Sounds of destruction in the story symbolize awareness and ability to adapt. Throughout the text, hearing and understanding the meaning of the sounds of destruction signifies a character’s ability to move forward from that destruction and to create and master the new world that will replace the old. Blackie’s claim to have heard the bombs destroy the houses that had stood in the lot before the Blitz is his way of showing that he has understood and helped create the world in which he lives (even if he couldn’t possibly remember having heard the bombs because he was just a baby). On the other hand, Mr. Thomas’s inability to correctly interpret the sounds he hears while he is locked in the lavatory – he thinks the sounds of his house being destroyed sounds like carpenter’s building something – symbolizes his inability to grapple with the world as it is, to let go of what has been lost and to build something new in its place.
Sounds of Destruction Quotes in The Destructors
After a while it seemed to him that there were sounds in the silence – they were faint and came from the direction of his house. He stood up and peered through the ventilation-hole – between the cracks in one of the shutters he saw a light, not the light of a lamp, but the wavering light that a candle might give. Then he thought he heard the sound of hammering and scraping and chipping. He thought of burglars - perhaps they had employed the boy as a scout, but why should burglars engage in what sounded more and more like a stealthy form of carpentry?
'I'm sorry,' the driver said, making heroic efforts, but when he remembered the sudden check of his lorry, the crash of bricks falling, he became convulsed again. One moment the house had stood there with such dignity between the bomb-sites like a man in a top hat, and then, bang, crash, there wasn't anything left - not anything. He said, 'I'm sorry. I can't help it. Mr. Thomas. There's nothing personal, but you got to admit it's funny.'