Greasy Lake: Outline: Rites Of Passage To Adulthood

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Outline
THESIS: When one thinks of coming of age, there is a mixed feeling- attaining adulthood and leaving childhood. The quest to do this either by conforming to the norms or becoming the tainted one depends on the choices one makes. Rites of passage to adulthood holds a strong stance when it comes to transitioning from a child to an adult; while some cultures have a major celebration for these, others simply do not, yet some others believe this can be achieved by rebelliousness, even if it is for a short time.
I. Coming of age is something teenagers desire.
A. Transitioning to adulthood is viewed differently based on belief and culture
B. Rites of passage to adulthood may come with a price, especially for those that associate it with rebelliousness.
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There are responsibilities and there are consequences of actions just as in the short story analyzed in this essay. Greasy Lake, a short story written by T. Coraghessan Boyle illustrates the state of being good and then becoming bad. The story depicts the decisions of average teenagers abandoning their morals to explore the unclean way of life. This story portrays the life of three nineteen-year-old teenagers and their quest at becoming immoral and corrupt characters. The story sets in the late 1960 or early 1970, during a summer night in a middle class American neighborhood. When one thinks of coming of age, there is a mixed feeling, attaining adulthood and leaving childhood. The quest to do this either by conforming to the norms or becoming the tainted one depends on the choices one makes. Rites of passage to adulthood holds a strong stance when it comes to transitioning from a child to an adult; while some cultures have a major celebration for these, others simply do not, yet some others believe this is achieved by rebelliousness, even if it is for a short …show more content…
Boyle uses the emphasis on filth, dirt, slime and mud in the story to illustrate the desires of the teenagers coming from a clean state to a dirty one, the change resulting from the incident at the lake on that particular night and the resulting effect. As the narrator said “There was a time when courtesy and winning ways went out of style, when it was good to be bad, when you cultivated decadence like taste” (189). Privileged young folks may choose rebellion to transition to adults, this is the case of the three characters of Greasy Lake. The narrator says “We were all dangerous characters then. We wore torn-up leather jackets…. sniffed glue and ether and what somebody claimed was cocaine…...We drank gin and grape juice, Tango, Thunderbird and Bali Hai”

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