Characteristic Of The Narrator in Greasy Lake Novel
A dynamic character is a character who undergoes a major change throughout a story. In Greasy Lake by T.C. Boyle, the narrator can be classified as a dynamic character. Upon arriving at the teenage hangout, greasy lake, the narrator and his friends, Digby and Jeff, stumble across a car that resembles their friends’. The teenage boys honked at the vehicle as a prank, and after some time had passed, a different man exited the car. Bobbie, the stranger, was seeing red after the prank, as he was interrupted while trying to bed with a beautiful young woman. Intimidated by Bobbie’s infuriated words and actions, the narrator pulls a tire iron from beneath his seat, as that was where “bad boys” kept one. Three against one, the boys were still being overpowered; that was, until the narrator swung his tire iron against Bobbie’s head. After the boys’ victory, the woman in Bobbie’s car came around running and screaming at the narrator and his friends. In a frenzy and simultaneously attracted to the woman, the three of the friends began tearing away her clothes. Meanwhile, another car pulled into the lot of greasy lake. Before the boys had the opportunity to rape this woman, the men inside the vehicle scared them away. The friends scattered in all different directions; the narrator ran through the woods and plunged into the swampy water, where he watched and listened for what was happening up ahead.
The narrator, who is nameless, evolved greatly throughout the entirety of the story. Boyle captured the narrator’s every emotion extremely well. At the beginning of the short story, when the boys were playing the prank, the narrator had an attitude that reflected carelessness, and he seemed to welcome trouble. After he had plunged into the lake, “I [the narrator] was breathing in sobs, in gasps.” Obviously, from this statement, one can conclude that he was feeling scared and perhaps even worried; a giant downgrade from the “tough” aura aforementioned. The narrator remained in the lake for several long moments, listening to what was occurring by his car.
A surge of joy bolted throughout the narrator when he heard a shout; the man that the crew of teens had beaten down was alive! The narrator underwent a great flux of emotion during this time; scared to joyous, to scared again, when Bobbie called out a threat to the teens. The night fell silent once again, until the antagonists decided what they were going to do about the situation. The narrator listened intently as they smashed his mother’s car. His reaction was to sink even deeper into the mucky water.
“I [the narrator] don’t know how long I lay there…” Finally, the narrator attempted to leave the lake. Beaten and bruised, he contemplated suicide, then his thoughts took an abrupt turn. What was he going to tell his parents? He found his way to his car and examined the damage, just in time for his two friends to emerge from the woods. The tires were intact, so they hopped into the car. Everything was well, until another car pulled up behind them. The boys froze as a woman approached their car. She asked for Al, and the narrator was painfully quiet until he gained the courage to speak, to tell the girl that the three of them had not seen anyone. However, the girl noticed that the three of them looked like “bad boys,” what they were self-proclaimed as at the beginning of the story, so she offered for them to “party” with her. “I [the narrator] looked at her. I thought I was going to cry.” This line showed a massive leap in the narrator’s attitude. It took one awful night embedded in his memory for him to realize that being a “bad boy” wasn’t all that great of a life to live.
In conclusion, the narrator was a very dynamic character, passionate about being a tough “bad boy” with his two buddies. As the story progressed, he evolved and realized how much pain such a life could bring oneself. He was beaten, stricken with fear, almost to the point of tears; none of these describe a perfect “bad boy.” His overall character took an entire three-sixty turn in just one night; from a prestigious “bad boy” to a lousy kid who was put into his place by a few rough men.
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