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Setting the Mood in Greasy Lake

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Setting the Mood in Greasy Lake “Greasy Lake” is a short story that gradually unfolds as the narrator’s night on the town suddenly goes from bad to worse. It all begins when the three “bad characters” mistake a car at Greasy Lake for one of their friends. Although the three soon find out that they have been mistaken, it is already to late to prevent the fight that brakes out next. Boyle uses the setting of a desolate lake to provide the reader with a gloomy mood and instigate the action of the story. The prevailing gloomy mood and action are evolved through detailed descriptions of Greasy Lake and its surrounding areas. The water in Greasy Lake is constantly referred to as mucky and turbid.

When the narrator eventually makes his way across the parking lot and partially submerges himself in the turbid waters upon escaping the scene of the fight, the gloomy mood is intensified through the author’s vivid use of description: “”but the muck took hold of my feet – a sneaker snagged, balance lost- and suddenly I was pitching face forward into the buoyant black mass…” The setting of “Greasy Lake” is greatly related to the mood and actions that occur in the duration short story. The overlying mood of the story is deeply evolved by the setting of a desolate and deserted lake.

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