Short Story Essay.docx - Harper 1 Kylie Harper LIT1000 Prof Taylor Due Greasy Lake Symbolism \u201cGreasy Lake\u201d is a short story by T.C Boyle set in the

Short Story Essay.docx - Harper 1 Kylie Harper LIT1000 Prof...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 5 pages.

Harper 1 Kylie Harper LIT1000 Prof Taylor Due July 10 2020 Greasy Lake Symbolism “Greasy Lake” is a short story by T.C. Boyle, set in the late 1960s. The story follows our narrator on late night mischievous behavior with his two friends, Jeff and Digby. They are three nineteen year old boys who like to perceive themselves as bad. Before arriving at Greasy Lake, they liked to act very tough; they would drink, smoke weed, egg things, and participate in lewd activities. This, though, was definitely typical teen things in a time where it was simply cool to act like you were big and bad; and that honestly still applies into modern day, as well. Greasy Lake’s most obvious theme is teaching these people that being bad is not cool, it is dangerous. Another underlying theme that I think played right into influencing the main theme would be the idea that being a bad person is this cool, manly thing- toxic perceptions of masculinity and bad examples pushed them into behaving this way as well. With this in mind, “Greasy Lake” uses symbolism such as the narrator’s car, the lost keys, and Greasy Lake itself to drive its theme completely home. Firstly, Boyle repeatedly turns attention to the cars each character drives- this is because they symbolize each character’s persona. The narrator and his friends so desperately want to be these tough guys, yet all they do is partake in minor, common, deviancy. No, they are not inherently bad at the time the events of “Greasy Lake” take place. They are simply kids. Continuing their behavior and escalating to higher levels of crime, however, seems inevitable; but they are not there yet. The car that they drive is representative of this. Boyle describes, “I
Harper 2 drove. Digby pounded the dashboard and shouted along with Toots & the May- tals while Jeff hung his head out the window and streaked the side of my mother’s Bel Air with vomit,” (Boyle, 570). They didn’t have their own cars. The boys would take their parent’s cars on their late night

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture