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Greasy Lake

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Summary: Reviews the short story Greasy Lake, by T.C. Boyle. Summarizes the plot. Discusses the major theme of rebellion.

In the short story Greasy Lake, Boyle told of the changing of boys to men in one night. When it was cool to be bad. Senior year in high school, 19 years old and stupid. Not having any real clue as to 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



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