The opening paragraph of the story showcases the focus that there is on being “bad” to the narrator and his friends. The first sentence reads “There was a time when… it was good to be bad, when you cultivated decadence like a taste.” He continues to go into detail in the first paragraph about the things the characters did that made them feel “bad,” such as drinking alcohol and sniffing glue. It is clear that Boyle intended the idea of what it means to be “bad” as the central theme because of the fact that he began the opening paragraph with the fact that the characters thought they were “bad.” At the end of this paragraph, the narrator says “At night, we went up to Greasy Lake.” This insinuates that going to Greasy Lake was a “bad” thing to do because it followed all of the other “bad” things the characters did, and since the title is called “Greasy Lake” and the setting takes place at the lake, it must have meant to have been the main theme of the story.
In addition to the exposition of Greasy Lake, the beginning events of the story show the main character and his friends already struggling with the idea of being “bad.” When they fight the boy in the car, the narrator says “I went for the tire iron I kept under the driver’s seat. I kept it there because bad characters always keep tir...
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...xperience at the lake.
Throughout this story, the main characters encountered experiences challenging what decisions they were going to make. Their choices in the beginning are vastly different from those at the end. The plot of Greasy Lake is centered around this change in mindset and the choices the characters made, making it clear that the message was centered around this coming of age experience that they had. The message of Greasy Lake is focused on the change in character of the three boys, when they realized what keeping up their “bad” behavior can cause. It shows the reader one experience that changed teenagers into adults, which many other people experience as well. Everyone has been to Greasy Lake at some point in their lives, where they question who they are and become more mature, and this story exemplifies that journey through its main characters.
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