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GreasyLakes: An Evaluation Analysis

Inevery man’s point of life, a point exists wherein being bad feelsgood. To act badly is to look good for another person’s image.There will always be one moment in a man’s system to wherehe transforms from an imaginary world of invincibility to therealization of human realm.&nbspEvennature and our environment itself have the power to determine thegoodness or badness of a person, linking itself to the depths ofhuman nature. Formost of us, human life itself is at steady state with no definedmoment of information, but rather a sequence of progressive phases.To some, there is an epiphany, bounded by a disastrous or near tragicevent that merely provokes an alteration.In either way, the main objective of a human life is fortransformation itself, how a mere human cope up with thesetransformation, and how they would respond to self-modifications theyhave fondled and provide actions on ways to be a responsibleindividual.

Inthe short story, three criteria will be presented to validate theeffectiveness of the story to the audience. The first one is toverify if all the elements of the story, from its setting to theconflicts being faced by the characters of the story, and these keyelements work together to present the central idea as discussedearlier. The next one is to know if the story itself establishes newinsights from the audience if repetitive readings were done. Byevaluating the story, we may know if the story stays fresh on theminds of the readers after they have finished reading the course.Lastly, we will illustrate and expand the transformation of thecharacters in the story as well as their defining moments, theircrucial experiences, their personal mistakes, and how they cope upwith the changes that happened throughout the course of the story.Thus, the story “Greasy Lake” will cater the minds of theaudience a perception of life-transformation and how will thecharacters in the story linked themselves to a “fetid and murky”description of the lake.

EvaluationAnalysis of the Greasy Lake

Ashort story entitled “Greasy Lake” was written by ThomasCoraghessan Boyle, an Irish postmodernist author in 1985, whichprimarily depicts the main characters presenting the idea that beingdepraved individuals was the only image they were going for. However,throughout the course of the story, there might be some confusionsand sort of realizations so as to think twice and ask themselves ifthat’s what they really intend to live for. Certain inquiries suchas their true purpose in life and discovering their true character asa person will be revealed as its main setting will help them todisclose their real situations and their perceptions in life.

Thethree main characters in the story are Digby, Jeff, and the narratoritself, all of which share common goals and ideals in life, hencethey were called as such the “Bad Boys”. In the sequence of thestory, these three characters were described as being “greasy”and “treacherous”, the way the setting of the story was alsodescribed, hence the Greasy Lake was supposedly intended to link themain characters’ description as well as their own experiences. Thelake itself was also described as being “fetid and murky, the mudbanks glittering with broken glass and strewn with beer cans and thecharred remains of bonfires” (Boyle, 687-8).

Atthe beginning of the story, being depraved individuals is all thatmatters. Their self-image as a person signifies “evil” and“darkness” similar to that of a Greasy Lake. Boyle also portraysthe characters as “we wore torn-up leather jackets, slouched aroundwith toothpicks in our mouths… drank gin and grape juice… we werenineteen… we were bad…” (687).

Theplot of the story happened only three days before summer vacation,and these three boys were into some sort of “electrifying”activities and searching for some trouble the way that they never hadexpected. Unfortunately,for the three boys, their beloved hang out spot and the so-called“electrifying” activity became the main cause of the conflict forthe three friends. After hauling some sort of prank or jokes thatwent extremely mistaken by the other people, the three bad boysexperienced a series of muddles and disasters that turned theirworlds the way they really intended at first. One after another,things began to go wrong. After realizing that the intended objectiveof the joke was not who they believed it was, a fight broke outbetween the two groups. Inthe midst of a climactic moment in their lives, after a fierce fightthat led to multiple injuries, the narrator recounts his mistakes:losing his grip on the car key, distinguishing the wrong car andgoing for the tire iron, all choices that lead to near tragedy.&nbspLotsof noise, smashed pieces of glasses, vandals, screams, trauma, etc.all of these were experienced by the three boys. Mental and emotionalshock can be expected having such kind of traumatic experience. Though the “Bad Boys” were fortunate after the hooligans leaveand fled away from the scene, they were all accounted for all themistakes they have done. This particular incident led to somerealizations and change of thoughts about one’s worth andimportance of human life. Thisseries of blunders sets the stage for their hope and eventualself-transformation.

Everymistake has its corresponding consequences. For the three characters,the costs of the incident divulge themselves one at a time, eachbuilding on the other.Asfor the setting at the GreasyLake, called as a mythic spot once known by the Indians for its clearwaters but now littered withbroken glass,beer cans and contraceptives, offers the perfect background for theirrevelatory introduction of what is really behind the characters’attitude and perception about life transformation. Theevents that occurred at Greasy Lake had changed their wholeperspective on things and sometimes, it was also okay to be called as&quotGood Boys&quot.


Inthe scope of the story, the three boys realize their own mortalityand vulnerability. Thestory provides the readers a strong mentality that everyone iscapable of self-transformation. Every human is endowed with the powerto control his life, provided that we are tasked to do good things toother people. Moreover,most of the characters’ decisions lead these young people intotrouble as they visualize themselves about their conqueringcapabilities.&nbsp

Thestory is more of persuasive type, a sort of encouragement that we alllive to do well, and that we have the power to change ourselves, notdepending on other’s actions. The transformation of the three boysto change themselves has really played an important role in thestory. Throughout the course of the story, it shows and narratesevery detailed part of converting the “Bad Boys” into somethingno one is expected.

Moreover,different insights can be formulated in the minds of the audience asdifferent perceptions can be framed from the characters in the story.There is a “spark” in the story which makes it different from theothers. Also, different levels and strengths of words were also usedto further create an impact to the minds of the audience.

Themain objective of the short story is to provide the audience thethoughts to self-transformation. Each one of us has his/her definingmoments in our lives, and it depends much on the personality of aperson if he/she will aim for a better self or not. The central ideaof self-transformation and the significance of one’s life aredefinite to portray on the audience’ minds. Hence, we are all partof everyone’s transformation, yet, it is still our decision whichpath will we choose.


Boyle,ThomasCoraghessan. GreasyLake.New York: Viking Press, 1985. Print.