Nature has a powerful way of portraying good vs. bad, which parallels to the same concept intertwined with human nature. In the story “Greasy Lake” by T. Coraghessan Boyle, the author portrays this through the use of a lake by demonstrating its significance and relationship to the characters. At one time, the Greasy Lake was something of beauty and cleanliness, but then came to be the exact opposite. Through his writing, Boyle demonstrates how the setting can be a direct reflection of the characters and the experiences they encounter.
The discovery of the biker’s body is the turning point in not only the story, but also in the narrator’s life. In a short time, he has been beaten, has knocked out someone with a tire iron, almost raped a woman, found a dead body, and watched his mother’s Bel Air station wagon be destroyed. Which was all done for the rush of excitement. While hiding in the water that was previously seen as a tarn of doom, with all the nights occurrences spinning in his head, he has an epiphany. Standing there he realizes what becomes of “tough-guys” and discovers that he has found his salvation within his true self. Accordingly, as the narrator emerges from Greasy Lake, he is a new person with a newly discovered perspective. As the sun is rising and the songs of birds replace the sounds of crickets, he leaves the pool of once dismal waters (Boyle 118). This signals his rebirth and his baptism as a reformed adolescent.
Both passages contain information of the swamp but each conveys a different tone with the use of its descriptive words and imagery. Boyle leans towards using words that create a sense of disgust in the reader, which simultaneously reveals his own opinion. Meanwhile the first passage from the Encyclopedia Britannica focuses on the use of descriptive words with neutral connotations in order to inform the reader of the swamp and allow him/her to view it as it truly
Greasy Lake is the story of three friends who are bad characters. Until they run into a situation where they question, just how bad they are. Just because they act badly and look bad does not mean they are. They are teenagers in a period, “when courtesy and winning ways [are] out of style when it [is] good to be bad, when they [cultivate] decadence like a taste.” (112) They look bad, wearing torn-up leather jackets, slouching around with toothpicks in their mouths and wearing their shades morning, noon and night. They have the attitude, they drive their parents cars fast, and burn rubber as the pull out of the driveway. They have the bad habits. They drink “gin and grape juice, Tango, Thunderbird, and Bali Hai,
“Greasy Lake is a short story written by T.C Boyle. The short story mostly focuses on three nineteen-year-old boys. The three of the boys went one night on a summer vacation in an area close to a shiny and muddy lake. The teenagers were looking for trouble on a summer evening and end of finding it. In the story at the author tells the reader, that it was a time when it was "good to be bad." But the story shows that the three boys are truly lost. The story shows the reader the changing of time in culture that these teenagers want to be a part of. Even though, they lack to leave the comforts of their upper middle class lifestyle.
The characters in “Greasy Lake” can be viewed in different lights. The narrator and his two friends, Digby and Jeff, are three mean boys whose lives seem to be centered around getting drunk and high from dusk until dawn. The narrator praises Digby and Jeff for their slick and dangerous lifestyles. Their skills consist of dancing, drinking, and “rolling a joint as compact as a Tootsie Roll Pop stick” (65) while on a bumpy drive. These characters scream trouble. They seem like harmless teenagers out to have a good time but it can be interpreted that these characters will attract mischief. After a night of bar-hopping, dancing, eating, drinking, and smoking, they decide to continue the party with a bottle of gin on the shores of broken glass and charred wood. These characters can be interpreted as young, naive, wild, reckless fools. The decisions these kids have been making the entire night have not been good ones. They have driven to bar after bar, consuming drink after drink. Obviously, their decision making is impaired. The reader should realize that the road the boys are travelling on is one that leads to a bad place. It is a place that has everything to do with Greasy Lake. It’s a place where dangerous things happen. The allegorical element that is found in the boys is
Imagery, detail, and symbolism play a crucial role in this work. Imagery has the function of painting a picture of the situation in the reader’s mind so that he or she is able to develop a version of the story individually. It makes the reading a more personalized experience that helps the reader to understand what’s going on. When O’Brien was just about to escape to Canada to avoid being drafted, he described the scene that was presented in front of him. “The shoreline was dense with brush and timber. I could see tiny red berries on the bushes.” In this quote, the reader can visualize the setting of the lake where he has to make his life-changing decision. It appeals to the visual sense by describing the shoreline and even the sense of
Thus the narrator of the story, as an older and more mature man, tells the story as an introspective look back at his misadventures. The protagonist begins to gain some insight into his possible future while in the “primordial ooze” (Boyle, 119) of Greasy lake .After finding the floating body and dealing with the destruction of his mothers battered station wagon he is mre reflective of the situation he is in. The narrator, looking back at
The characteristic of slow work repeats in the two types of stories told by Fr. Boyle. The one that grabs the readers’ attention more describes the lives of people in detail and with resolution. Whether the youth he met ends up going to a jail or finds a job and a home in Homeboy Industries, we know to an extent what their stories are. We can understand and imagine the lives of the youth from childhood, the problems they faced, the way they went about handling them, and what Fr. Boyle thought and did during those times. The other type consists of brief mentions of the people Fr. Boyle ran into. He can only tell us what happened and what he hoped at the time, but we are left without fuller stories of the people. These unsatisfying accounts, however, are proof of the author’s intention for writing this book. We are not supposed to read about the lives and, really, the challenging situations of the youth and attempt to find solutions. Especially as a stereotypical student studying at Georgetown University, I tend to think I need to fix the problem and make the world a better place. But the purpose of the book is really to teach me to have compassion. So, the readers can notice from the two types of stories Fr. Boyle
The stories “A&P” and “Greasy Lake” are similer to each other due to the fact that they both are about a young man still trying to figure out what they plan to do with there life, they both feel that rebellion is cool, and they both learn a lesson threw there rebellious acts. Both charactors are the age of nineteen. This is a time of life when you start to experience some new freedoms. Most of your friends own and can drive cars so you are no longer bound by your parents and the bus to get you to points a and b, You can buy cigarrets, see a R rated movie in theaters. This is also a coming of age time when you are pressure to find out what you plan to do the rest of your life. Other adults start to look at you as your equill instead of
In his short story “Greasy Lake,” the lake with the community teenagers create a stereotypical scene of current youth pop culture. Many youth who read this story can find the ironic references and similarities with their lifestyle in today’s world. T. Coraghessan Boyle uses the setting of the story to expose a world lacking self-discipline and showing immorality amongst a community youth, which can sometimes be rather common today. This also aids in creating an atmosphere that surrounds suspense and impaired judgement to better develop the characters of the story. Boyle is able to achieve this by creating a setting with the story of the Greasy Lake and describing the Lake as both a setting and main character.
“They plodded along slowly, dumbly, leaning forward against the heat, unthinking, all blood and bone, simple grunts, soldiering with their legs, toiling up the hills and down into the paddies and across the rivers and up again and down, just humping, one step and then the next and then another” (86).
Paragraph II: In the first section (paragraph one) Paul Bogard talks about the darkness he once knew on a Minnesota lake as a child. The dominant rhetorical device used by Bogard in this section is an appeal to the reader’s emotions. The language that Bogard uses such as “smoky trails”, “sugary
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
The narrator gets into a fight with a “bad greasy character” after disturbing him and his girlfriend. “The first lusty Rockette kick of his steel-toed boot caught me under the chin…” Later the narrator and his friends try to rape the girlfriend. “We were on her like Bergman’s deranged brothers- see no evil, hear none, speak none-panting, wheezing, tearing at her clothes, grabbing for flesh. The events that take place at Greasy Lake intensifies the theme of “bad” as the reader finds out that being bad is no longer looking cool and defending oneself, a courageous and dignified attribute. Now “bad” is preying on girls. Boyle uses the setting to show two of the three aspects of the theme so far. First he plays around with “bad” and makes it look cool. “There was a time when chivalry and winning ways went out of style, when it was good to be bad..” Then Boyle uses the events that happen at the setting to suggest that being “bad” can get out of