"Greasy Lake", By T. Coraghessan Boyle, And The Writing Techniques That Were Used To Develop The Theme And Meaning.

1661 words - 7 pages

Whether it be stealing some candy at a store, or punching a kid in the mouth for the shear aspect of respect and fear from others, people at one time or another have felt the "good to be bad" feeling. I speak from personal experience myself, for I have wanted to be one of the "bad guys" on more than one occasion. Though I'm not a bad person, there are times when I have tried to make myself more "bad" than I really was. One instance is when I was much younger, and trying to impress others, I threw a rock at a camp counselor's car of whom I was upset with. I don't recall what I was upset about; only know of the later consequences of that action, and the looks on my friends faces when I did it. My parents were all very much surprised and wondered what I was thinking, and I all I said was "...I don't know". I was the quiet kid in class, of whom no one would expect to do such things, even when upset. I didn't do it because I was upset, but because my friends were around and I wanted to prove I could be bad, or at least look like I am.With this past experience, along with others that are quite similar, I have established a connection with the short story, Greasy Lake, by T. Coraghessan Boyle. The story is about three teenage friends and their coming of age of who are bad characters, but not as bad as they appear. They too do such actions like mine in order to establish a look of being bad, and to be the hoodlums of the world. Being bad was the way they walked, talked, and treated others, loving the "points" of being bad of which were awarded, but being deceived as well. The author, T. Coraghessan Boyle, establishes a connection of their actions and the way they really are in his writing. Through characterization, symbolism, imagery, irony, and theme and meaning, Boyle describes how being bad and doing bad things are congruent as well as different.By creating characters that are interesting and significant, the author utilizes them into the story in proportion the ideas of which he wants the reader to come across. Having the characters wear "torn-up leather jackets with...toothpicks in their mouths"(1) emphasizes their need to have the tough-guy appearance. They wanted everyone to know how bad they were, so they strived in making it very noticeable. The author gives them the look of attitude as well, having them speeding on the road and screeching the tires to leave marks. Their mission was to "go on to new heights of adventure and daring" and so they did, staying out late drinking and doing drugs was their game. All of which was established in the beginning of the story, the true "badness" was revealed through hints and clues, at least until the end of the story. The issue of the main character referring to "bad characters do this" and "bad characters do that" and how bad they all were clued the reader to the fact that they weren't really bad, but just trying vigorously to mime real bad guys and become them. The silence and dramatic pause after the...

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