Greasy Lake

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Adolescence is the most influenced period in one’s life, not only because it is the transitional phase to adulthood but the personality and character is also forged at this specific time. ”Greasy Lake” by T. Coraghessan Boyle, is a short story about three teenagers who portrays themselves as “dangerous Characters”, as the story unfolds they realize more and more that this behavior is simply not for them. The story suggests that people are capable of anything when they find themselves operating outside of social constraints. The author effectively uses setting, and contrast between the main characters before and after the incident to convey the theme.

Firstly, setting is the key element of this story, for the reason that, it makes the reader able to understand beyond what is merely told by the author. Greasy lake which is the main location of the short story is described as isolated “Through the center of town, up the strip, past the housing development (129)”, a dark locality “trees crowding the asphalt in black unbroken walls (129)” and in constant decadence “it was fetid and murky, the mud banks glittering with broken glass […] (129)”. Consequently, all these elements put together allows them to act without any limit to their actions because of the inexistence of a figure of authority, the darkness which surround them does not exposed their shocking behavior along with the fact that the lake which was “so stripped of vegetation it looked as if the air force had strafed it (129).” was attended by genuinely bad characters such as drug dealers. (Social setting)

In conclusion, although they had this particular behavior to resemble their fellows, which led them to take action without any control of themselves, they finally learned their lesson of life.

Work cited

Boyle, T. Coragnessan. “Greasy Lake.” An introduction to fiction. Ed. X.J. Kennedy, and Danna Gioia. 8th Ed. N.Y.: Longman,
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