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Greasy lake by t. c. boyle

             Coraghessan Boyle, there is meaning behind each description of the setting throughout the story. The setting changes as the story progresses. In the beginning of the story, the narrator introduces the area as a place of isolation, away from life. This image makes the reader believe that “Greasy Lake” is a secluded place, different from any other place, where the narrator goes to be more rebelliously than he would in his own town. Boyle uses the setting to reflect the narrator’s feelings by altering the narrator’s perspectives as he changes from being nonsocial and rebellious to realizing he is not independent and appreciates convention. .
             First of all, the narrator describes this place as being mysterious, a place where rebellion occurs. The narrator describes “Greasy Lake” as, “fetid and murky, …[its] mud banks glittering with broken glass and strewn with beer cans and the charred remains of bonfires” (129). He describes the lake as rotten, stinky, and putrid, although makes it sound like a good thing. The bad qualities in his eyes are superior because they support his “bad” image, which is independent and nonsocial. The narrator even describes the grass as, “dark, rank, and mysterious nighttime grass” which supports the idea that the mysterious area is full of unfamiliar features. Then he emphasizes the area’s isolation by pointing out that, “There was a single ravaged island a hundred yards from shore, so stripped of vegetation it looked as the air force had strafed it” (pg. 129). He thinks that it is good that there is no one around because then his friends and he will have a chance to do whatever they want. .
             The lake’s characteristics change when the narrator refers to the “greasy character” from being a place of approval to a place of fear because for the first time he encounters “badder” characters.