Compare And Contrast Barn Burning And Greasy Lake

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In the stories "Barn Burning" and "Greasy Lake" by William Faulkner and Tom Boyle, their protagonists slowly transition from childhood into adulthood. Their character's development is portrayed through long periods of near stagnancy, peaking in a sudden moment of enlightenment or epiphany. Both Faulkner's and Boyle's characters have prospered into an adult. Throughout the stories there is evidence that shows how the protagonists arrived at adulthood. Adulthood could have many different meanings. Dictionary.com defines Adulthood as a person who has attained the age of maturity as specified by law, however, others may understand adulthood to be when a person has gone through hardships in their life that caused them to grow up fast, resulting…show more content…
The narrator is characterized as a typical "rebel without a cause." The narrator at the beginning of the story sees nature as antagonistic as well as acting as if "...courtesy and winning ways went out of style...(Boyle 529)", and behaved recklessly, although most of their pranks were harmless and childish. Their childish acts are seen at the beginning of the story when the three boys decide to pull a prank on their friend Tony Lovett. They soon figured out that they pulled a prank on a big greasy guy, rather than their friend Tony. Soon after the narrator and his friends get involved in a violent fight, striking the big greasy guy with a tire iron, which caused the guy to fall to the ground unconscious. His spontaneous actions caused him to run into Greasy Lake when he heard a group of cars heading their way. As the narrator is hiding in Greasy Lake he comes across the dead body of Al, a missing biker. It is at this specific point in the story that the narrator has a moment of enlightenment when he says, "My car was wrecked; he was dead (Boyle 534)." Seeing the dead body floating in the lake, the narrator came to conclusion that being "bad" may result in death and that he one day could end up dead, floating in a lake somewhere. As the three boys come out from hiding, they are confronted by two women who engage in conversation with them asking if they would like to "...party, you want to do some of these with me and Sarah (Boyle 535)?" Even though this is what the narrator and his friends originally set out to do, their rebellious spirit was gone. They leave Greasy Lake in their beat up car as the narrator notes, "I thought I was going to cry (Boyle 535)." Looking back at the story we can see the narrator started out as a "it's good to be bad" type of character who finds it gratifying to get into fights, but a the end of

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