A Necessary Reality Check : ' Greasy Lake '

Decent Essays

Brittney Hester
M Hardy
English 1020
29 September 2015
A Necessary Reality Check
It is very common for teenagers to go through many phases before blossoming into adulthood. During these phases they rebel, and get experimental with drugs, alcohol, sexuality and become involved in other various activities. As a result, as teenagers age they gain insight and use these experiences to further navigate through life. They could learn from their mistakes or continue down a path of self-destruction. In the short story “Greasy Lake,” T.C. Boyle writes about a group of male teenagers who go through a common adolescent phase. Toward the end of the story, the protagonist makes a decision about what direction he wants to take his life. At first the narrator wanted to achieve the life of a “bad boy” but gets an epiphany while pursing this persona and ultimately realizes that he just wants to be a regular nineteen year old.
Throughout the story the protagonist and his friends try to embody what typical “bad boys” do. The story opens with the narrator talking about his past of being as a “bad boy”, when he says “We were all dangerous characters then. We wore torn-up leather jackets, slouched around with toothpicks in our mouths, sniffed glue and ether and what somebody claimed was cocaine.”(168) Still pursing his rebellious image, the narrator talks about his wild nights at Greasy Lake. A lake that used to have clear waters but was now a murky and dirty body of water filled with beer cans

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