In “Greasy Lake” by T. Coraghessan Boyle. the writer illustrates the journey towards maturity for three teenage male childs in a clip when it was hip to be “bad. ” The storyteller. the supporter of the narrative. and his friends. Digby and Jeff. see themselves to be “dangerous characters” ( 129 ) as they keep toothpicks in their oral cavities. wear torn-up leather jackets. snuff gum. and imbibe gin. The narrative begins with the “bad” boys taking out the narrator’s mother’s station-wagon to cruise the local strip.
while eating and imbibing intoxicant. As the dark winds down. the boys caput to a distastefully foul topographic point where the “bad” travel to be bad called Greasy Lake. This begins a series of awful events where the male childs beat person about to the point of decease. about ravish a miss and happen a dead organic structure. These events finally lead the storyteller to an epiphany that being bad isn’t what it is cracked up to be.
“Greasy Lake” is written in first individual point of position. This is of import because this position point illustrates the ideas and feelings of the chief character as he moves towards maturity and the realisation that being “bad” has bad effects. The storyteller informs the readers of his ain ideas and feelings giving the reader critical penetration as to his motives and concluding for his actions. For illustration. the storyteller says. “I thought about him [ the dead organic structure ] . fog on the lake. insects chirring spookily. and felt the jerk of fright. felt the darkness opening up inside me like a set of jaws. ” ( 134 ) This is an appropriate point of position for the narrative because without this cognition the reader would lose the storytellers passage and emotions that are critical for the reader to link with the storyteller. The ideas and feelings of other characters are closed to the reader. as their actions compliment the narrator’s narrative.
The scene of Greasy Lake plays a major function throughout the narrative. The helter-skelter imagination of the lake described by the writer offers an lawless and tense ambiance that mirrors the character’s emotions and experiences. For illustration. the writer describes the lake as “fetid and murky. the mud Bankss glistening with broken glass and strewn with beer tins and charred remains of balefires. ” ( 129 ) . This helter-skelter scene represents the anarchy and “badness” the male childs seek to emulate. The fact that at one clip “Indians had called [ the lake ] Wakan. a mention to the lucidity of its waters” ( 129 ) shows how times have changed to where one “cultivated degeneracy like a taste” ( 129 ) . The puting contributes to the struggle in many ways. The writer remembers when he “waded deeper. stealthy. hunted. the sludge suction at my sneakers” ( 132 ) . In my sentiment. the full scene was in some manner symbolic. but the organic structure the storyteller finds in the murky H2O has to be the most of import. The organic structure of Al symbolizes the effects of being “bad. ” This leads the writer and his friends to the realisation. as best quoted as. “I was 19. a kid. an infant…” ( 133 ) and that being “bad” was non so cool after all.
Boyle’s usage of linguistic communication plays a important portion in the rescue of the author’s cardinal thought. The narrative is packed with imagination and nonliteral linguistic communication. The linguistic communication used by the writer to depict the lake as “fetid and murky. the mud Bankss glistening with broken glass and strewn with beer tins and charred remains of bonfires” ( 129 ) creates an image of pandemonium and uncertainness. This besides parallels the boy’s uncertainness in their journey to and from badness. Boyle usage of similes to spread out on his descriptions such as “my bosom turning over like a soil motorcycle in the incorrect gear” ( 131 ) to drives place to the reader the strength of the battle between the oily character and the male childs. The writer besides uses several metaphors and personification to give more item and feeling to the narrative.
For illustration: “Behind me. the girl’s shriek rose strength. disconsolate. incriminating. the shriek of a Sabine adult females. the Christian sufferer. Ann Frank dragged from the garret” ( 132 ) . This metaphor demonstrates how genuinely horrific their act had been and the realisation of the effects of their actions. The usage of personification by the storyteller to depict the organic structure as a “victim bobbing sorrowfully in the lake at my back” ( 134 ) illustrates the storytellers feeling of commiseration for the dead oily character by giving his lifeless organic structure a sorrowful emotion. This helps the storyteller to link some of the bad results of being “bad” . Boyle usage of informal/streetwise enunciation and sarcasm helps to pass on the experiences of teenage male childs seeking to be bad. The natural and direct ways the narrative is told reflects the capriciousness of being a adolescent.
At the terminal of this narrative. a miss tells the male childs that they look like “some reasonably bad characters” ( 136 ) and offers them an invitation to party with and make drugs with her and her friend. This is when all of the male childs realize that being “bad” entails much more than merely moving like it and that being “bad” isn’t every bit cool as they thought it would be. Thesiss same male childs that would hold jumped at the chance to party with these misss at the beginning of the narrative. turn them down and travel place. Their journey toward maturity is an first-class narrative of coming of age and the misconceptions of young person.
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