How important to what happens in this story is Greasy Lake itself? What details about the lake and its shores strike you as particularly memorable? From the storythe greasey lake

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copelmat eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The setting as a whole--and in particular Greasy Lake itself--are quite important to the overall theme and meaning of the story.

The descriptions of the water of the lake and its shores are particularly important early on in the story to understanding the tension and conflict present. This is not a place most people would want to be, even the lake's name suggests that this is an undesirable place. This begs the question, then, why are the narrator and his two friends here? Why do they want to go somewhere undesirable? The answer, in simple terms, is that these are "good" kids looking to be "bad" and they need a “bad” place to make that a reality.

The lake becomes important later in the work as a symbol for what has occurred. Particularly memorable for me is the descriptions of the scum that floats within and on the surface of the lake. When the narrator dives into the water to escape Bobby's friends, it is a fitting reflection of the moral transgressions he has just committed. His beating of Bobby over the head with a tire iron and his attempted rape of Bobby's acquaintance show the "greasy" depths to which he has sunk. His encounter with the corpse of the biker while in the water, then, is also suggestive of the consequences of this "bad" life he has now chosen for himself.