Human Nature In T. Boyle's Greasy Lake

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What is human nature and how do young people overcome or accept it? This is the question that T. Boyle’s “Greasy Lake” asks. Between the misconstrued thoughts of adulthood and superficial attempts of establishing independence, the story walks through a short period of time where the Narrator is caught in the middle of such occurrences and through this the literary elements of setting and perspective truly shine. However, before looking into the underlying meaning of the piece, examining the plot at a surface glance is a crucial place to start. The story begins by describing nineteen year old rebellion in its purest form; borrowing station wagons and drinking underage. Once introduced as “bad characters”, the gaggle of adolescents take their …show more content…

But in relation to the grand scheme of the story,the setting is much more important in relation to any other element. These events could have taken place in a parking lot, a mall, or any other place where young degenerates wasted time. However, the line, “This was nature.” adds another layer of depth to the setting due to the Narrator’s changed perspective (2). The repetition in this line once the Narrator emerges from the disgusting depths to see the beauty of “the sun firing buds and opening blossoms” and “the birds [who] had begun to take over for the crickets.” This change in perspective represents an adolescent’s realization on poor life decisions and the desire to move forward. The use of nature instead of visuals that are man-made are also important in relation to the story because when the line, “This was nature.” was first used, it was referring to the ugly side of mankind such as sex, drugs, and alcohol. Though setting was previously stated as the most important literary element, theme also ties nicely into the message the story is trying to make as well. Many readers may interpret this piece as a coming of age story for the Narrator or for adolescents in general. However, the theme is actually human nature and the choice to succumb or stray away from it. Human nature in it of itself is the power to make

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