Compare a&P and Greasy Lake Essay examples

1120 Words Dec 14th, 2006 5 Pages
John Updike's "A & P" and T. Coraghessan Boyle's "Greasy Lake" have many similarities as well as differences as coming-of-age stories. "A & P" is about a nineteen-year-old boy working at a grocery shop who stands up against the manager trying to defend and impress the girls he is attracted to who are not "decently dressed" (Updike 18). "Greasy Lake" is a story of several nineteen years old youths who play a prank on a bad character and experience what real bad characters can do.

Fortunately, Sammy and the narrator realize their deficiency – infantility – after their conflict with other people just like the ancient Greek proverb says, "Through suffering comes wisdom" (qtd. in Vannatta 1637). In Sammy's case, "enraged that Lengel has
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6). Furthermore, Sammy's immaturity is represented by his colloquial language – "brashness of his colloquialism" (Greiner 398). For instance, the name, "Queenie" (Updike 17), for the girl Sammy likes, is given from her noble, distinctive movement: "She [Queenie] just walked straight on slowly . . . She came down a little hard on her heels, as if she didn't walk in her bare feet that much, putting down her heels . . . as if she was testing the floor with every step . . ." (Updike 16). Similarly, Boyle also developed the characteristics of the protagonist, the narrator, through the protagonist's observations. When the three boys get into fight with the "bad greasy character" (Boyle 146), Bobby, Digby foolishly believes that he can beat Bobby with his kung-fu moves which he learned in martial arts courses. However, the sad part is that "he [Bobby]…laid Digby out with a single whistling roundhouse blow" (Boyle 146).
Although both stories are told in first person, unlike the single point of view in "A & P", Boyle, in "Greasy Lake", uses "dual point of view – an older, mature narrator looking back at his foolish younger self . . ." (Vannatta 1637). As a result, there are many contrasts between the protagonist's childish image and the mature self. In Greasy, the editor gives an example:

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