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Greasy Lake is a coming-of-age story in that the boys mature due to the events of one night. At the beginning of the story, they want to be "bad characters", but by the end, the boys have seen what it really means to be "bad". When the girls tell them they look like bad characters, they no longer feel this is a compliment. They have learned through their suffering that playing the bad guy isn't what they thought it would be.
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