Thomas John Boyle’s short story “Greasy Lake” is about a troubled, rebellious, out of control teen that learns that being “bad” is not at all what it cuts out to be. Through the gloomy narrative the protagonist goes from having a pleasurable worry free time into a horrific night that will be forever haunting to him and his juvenile friends Digby and Jeff. In this complicated story these “bad” characters nearly took a man’s life away, all from an easy joke they thought they were performing on their pal Tony Lovett. Little did they know this prank they were playing on Tony Lovett was inaccurate; reality set in and they established they were performing a prank on another “bad” character that banged these immature kids up. The most important theme to this story is living worry free, dangerous, and carelessly will escort an individual to a life they do not want, or willing to live. This paper will elucidate how epiphany, dynamic character and foreshadowing ties into the theme of the story.
An epiphany is when a character changes his way of living, thinking, or doing, because of some type of dramatic happening. Epiphanies tend to be very philosophical and observant, that is why some type of incident can alter a characters psyche in order for them to change their character to make them reflect, think, and change their usually unconstructive way of living. In the story the protagonist states his title of being a “bad” character; he reiterates this announcement throughout the short story. Eventually the protagonist draws closer to the fact of him being a very soft, marshmallow type of character. When the character notices the dead body next to him in the pool of water, he completely bugs out, and makes earsplitting ruckus. Then he states “Then I thought about the dead man. He was probably the only person on the planet worse off than I was. I thought about him, fog on the lake, insects chirring eerily, and...