greasy lake notes - Published-1982 Written 1981 Setting...

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Published -1982 Written – 1981 Setting: 1960’s a small American town and greasy lake Characters: the narrator, digby, jeff, Al, a young woman (the fox) Theme: maturation from boy to man In the short story Greasy Lake, Boyle told of the changing of boys to men in one night. At a time when it was cool to be bad. Senior year in high school, 19 years old and stupid. Not having any real clue as to how the real world works, Driving mom's cars using dad's money. In Greasy Lake, T.C. Boyle used the theme of being bad by using the different characters to symbolize someone always trying to be more than they really are. The biggest problem with being "bad" is the person on top always has someone wanting to knock him/her off his or her thrown. T.C. Boyle painted the picture nicely, "able to manage a ford with lousy shocks over a rutted and gutted blacktop road at 85 while rolling a joint." This clearly paints a picture of the three characters as not being part of the choir group. In T.C's statement "Digby wore a gold star in his right ear" gives us the rebellion youth disobeying his parents wishes for a clean-cut young man. Then states "and allowed his father to pay his tuition to Cornell" shows us he isn't as bad as Digby imagines himself. In Greasy Lake the boys perceived themselves as the toughest boys around.When Digby thought he recognized is friend's car at the lake he played the clown by honking the horn and instructing that the bright lights be turned on the 57 Chevy. This may have been fun and games if it had been a friend that thought the people were as bad as there reputation. They expected to "slap backs with a red-faced Tony, roughhouse a little" roughhousing to show how bad they are. After realizing the mistaken identity of the 57 Chevy was not a friend "There was no reasoning with this bad greasy character -clearly he was a man of action." This shows that although the author doesn't put it in print, they may have in fact tried to reason with another character they now consider "bad." When the new tougher "greasy character" kicked him with his Steele toed boot and chipped his "favorite tooth", like a Heavyweight boxer nearing the end of his career. He thought to himself "I was in a whole lot of trouble." This clearly showed that someone else was in charge. In order to regain some self respect, like rabid dogs, the wannabe's nipping at the heals of a giant; would do almost anything. The main character grabbed a tire iron from under his front seat of his car, "Bad characters always kept tire irons" "for such an occasion." The main character admits he hasn't been in a fight since the sixth grade yet feels the need to prove his testosterone true and grab the tire iron and hit the greasy character in the head. When the Greasy characters girlfriend jumped out of the car screaming "animals" this only got their blood pumping more, "We were bad characters, and we were scared" as the tore at her clothes grabbing for flesh. With their pride restored from killing the villain they went after the girl for an over the top badness, what did they
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This note was uploaded on 09/04/2011 for the course ENGLISH 1407 taught by Professor Erick during the Summer '11 term at Austin Community College.

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greasy lake notes - Published-1982 Written 1981 Setting...

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