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Greasy Lake by T.C. Boyle - Term Paper Example

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The author T. Coraghessan Boyle has written several other short stories but perhaps none brought the author more fame, expertise, and notoriety then from the Greasy Lake short story. Boyle has been writing short stories for many years…
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Greasy Lake by T.C. Boyle
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Download file to see previous pages The author T. Coraghessan Boyle has written several other short stories but perhaps none brought the author more fame, expertise, and notoriety then from the Greasy Lake short story. Boyle has been writing short stories for many yearsOther authors see Boyle as a master writer that brings a special twist of humor and reality that leaves the reader with a feeling of satisfaction At what point does a boy become a man, at what point does the boy put away childish things in search for the ritualistic commitment that makes him an adult. T.C Boyle sets out to define these terms in his coming of age novel Greasy Lake. The book starts out with three teenagers trying to grasp and believe they understand the architectural motifs of becoming a man in 20 century. It is the third day of summer vacation and the three set out with venom coursing through their young veins. All three boys headed to Greasy Lake with the feeling of power, strength and a common belief of invincibility. They are not your typical teenage boys, oh no these boys are bad and they want the world to know it. "We wore torn-up leather jackets; slouched around with toothpicks in our mouths, sniffed glue...we drank gin and grape juice, Tango, Thunderbird, and Bali Hoi. We were nineteen. We were bad." They were their own gang with their own initiation, with their own sense of morality as they stopped on the gas pedal up to Greasy Lake. They were dangerous and they knew it but their commitment to self was about to catch up to them in a destructive and revelatory way. To Greasy Lake with its murky and muddy banks filled with shards of broken glass glistening in the moons light. Their minds swimming with marijuana and alcohol as they pull into the parking lot only to see two vehicles “the exoskeleton of some gaunt chrome insect, a chopper leaned against its kickstand.” In addition, a, “57 Chevy, mint, metallic blue" No excitement, “expect some junkie halfwit biker and a car freak pumping his girlfriend.” All was lost they thought when they believe they see a friend's car. The night is now blossoming full of promise as they pull in behind the car and begin to honk the horn, flash the lights and yell obscenities like out of an old 50's movie. “For all we know we might even catch a glimpse of some little fox’s tit. And then we could slap backs with red-faced Tony, roughhouse a little, and go on to new heights of adventure and daring.” Nevertheless, in their haste and excitement they do not realize this is not Tony's car and like medieval literature their enthusiasm and sense of adventure heightens as they take the keys and drop them in the grass. Underneath this climatic moment is a torrent of mistakes the narrator will soon recount. The owner of the car is far from amused and storms from the vehicle with fist flailing. Our narrator begins to grasp the danger he and his friends are in as they are soundly being beat-up. The path they have chosen is like a swords edge beneath their feet as he reaches for his tire iron beneath his seat. All tough guy's had tire irons beneath their seats but our narrator; though holding on to some childhood notion that he is still a bad character, recalls with consequence that he has only been in one other fight. “In the 6th grade, when a kid with a sleepy eye and two streams of mucous descending from his nostrils hit me in the knee with a Louisville slugger". (pg.127). The moment was like a tranquilizer draining the passivity of values as though they were actors on stage each chanting a war cry as though in unison motherf*****'*. His hands tighten around the cold steel of the tire iron as he consoled his arm to swing. The sickening sound of metal hitting bone hushed the moment as the tire iron dug into the skull of greasy booted character who owned the car. "They are standing over him in a circle, gritting their teeth, jerking their necks, their limbs and hands and feet twitching." Is this what T.S. Eliot was describing in the wasteland? A sociological stagnation of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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