Analysis

A thin, sallow boy who goes by his last name. Summers is practical and sees playing pranks as a way to have fun, so long as they can get away with it and not end up caught by the police. He is outspoken, and the other boys whose names we never learn seem to follow his example. He pragmatically withdraws his support for T.’s plan when Old Misery is on his way back, but Blackie pushes Summers and loyally stands up for T. before the other boys have time to follow Summers’s lead.

Summers Quotes in The Destructors

The The Destructors quotes below are all either spoken by Summers or refer to Summers. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Class and a Changing World Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Penguin Classics edition of The Destructors published in 1993.
Part 3 Quotes

T. stood with his back to the rubble like a boxer knocked groggy against the ropes. He had no words as his dreams shook and slid. Then Blackie acted before the gang had time to laugh, pushing Summers backward. 'I'll watch the front, T.,' he said, and cautiously he opened the shutters of the hall.

Related Characters: Blackie (speaker), Trevor, or “T.”, Summers
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

Summers, who wants the boys to flee the scene before Mr. Thomas arrives, has just undermined T. by using his full first name. T. has been a confident leader since proposing his plan, but now seems rapidly to transform back into the silent, brooding figure that the gang first met at the beginning of the summer. At this moment, Blackie takes back his position as leader by boldly, spontaneously throwing his support behind T. and physically shoving Summers. Throughout the story Blackie’s feelings towards T. have evolved from suspicion to jealousy and now, finally, to loyalty. The boy’s code of behavior views Blackie’s act of physical aggression as trumping Summers’s attempt to mock T., and so the boys fall in line and follow Blackie in his support for T.

It is worth considering what motivates Blackie’s loyalty, though. While it might be that he feels loyalty to T. after their conversation while burning Mr. Thomas’s money, it seems perhaps even more likely that Blackie has grown loyal not so much to T. as to T’s plan. Blackie, after all, now understands how the destruction of the house is a more profound form of rebellion than anything the gang has done before. And, further, Blackie recognizes that in completing the job that the gang is likely to gain respect from other gangs. Blackie’s loyalty to the plan, then, shows his loyalty to the gang and its prospects, and his belief in the meritocratic success-based world. He supports the plan because he thinks the plan will bring the gang, and him personally, success.

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Summers Character Timeline in The Destructors

The timeline below shows where the character Summers appears in The Destructors. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Class and a Changing World Theme Icon
Codes of Behavior Theme Icon
...for all of them. The boys are puzzled by this gesture and a boy named Summers suggests that Old Misery is trying to bribe them, so the boys decide to bounce... (full context)
Codes of Behavior Theme Icon
Money and the Value of Things Theme Icon
Adolescence, Age, and Rebellion Theme Icon
...could be sent to prison, but T. assures him they would not steal anything, and Summers interjects that he’s never heard of anyone going to jail for breaking things. T. also... (full context)
Part 3
Destruction and Creation Theme Icon
...and another boy are not able to come. Rain begins to fall and thunder sounds. Summers has become bored and wants to go play on the slot machines, but T. tells... (full context)
Class and a Changing World Theme Icon
Codes of Behavior Theme Icon
...that he has seen Old Misery returning early from his holiday due to the rain. Summers says they ought to run away before they get caught, and the rest of the... (full context)