Greasy Lake

Greasy Lake’s Essay
The process of coming of age for an adolescent into adulthood can be greatly influenced by one’s experiences and actions and is usually marked with a strong disillusion of life. An individual’s coming of age is directly connected with the choices he makes in his life but more importantly the consequences these bring. The short story “Greasy Lake” by T. C. Boyle depicts, how one’s experiences directly influence and define oneself. In this story, three friends just want to find a spot and have fun but it suddenly turns otherwise. The main character’s perspective of life changes from the moment he loses his keys in front of the greaser ready to knock him off. From that moment on, where this character begins to lose control, he has no other choice but to realize that his life will never be the same as before. In this story, the change from an adolescent to an adult’s view of life is shown through symbolism and contrast.
Symbolism is used to portray the characters’ change of perception of life throughout the night/ meaning… at Greasy Lake. The first two nights of the three friends’ summer vacation seemed boring for them. They were out till dawn, looking for something they never found. At this point they did not know what exactly they were looking for, but they “went up to the lake because everyone went there” (207). For them, the lake symbolizes adulthood and, of course, everyone goes there soon or later, but they had no idea what was awaiting them. Once they got to the lake, the main character makes the mistake of losing his keys and he describes it as “a tactical error, as damaging and as irreversible in its way as Westmoreland’s decision” (208). Here, the loss of his keys represents his loss of control in a situation he would have been able to escape as any child is used to. But, as he loses his keys, he is forced to face reality, in other words, he enters adulthood. For this reason, the character depicts the loss of his keys as…