Greasy Lake The Cultivation of a New Character

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Greasy Lake – The Cultivation of a New Character In T. C. Boyle’s Greasy Lake, the author uses extensive imagery to present changes in settings. Blending in diction, metaphors, and other literary devices, the author details the narrator’s inevitable downfall and his eventual epiphany, which triggers a new outlook and deeper understanding of himself, society, nature, and thus the cultivation of a new character. Through gradual change of perspective, Boyle illustrates the narrator’s change from being rebellious and destructive to being appreciative of peace and convention. In the beginning of the story, the narrator depicts himself and his companions, Digby and Jeff, as rebellious teenagers who seek destruction in their lives just to look cool. “…gin in one hand and a roach clip in the other”(pg 2), they took drugs and drank alcohol, listened to loud music, wrecked others’ properties, watched people make out by the lake, and “didn’t give a shit about anything” as they drove recklessly. The author portrays Greasy Lake as “fetid and murky” (pg 1) with its banks “glittering with broken glass and strewn with beer cans and the charred remains of bonfires” (pg 1). This image of destruction parallels with and supports the main characters’ violent behaviour, thus explaining why they to Greasy Lake. As the teenagers rebel, they allow their primal instincts to govern themselves. Dictions including “snuff”, “howl”, and “primeval susurrus” (pg 1) imitate their animalistic behaviour as they inch towards what they perceived as “nature” (pg 2) then, which is to rebel. The main characters’ wish to seek adventure also determines their rebellion. They are shown to have “cruised the strip sixty-seven times” (pg 2) to search thrill within a small, isolated area around Greasy Lake. The repetition of their activities reflects their dissatisfaction of the lack of excitement

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