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Word Count: 544
Greasy Lake by TC Boyle is an initiation story about three boys in search of something they have yet to find398 What they are trying to find is their identity Like most teenagers these boys are rebellious and involve themselves in socially deviant behavior because they are not yet mature enough to comprehend the potentially devastating ramifications of their actions Sometimes the only way one learns his limits is by stretching their boundaries TC Boyle makes this the center focus of Greasy Lake and his judicious use of symbols show us how easily one can lose his veneer of innocence by the wrong decision they makeOne of these symbols is the admiration the narrator and his two friends have for motorcycles and fast cars Their parents whining station wagons are inadequate when compared to the masculinity of a mustang trimmed with chrome 397 These types of machines are run on testosterone and are the antithesis of the conservative means of transportation that responsible authoritative figures would typically drive They represent rebellion for one can ride fast and freely on vehicles such as these The boys are well aware of this but at least subconsciously they also know that they cannot run foreverLights and light imagery show insight and they illuminate potentially volatile situations black and darkness imply rebellion and destruction The boys hide themselves behind torn-up leather jackets and mirrored sunglasses Some believe that the eyes are windows to the soul thus covering ones eyes would not allow another to see their true feelings The boys also seek to further mask their insecurities by consuming alcohol and smoking marijuana Universally light signifies truth and insight and this is what these teenagers are seeking to avoid When the boys head to Greasy Lake the taillights of a car blink at them like a lighthouse flashing to warn ships of the rocky shores that lie beneath it Then a pair of headlights point at them like accusing
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