Greasy Lake

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Austin Jones
Mr. Swanson
English 1020
25 February 2013
The Demonstration of Ignorance and Impulsivity of Youth
In “Greasy Lake” by T. Coraghessan Boyle
My parents would always ask me when I was younger, if I would jump off a bridge if so and so told me to do it? I would always respond no and they would say then why did you (insert stupid childish behavior)? I know now it is because by nature as we grow up we act on impulse and we don’t often think through the consequences. T. Coraghessan Boyle's "Greasy Lake" demonstrates the ignorance and impulsivity of youth as they transition to adulthood. The first sentence of the story says almost everything about the characters. “There was a time when courtesy and winning ways went out of style, when it was good to be bad, when you cultivated decadence like a taste” (Boyle 141) In other words these young boys were living in a time of their lives where there were no rules, they drank, they smoked, they did cocaine. They, in their mind, were invincible and this rush carried them straight into trouble that changed their lives. We see this throughout the story as the author first boasts of how “bad” he and his friends are, next when they try and rape the girl in the parking lot, and finally how the main character thinks about the consequences of his actions after he commits them. There are many examples in this story, the majority being in the beginning, that demonstrate the three boy’s self-perception of being “bad”. When you live a lifestyle that encourages large amounts of alcohol consumption, pot smoking, experimenting with other drugs, and using women, you tend to create an aura around yourself that makes you feel invincible. Most teens feel this to an extent but when mixed with these other activities you usually have a different view on life. Boyle mentions that Digby had just finished a course in Kung-Fu which demonstrates a desire to fight but being the ignorant 19 year old he is he failed to understand...
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