"Greasy Lake" by T. Coraghessan Boyle

Topics: T. Coraghessan Boyle, Narrative, Greasy Lake & Other Stories Pages: 3 (897 words) Published: February 20, 2007
In "Greasy Lake" by T. Coraghessan Boyle, the author illustrates the journey towards adulthood for three teenage boys in a time when it was hip to be "bad." The narrator, the protagonist of the story, and his friends, Digby and Jeff, consider themselves to be "dangerous characters"(129) as they keep toothpicks in their mouths, wear torn-up leather jackets, sniff glue, and drink gin. The story begins with the "bad" boys taking out the narrator's mother's station-wagon to cruise the local strip, while eating and drinking alcohol. As the night winds down, the boys head to a disgustingly filthy place where the "bad" go to be bad called Greasy Lake. This begins a series of terrible events where the boys beat someone almost to the point of death, almost rape a girl and find a dead body. These events eventually lead the narrator to an epiphany that being bad isn't what it is cracked up to be.

"Greasy Lake" is written in first person point of view. This is important because this view point illustrates the thoughts and feelings of the main character as he moves towards adulthood and the realization that being "bad" has bad consequences. The narrator informs the readers of his own thoughts and feelings giving the reader vital insight as to his motivations and reasoning for his actions. For example, the narrator says, "I thought about him [the dead body], fog on the lake, insects chirring eerily, and felt the tug of fear, felt the darkness opening up inside me like a set of jaws."(134) This is an appropriate point of view for the story because without this knowledge the reader would miss the narrators transition and emotions that are vital for the reader to connect with the narrator. The thoughts and feelings of other characters are closed to the reader, as their actions compliment the narrator's story.

The setting of Greasy Lake plays a major role throughout the story. The chaotic imagery of the lake described by the author offers an anarchic and tense atmosphere...
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