Masculinity In Ernest Hemingway's Greasy Lake

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Greasy Lake The main character begins his story by portraying just how bad and how much of a rebel he and his friends are. He expresses their bad boy behavior in the beginning with “we wore torn-up leather jackets, slouched around with toothpicks in our mouth, sniffed glue and ether and what somebody claimed was cocaine” (396). Reading the first two paragraphs of this story, one automatically gets the sense that these boys desperately desire a bad boy image. They will do whatever it takes for other to believe it but most importantly, so they themselves believe it. The narrator tells the story in such a way where he id trying very hard to make his image believable to the rest of the world. He describes his friends Digby and Jeff in the same…show more content…
This “bad boys” will do whatever it takes to keep their rebellious reputation. As the boys are about to get into a fight with a boy they mistook as their friend Tony, the narrator goes for “the tire iron [he] kept under the driver’s seat” in order to fight. (398) The narrator admit she hasn’t been in a fight since the sixth grade yet feels the need to prove his masculinity by grabbing the tire iron and hitting the greasy characters in the head. As soon as he lays the greasy character out, the narrator feels on top of the world. All three boys begin to develop a higher sense of pride knowing they defeated this guy when at first it looked like they were going to lose. However, it doesn’t stop there. Once the greasy character’s girlfriend gets out the car screaming “Animals!” they immediately go after her in…show more content…
Luckily for them, the boy turns out to be a little rattled but not dead, and the other car is not the police or witnesses to their attempted rape but friends of the boys. They had escaped the consequences of “police, jail cells, justice of the peace, and reparations lawyers, irate parents, fraternal censure” (402) and had a brief sense of relief. The boys think it is all over until they get to their car and find it to be destroyed and vandalized by the other boy’s friends feelings only more defeated. In Greasy Lake they boys did whatever they could to be perceived as the toughest boys around. They drank, smoked, and even participated in a variety of other illegal activities. Soon though they found that no matter how bad they thought they were, there was always someone tougher. Despite what they thought about themselves, when they saw the man they were going to fight, it was as if they have reverted back to little boys. They did however stand their ground because could not let that that guy take away their

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