Essay On Close Reading Of Greasy Lake

1376 words - 6 pages

Ethan WynneSam LackeyEnglish 101September 9, 2014Greasy Lake Close ReadingMarcus Aurelius once said, "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love." He reflects on the privilege it is to be alive, no matter the situation. In Greasy Lake, we see the main character go from having a fun night to possibly one of the worst in his life. I think one of the main themes in the story is the thought that it could be worse, and to be happy that you're alive. The author, T. Coraghessan Boyle, tells a story about how the narrator and his friends get themselves into a large bit of trouble one night down at greasy lake. Dur ...view middle of the document...

Obviously his coccyx isn't on fire, but through the exaggeration we can imagine the burning pain he is in. He uses personification as well to give the conditions surrounding his situation an understandably exaggerated tone such as, "… the bad breath of decay all around me…" (Boyle127). His use of personification gives us a greater sense of understanding, showing just how dreadful his situation is. You visualize the smell almost going up and breathing on him. The sporadic thought process Boyle conveys to the reader brings out a tone of panic and despair. His mind is racing after the men who were chasing him leave; thinking first about his condition, then jumping immediately to the different excuses he may use to get out of the situation at hand. Then, he remembers the dead man he found. Boyle states, "He was probably the only person on the planet worse off than I was" (Boyle 172). I thought this statement conveyed a message. Even though the author is in a terrible situation, in immense pain, and having his mom's car ruined, he realizes there is someone else in greasy lake worse off then him. I believed Boyle was trying to convey that no matter what situation you are in, at least you are alive. After remembering the dead man, Boyle continues with the same usual sporadic thought process he utilized in the rest of the paragraph, jumping from thoughts of who exactly the man was, to thinking about what may have happened to him before he met his fate saying "… a bad older character come to this. Shot during a murky drug deal, drowned while drunkenly frolicking in the lake." Thinking about the man drowned in the lake makes the narrator ponder his own situation. The next statement hits home when the narrator then says, "Another headline. My car was wrecked; he was dead." I think this is when the narrator starts to grasp the fact that his situation isn't as bad as he may think. Even though it is a dreadful situation, the other man is dead. Who is really worse off, the banged up kid with many years left in his life, or the dead man in the creek? This comparison highlights the authors thoughts on how a situation can always be worse, and that one should appreciate the fact that they are alive.After waiting out the men, the boys return to their car. When the men couldn't find the boys in the lake, they returned to the car and proceeded to take out all of their frustration and malice on the car. They continually swing and hit the car with branches and large rocks. However, af...


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