In "Greasy Lake," what is the name of the narrator?

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D. Reynolds eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The story's narrator is unnamed. He is a first-person narrator, and he never identifies himself, which raises the question of why. Does he assume that the readers will know who he is? From the opening of the story, in which he gives explanatory, if generalized, background information, it seems he doesn't expect us to recognize him. Another, more likely explanation would be that this fictional character, looking back at a sordid episode from his youth, might not want to be identified. After all, he simply calls his friends Digby (which could be a first or last name) and Jeff, though he does mention that Digby is going to Cornell at the time. However, he doesn't identify them with first and last names.

An even likelier explanation is that the narrator wants to present himself as an everyman, a typical 1960s college student who isn't anywhere near as tough or wild as he thinks he is.

Whatever the case, it is useful to think about why an author makes these kinds of narrative choices.

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The narrator of the story is not named, although his character is very well developed in the story. At the beginning of the story, he sees himself as "bad," a rebel of sorts; by the end of the story, all he wants to do is drive home in his parents' now battered station wagon and crawl into the safety of his own bed.

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