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Greasy Lake Analysis

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“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 then (Boyle 164).” Dangerous dudes are known for reputation, and reputation is built by ‘showing’ not ‘telling’. The reader now has to ask him/herself if the narrator is truly dangerous. If he is dangerous, there would not be a point in telling the audience in the second sentence, for that would surely spoil the rest of the story.
Several lines later the narrator gives the audience a visual…...

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