Free Essay

Greasy Lake

In: English and Literature

Submitted By isher000
Words 486
Pages 2
Greasy Lake:
Perception of Morality in T.C Boyle.
Thomas Coraghessan Boyle’s “Greasy Lake” is about rebelling and morality. Through the narrator’s perception and reality in life, he learns the distinction between what is right and wrong; these connections are crucial to one of the stories central themes. Ultimately, “Greasy Lake” teaches one the real nature of being rebellious is a mere perception conceived by each individual’s judgement of morality. The narrator’s lifestyle suggests an illusion of one’s perception of being rebellious. The narrator says, “We wore torn up leather jackets, slouched around with toothpicks in our mouths, wheeled our parents’ whining station wagons out onto the street” (144). The illusion one perceives “bad” is creating an image of a carefree attitude and staying out late with friends drinking while driving around late at night. Wearing rugged clothes with a hard demeanor portrays a rebellious attitude a teenager strives for in order to be “bad”. One associates drinking and staying out late to be a form of rebelling, a way of breaking rules and not obeying the laws. The narrator thinks he is living a rebellious lifestyle; however, it is an illusion of what he perceives to be “bad”.

The fight the narrator experiences, demonstrates the reality of being rebellious. The narrator reflects back in life, “Never mind that I hadn’t been involved in a fight since sixth grade” (146). Fighting always gives an individual the perception one must be “bad” or morally wrong in society. The narrator’s fight with the “ bad greasy” character demonstrates the rebellious attitude he has. He takes the tire iron to hit the “bad greasy” character showing who is more rebellious and dominant. The presence of the narrator in the fight, allows him to realize this is the reality of being “bad”; thus his perception of being rebellious is now an illusion to him. The attention the narrator receives from the girl illustrates the clarity of an individual’s morality of being rebellious. The narrator “[looks] back. The girl was still standing there watching us, her shoulders slumped, hand outstretched” (150). When the girl asks the group of boys “Hey, you want to party, you want to do some of these with me and Sarah?”’(150), the boys reject her and drive away. Looking back as they drive off, the narrator sees the girl, who symbolizes Greasy Lake calling them back, to show them the true meaning of “bad” and rebelling against anyone or anything. The narratorunderstands the morality of being “bad” is based on an individual’s own perception. Therefore the narrator learns the contrast between reality and perception of being rebellious. Ultimately, one’s perception of being rebellious is conceived by one’s own perspective. Based on an individual’s opinion of morality, one is able to distinguish the true nature of being “bad”. The story is limited in scope and a further study of violence and coming of age would be appropriate.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Greasy Lake

...In T. C. Boyle’s Greasy Lake, the author uses extensive imagery to present changes in settings. Blending in diction, metaphors, and other literary devices, the author details the narrator’s inevitable downfall and his eventual epiphany, which triggers a new outlook and deeper understanding of himself, society, nature, and thus the cultivation of a new character. Through gradual change of perspective, Boyle illustrates the narrator’s change from being rebellious and destructive to being appreciative of peace and convention. In the beginning of the story, the narrator depicts himself and his companions, Digby and Jeff, as rebellious teenagers who seek destruction in their lives just to look cool. “…gin in one hand and a roach clip in the other”, they took drugs and drank alcohol, listened to loud music, wrecked others’ properties, watched people make out by the lake, and “didn’t give a shit about anything” as they drove recklessly. The author portrays Greasy Lake as “fetid and murky” with its banks “glittering with broken glass and strewn with beer cans and the charred remains of bonfires” . This image of destruction parallels with and supports the main characters’ violent behaviour, thus explaining why they to Greasy Lake. As the teenagers rebel, they allow their primal instincts to govern themselves. Dictions including “snuff”, “howl”, and “primeval susurrus” imitate their animalistic behaviour as they inch towards what they perceived as “nature” then, which is to rebel.......

Words: 1148 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Greasy Lake

...trouble and down the wrong path in life by using drugs and alcohol. Learn to make the right choices and choose your friends carefully. Boyle, T.C. (1985). Greasy Lake, Greasy Lake begins by describing the route through town to Greasy Lake. The story describes three young men who fantasize about being “bad boys”. Things start to unravel and go terribly wrong. They all want to go to Greasy Lake to unwind before going home. Things seem to start to go wrong when they can’t find their keys. They meet a shady character that they get in a fight with. At the end of the fight, they almost kill the guy and almost rape his girlfriend. During all of this happening another car comes to the lake and all three of the boys run in different directions. Two of them run into the woods while the third one jumps into the lake. While the third boy, who is also the narrator, comes across a dead body in the lake. After a little while, all three of the boys make it back to the shore of the lake and observe the damage to the car that was damaged. They have trouble finding their keys but do find them. They then head to home and examine their lives. Walker, M. (March 1994) Boyle’s “Greasy Lake” and the Moral Failure of Postmodernism Boyle’s “Greasy Lake” and the Moral Failure of Postmodernism is contemporary fiction. Greasy...

Words: 755 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Greasy Lake Analysis

...“Greasy Lake” – Story Analysis “Greasy Lake” was published in 1985 along with other stories from the author, T. Corahessan Boyle. The story is a gripping tale of three teen boys ‘living on the edge’, in which the author presents himself and his friends as a group of dangerous individuals. One would think that the narrator has truth in his words, but all events in the story point to the contrary. T. Corahessan Boyle, or T. C. Boyle for short, is an unreliable narrator. The truth of this story is not in the text, but in the underlying meanings and subliminal nuances. This hidden reality really helps the reader make a direct judgment of the characters. After reading between the lines, one quickly finds out who the characters are, but more importantly, who they are not. Every 19 year old boy wants to be tough. Reputation is everything to a teenager and toughness is the cornerstone of that reputation. Even though most boys at 19 are far from being truly tough, they sure do play the part. “Greasy Lake” outlines the adventure of three wanna’ be tough dudes. Throughout the story the author, also the narrator, leaves hints for the reader to help determine the characters background. He refers to them as ‘mistakes’ but after a while the reader realizes that the one sole mistake was the boys fronting to be tough in the first place. The second line of the story immediately triggers a judgment call for the reader. The narrator comes outright and says, “We were all dangerous characters...

Words: 1271 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Critical Review of Greasy Lake by T. Coraghessan Boyle

...When I began reading “Greasy Lake” by T. Coraghessan Boyle, I thought these boys were exhibiting typical behavior of young-adult men and their behavior led them to trouble. Boyle kept my interest by anticipation and disgust at the boys of the boy’s behavior in this story. The narrator, who is the main character of the story, often describes himself and his friends as “bad characters” and this becomes more convincing in the story. Boyle also used Greasy Lake at not only the setting for this story but also as a character. He described the lake as “fetid and murky, the mud banks glittering with broken glass and strewn with beer cans and the charred remains of bonfires.” Greasy Lake is used as a symbol for the youth culture itself in the story and is littered by alcohol, sex and violence. When the boys first came across the greasy man at the lake, their attitudes change for a moment, all three of them are scared. When they began to fight with the man, the narrator grabbed the tire iron out of fear. Once the three of them beat him up and knock him unconscious, I think this only increased their already arrogant attitudes. When they attempt to rape the greasy man’s lady companion, I think that shows how truly pathetic each of them are, acting like “deranged brothers”. In a very disturbing way, the boys were asserting a primal physical dominance over the woman. I think Boyle’s was sending a message that there are consequences for our actions. Even though kids tend to......

Words: 430 - Pages: 2

Free Essay


...Hour 05/25/2014 The Greasiest In the short story “Greasy Lake,” T. Coraghessan Boyle the setting to reflects morality and corruption of the youth, creates an appropriate atmosphere, and better develops the characters of the story. Boyle does this by focusing the story at the Greasy Lake and making the Lake as both a setting and character. Greasy Lake is the story of three friends who are portray themselves to be bad characters. Until they run into a situation where they question, just how bad they are. It can easily be identify as the changing from boys to men, in the beginning of the story the narrator and his friends were compared to nature, which can relate to the many ironic events that happen to the narrator. Some of The circumstances that the narrator in "Greasy Lake" finds himself in are the same that many young people find themselves in when fighting war. One of the many things that took place was when the narrator sees himself as a tough guy or "bad character". He believes he is invincible, There is nobody as cool as he is, or as dangerous as him and his friends are. At the middle of the story the narrator and his friends got a harsh dose of reality as The mood of nature change when he ran into a tough guys which made him realized that he wasn't really tough at all, Making him run into the lake like a little bitch. At this point the narrator is not bothered about his mom’s car because he is now safe in the lake behind trees where no one could find him. Once the......

Words: 971 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

T.C. Boyle

...T. C. Boyle: A Writer of American Literature “Writing is a habit, an addiction, as powerful and overmastering an urge as putting a bottle to your lips or a spike in your arm” said T.C. Boyle on hub One of America's most accomplished writers, T.C. Boyle also known as Tom Coraghessan Boyle is the author of 25 works of fiction and more than 100 short stories. According to an article T. Coraghessan Boyle written by Knudsen, James Boyle’s work has appeared in The Atlantic, Esquire and The New Yorker, and has been translated into more than 25 languages and won numerous awards. He is also a professor at the University of Southern California, where he found the creative writing undergraduate program. Boyle holds a Ph.D. in 19th-century British literature from Iowa State University. Currently he lives in Santa Barbara with his wife and three children. His latest publication is a second volume of short fiction, T.C. Boyle Stories II. Boyles has been recognized consistently for his work. This paper will cover his writing style, accomplishments, and critiques According to an article named, ‘ T Coraghessan Boyle’ written by Adams, Michael; Long, Douglas says many of Boyle's novels and short stories explore the baby boomer generation. His themes, such as the often-misguided efforts of the male hero and the smooth appeal of the anti-hero, appear alongside brutal satire, humor, and magical realism. His fiction also explores the pitiless and the unpredictability of nature and...

Words: 837 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Resource Collection

...Resource collection #5 Alliterations Develop Awareness of Beginning Sounds Children can follow children on the recording and have fun acting out some of the movements: pig rolls & plays; lizard leaps; snails slide; worm wiggles; caterpillar crawls; diving dolphin. Ask the children - what’s the same in most of the sentences of words (i.e. pink pig plays, pen - they all start with the letter p). Jack Hartmann Chorus Clap your hands to the beat Sing these tongue twisters with me Pink pig plays in his pen Pink pig plays in his pen Plays, plays in his pen Plays, plays in his pen Little lizard leaps by the lake Little lizard leaps by the lake Leaps, leaps by the lake Leaps, leaps by the lake Slithery snails slide so slow Slithery snails slide so slow Slide, slide, slide so slow Slide, slide, slide so slow Repeat chorus Wiggly worm wiggles in the water Wiggly worm wiggles in the water Wiggles, wiggles, wiggles in the water Wiggles, wiggles, wiggles in the water Creeping caterpillar crawls by the creek Creeping caterpillar crawls by the creek Crawls, crawls by the creek Crawls, crawls by the creek Diving dolphin dives so deep Diving dolphin dives so deep Dives, dives, dives so deep Dives, dives, dives so deep Repeat Chorus Starfish Song for Teaching About Compound Words and Syllables Fran Avni Each object named can be followed by claps, snaps, or any repeated rhythmic pattern. The door can be knocked on, the bell can be......

Words: 754 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

English Essays

...The Knife That Killed Me The book starts off by Paul explaining how the knife can come close but that the math means that it can never reach him. He is sitting in the geography room listen to the teacher mumble on about fresh water lakes in America, and how his eyes are gazing so far away that you could think he is there. Then he feels something at the back of his hair, and he runs his fingers through his hair and finds that it is chewing gum. We get introduced to Miller, Roth and another person. Paul’s school was divided between two types of "gangs." One gang was run by the school's biggest bully, Roth. Roth found physical pain in fighting. Meanwhile, the other "gang" kept to themselves and were friends. Around the school they were known as the "freaks" since they were quiet and didn't start trouble, there leader Shane was one of my favourite characters. He cared about his group and wanted peace. Roth bullies Paul into making him send a package up to their rival school, and when Paul says that he will get hurt Roth says its fine and that he know he’s coming. He delivers the package and finds out that it is a dogs head. The people at that school declare war and demand a fight at 2 tomorrow. Roth accepts the fight and starts to make an attack plan. The 2 schools start fighting and Paul becomes overpower and pulls out his knife on a kid from the other school, he feels scared and turns and plunges the knife into the person behind him. It was Shane. Shane died in hospital.......

Words: 305 - Pages: 2

Free Essay


...flowing from different directions come together to form the main river, which ultimately drains into a large water body such as a lake or a sea or an ocean. The area drained by a single river system is called a drainage basin. A closer observation on a map will indicate that any elevated area, such as a mountain or an upland, separates two drainage basins. Such an upland is known as a water divide (Figure 3.1). Sr ea m B 3 T Sr ea m A W at er Di vi de subcontinent. Accordingly, the Indian rivers are divided into two major groups: • the Himalayan rivers; and • the Peninsular rivers. Apart from originating from the two major physiographic regions of India, the Himalayan and the Peninsular rivers are different from each other in many ways. Most of the Himalayan rivers are perennial. It means that they have water throughout the year. These rivers receive water from rain as well as from melted snow from the lofty mountains. The two major Himalayan rivers, the Indus and the Brahmaputra originate from the north of the mountain ranges. They have cut through the mountains making gorges. The Himalayan rivers have long courses from their source to the sea. They perform intensive erosional activity in their upper courses and carry huge loads of silt and sand. In the middle and the lower courses, these rivers form meanders, oxbow lakes, and many other depositional features in their Figure 3.1 : Water Divide The world’s largest drainage basin is......

Words: 3526 - Pages: 15

Free Essay

Roles of Snakes harm to other organisms (Encarta dictionary 2007). This is one of the ecological problems that are affecting PAU thought others don’t see it as a problem. Thus, the essay will discuss further on how it is started and evidences of its existence, how to minimize or prevent it from eventuating, and how it affects the environment in which we live in and give a real case study of its effects. Eutrophication began to develop on the lakes of PAU when the campus department stopped cleaning the lakes in order to let the birds to lay their eggs on the flowers growing in the lakes. This is evident in lake two. This has led to eutrophication due to the overcrowding of plant life in the lakes. Some proof that the lakes are becoming entropic are that they smell, overgrowth of plants means the level of oxygen is depleted and less penetration of sunlight, algae are starting to cover the surface of the lakes. Therefore, this shows that lakes here at PAU are starting to become eutropic. Prevention is better than cure therefore it is better to prevent the lakes from becoming eutropic than to cure it after it has become eutropic. As stated in the article, ‘How to cure Eutrophication’ (2012, May 17) that a pond that has become eutropic is hard to rehabilitate. This is because not only will you have to fight the nutrients that are currently running off into the pond, but you also have to undo all of the problems that have compounded over the past number of weeks, months, years. By this point...

Words: 627 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay


...Research Essay Lake Wylie is located on Gaston and Mecklenburg Counties in North Carolina and York County in South Carolina. The lakes water supply primarily comes from the Catawba River. The lake is man-made and used to create hydroelectricity by Duke Power Company. Lake Wylie is a large lake and offers an abundance of space for recreation and activities including: boating, fishing, water skiing, sun bathing, swimming and numerous other activities around the lake. It is enjoyed by many people during the summer time. Safety on the water becomes a problem with so many people participating in water activities. Several People die and many others are injured each year in association with the lake. The first thing that comes to mind when being around water is being able to swim. Many people die each year while being on the lake because they cannot swim or not very strong swimmers. Some people think its not cool to wear a life jacket so they jump into the lake without wearing one. They can swim for a short while but they become exhausted and are not close enough to grab on to anything and they struggle to keep their head above the water. Other children were never taught how to swim at all and they think they will be fine hugging onto a float or noodle but they can lose their grip and down they go. The water is dark and by the time someone notices it is to late. The lake water itself is a safety concern. There have been reports of sewage leakage into the lake. This spreads......

Words: 1426 - Pages: 6

Free Essay


...environmentalists as you decide what course of action to initiate evaluating both ethical and economic issues. Harvard Business Review Summary: In July 2009, Vale NL began building a $2.17 billion nickel refinery in Long Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador. The refinery would bring economic prosperity by creating 1,600 to 2,000 jobs during construction and 400 to 500 permanent jobs in an area of high unemployment. The project's environmental assessment process began 2006 and the company had successfully completed the required environmental impact statements for the government. A major environmental issue was the disposal of tailings from the refinery, and the approved solution was to store them in a natural lake known as Sandy Pond. Members of several environmental NGOs had opposed the use of the lake as a...

Words: 774 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay


...Report Jonathan W. Moore, Daniel E. Schindler, Mark D. Scheuerell, Danielle Smith and Jonathan Frodge Lake Eutrophication at the Urban Fringe, Seattle Region, USA Nutrient pollution and associated eutrophication of freshwaters threaten the ecological integrity and the services provided to humans by lakes. We examined how human residential development influenced the level of lake eutrophication in the Seattle, WA, USA, region. We surveyed 30 lakes and measured 3 indicators of eutrophication: concentrations of chlorophyll-a and phosphorus, and the proportion of algae that are inedible to zooplankton. We classified lakes based on the waste-treatment method for shoreline homes: septic, sewer, and undeveloped lakes. Septic lakes occurred along the urban-rural fringe while sewer lakes occurred near urban centers. Septic lakes were more eutrophic than sewer lakes and undeveloped lakes, as indicated by higher levels of phosphorus and chlorophyll-a. These results suggest that septic systems contribute to the high levels of eutrophication in lakes at the urbanrural fringe. Lakes at the urban-rural fringe represent an opportunity for proactive management of urban expansion to minimize lake eutrophication. A lake without shoreline development. Undeveloped lakes were less eutrophic than lakes with shoreline houses. Photo: D. Schindler. INTRODUCTION Residential development in the United States has increased substantially over the last 50 years. Much......

Words: 6539 - Pages: 27

Free Essay

Importance of Ponds in Crow Lake

...In Mary Lawson’s novel Crow Lake the ponds become an important part of the plot. The pond symbolizes Kate’s childhood, the bond between Kate and Matt, and Kate’s future choice in her career. Kate’s memories of her time at the pond connect her to various events and important moments in her life. While talking about the pond, Kate mentioned “There is no image of my childhood that I carry with me more clearly than” Matt and her younger self lying on their stomachs at the edge of a pond (4). Kate stated how important their trips became to her. At the end of the novel, when Kate and Matt take Daniel to the pond, Kate had a realization. She said “The other ponds, our pond included, are just as they have always been.” (291). After many years of thinking that her brother was a failure, that Marie Pye getting pregnant ruined his chances of going to school and becoming someone with an education. Kate comes to the conclusion that she was the one who grew apart and chose to deny that everything was there just as they have always been. It is not the ponds that changed, it was Kate herself. The pond also became the bond that linked both Kate and Matt. Kate reminisced that when Matt first began to take her to the pond she was so small she had to be carried on Matt’s shoulders. Kate loved spending time with her brother; she liked that she came to known the creatures above and below the water. They spent endless hours there as...

Words: 948 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Canton Lake

...Reid Haigler Professor Horton English 1213 2/4/13 The release of water from Canton Lake to replenish Oklahoma City’s drinking water has become a huge controversy in northwest Oklahoma. Oklahoma City officials claim that the city has waited as long as possible before pulling water from the lake; however, residents of Canton, Oklahoma don’t buy into this excuse. Is it really necessary to take 30,000 acre-feet of water from a lake that is already at a record low without much chance of recuperation? Besides the argument of whether or not Oklahoma City’s decision is warranted, the economy of the city of Canton as well as the lake’s land and wildlife habitat could experience detrimental losses. Oklahoma’s collective lakes have experienced an intense drought in the past two years. It is due to this drought that this issue has even come to light. Some claim Canton Lake was created as a reserve for Oklahoma City’s drinking water while others claim that it was created for flood control. As The Enid News and Eagle clarifies, “Kathy Carlson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake manager, told the group the lake was built for flood control, water supply and irrigation. Later, secondary purposes were included that added wildlife habitat and recreation” (Barron). Regardless of why the lake was created, local residents believe the water release is unnecessary. Canton business owners, residents, and even surrounding towns argue that Oklahoma City residents and businesses have......

Words: 876 - Pages: 4