Greasy Lake Analysis

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Greasy Lake and Setting Oftentimes, the setting is a particularly crucial part of a story. It could be symbolic for an idea, or it could contribute to the change of a characters personality. Furthermore, setting does not only refer to the location or time period of the story; it could also pertain to “climate and even the social, psychological, or spiritual state of the participants” (Literature, Glossary of Literary Terms, G26). The significance of setting is especially prevalent in the short story, Greasy Lake, by T.C. Boyle. Regarding the setting, though the time period is never outright mentioned it can be inferred form references used by the narrator that it is around the 1960’s when the story takes place, but this is is not the sole …show more content…
Once they are separated, the reader only knows the narrators individual trauma that causes him to reform. The narrator decides to try and swim across Greasy Lake to escape, but he is met by something other than the putrid water of the lake, “… I understood what it was that bobbed there so inadmissibly in the dark… (I was nineteen, a mere child, an infant, and here in the space of five minutes I’d struck down one greasy character and blundered into the waterlogged carcass of a second)” (Boyle 124). It is after this encounter that the narrators perspective changes, “The owner of the chopper, no doubt, a bad older character come to this. Shot during a murky drug deal, drowned while drunkly frolicking in the lake” (Boyle 126), he no longer sees being “bad” as something admirable. If it at this point that he has grown substantially as a person. This can also bee seen when he describes what nature is for the second time, “When the easter half of the sky went from black to cobalt and the trees began to separate themselves from the shadows,… Everything was still. This was nature” (Boyle 126). Nature was no longer a buzzed and drugged up time with rock music blaring in the background, but an appreciation of stillness and actual …show more content…
They were the type of girls they would have associated with the day before but not anymore. When the girl who approaches them is described it is not in a positive light: “… we could see there was something wrong with her: she was stoned or drunk, lurching now and waving her arms for balance” (Boyle 126), “She smiled her lips cracked and dry… Her pupils were pinpoints, her eyes glass” (Boyle 127), “… reaching out a slim veiny arm to brace herself against the car” (Boyle 127). From the way the narrator describes the woman talking to him, it is apparent that he is no longer interested in partying and being rebellious, none of them are. They do not want to be “bad” nor do they take pride in being “bad”, “‘Hey, you guys look like some pretty bad characters - been fightin’, huh?’ We shared straight ahead, rigid as catatonics” (Boyle 127), instead of feeling flattered as they would have in the beginning they are not fazed, they now know what it means to be “bad” and they regret their actions. The narrator even feels remorse for the two girls that want to party with them at the end. He knows what could happen to them if they continue on that path; they could end up like there friend, Al, who is currently floating in Greasy Lake, “I just looked at her. I thought I was going to cry.” If not for the body that the narrator discovered, he would have continued down the same path and would

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