Analysis Of ' Greasy Lake ' Essay

Analysis Of ' Greasy Lake ' Essay

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T. Coraghessan Boyle published “Greasy Lake.” in 1985 along with several other short stories. T.C. Boyle writes about a group of young teenage boys who are trying to see what kind of trouble they can find on a cool summer night. Little did these young rapscallions know trouble would find them sooner than expected. By analyzing the language and tone of “Greasy Lake” we not only create an image of this eerie lake, but a better understanding of the authors’ attitude towards the story.
The narrator writes from a participant-limited point of view allowing him to have a certain writing style to make the tone of the story more believable. A carefree and reckless attitude can be described as the tone and it is apparent in certain terms that are repeated. Terms such as, “Motherfucker” and when he says “we were bad” referring to himself and his friends allows the reader to imagine times when they too may have used diction similar to these young teens (T. Coraghessan Boyle, 168). Although the protagonist thinks that his group is bad, as the story progresses you can not help but notice the dramatic irony involved with the idea. There are a few instances but the one that stands out the most is when he starts to inner monologue in mid-brawl with the “very bad [greasy] character” and he goes for his tire iron explaining that bad characters are always ready with a tire iron for occasion such as this. He then says, “Never mind that I [haven’t] been involved in a fight since sixth grade” that raises a few alarms (170). If you are someone that is bad you figure between the time you were six and 19 you would have been involved in more than one altercation. If we look at the antagonist, who is by definition a bad man, we see that he just gets out of...


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...p like Al, Al symbolizes what could have actually happened to his group of friends if they chose to be bad characters. We see by now that the tone of the story has changed from these kids being carefree and reckless to uncertainty about what the future holds. The change in tone can be seen towards the end with the situational irony of the two drug altered women approaching the teens in the final paragraphs. "You guys look like some pretty bad characters" (174). As one woman offers the boys drugs, the narrator can’t help but feeling like he "was going to cry" (Werlock, 174). It is important to take note of this because from the beginning you would have guessed that the boys would have hopped on the option of drugs and women, but instead they just say, “No, thanks, some other time”(174). This important situation acts as a last test to see how bad these boys really are.

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