"Greasy Lake" is a fictional short story in the book "Greasy Lake and Other Stories" by T. Coraghessan Boyle. In "Greasy Lake," set in the 1960s, three 19-year-old teens want to live out their bad-boy wannabe cravings. Their desire to be popular leads to exploring the restless, unruly parts of their character. However, their reckless exploits lead to dangerous, life-threatening situations. Boyle uses the narrative point of view to create tension between the protagonist and his surroundings.
First-Person Unnamed Narrator
Boyle uses the first-person narrative but never names the central character, who is also the narrator. "Greasy Lake" reads like a journal as it explores the deeper insecurities and internal battles the narrator faces as he tries to live out his rebellious passions. The strong parallels between the dirty, polluted lake and the narrator's desire to dress in a grungy, disheveled, bad-boy manner provide strong visual examples. The first-person narrative allows you to sympathize with the narrator, even as he makes risky decisions to prove he's cool. He struggles to make sense of his muddled world, personal insecurities and increasing self-awareness.