Theme Analysis on Greasy Lake

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Adriana Garcia January 29, 2013 ENC 1102 Analysis of the Theme in TC Boyle’s Greasy Lake The theme in T.C. Boyle’s “Greasy Lake” is demonstrated when the narrator and his friends learn a potentially deadly lesson through a series of accidents, caused as a result of their reckless pursuit to be bad. The nature of life reveals to them that striving to be bad in order to be viewed as hip or cool can often result in dark accidents, with catastrophic consequences. In the beginning of the story, three adolescent boys believe themselves to be “dangerous characters” (Boyle, 131) and that “it was good to be bad, when you cultivated decadence like a taste” (130). However, they learn painful lessons during summer vacation that…show more content…
Intervention came by way of two frat boys who happen along at the exact same moment forcing the boys into running and hiding. No real means of escape was available so they ran out of sight into the bog around the lake shore. Had he looked for the key after hitting the greasy character, instead of trying to prove his badness again, they would be long gone by now. Instead they were all stranded wading in nasty water not knowing when they would be able to escape. Being beat up, obtaining a broken tooth, almost raping a girl, wading in the muck of a polluted lake with a dead body, and having their vehicle destroyed were the consequences these young boys experienced all because they wanted to appear to be bad. At the end of the story it becomes obvious that the boys have finally learned their lesson due to these horrible consequences. This is evidenced in the refusal to party with the “stoned” (136) girls who were offering themselves willingly, had these adolescents still been seeking to be bad they would have accepted. Instead, he states that “he wanted to get out of the car and retch” (136) and go home to his parents’ house and crawl into bed. When the girls said “Hey you guys look like some really bad characters” (136)

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