In the short story essay Greasy Lake by T. Coraghessan Boyle, a literary devise applied is setting. The three different types of setting are physical, historical and geographic. He employs them threw out the essay giving us detailed information on what is going on. Boyle describes the lake as to be a place where some rather not go anymore do to its physical condition. The lake is physically described as “fetid and murky, the mud banks glittering with broken glass and strewn with beer cans and the charred remains of bonfires” pg 77. The narrator continues to describe the lake with such a horrid atmosphere when he and his friends arrive. Describing all things that come about in a place like that “the bad breath of decay all around me” pg 80, signifying that the Greasy Lake was not a place to be.
In the Greasy Lake, the lake was once described by the narrator as a place that at one time would be described as Wakan. Wakan is the term the narrator tells us the Indians had used to describe the lake. The narrator tells us that the Indians used the term to describe “the clarity of its waters” pg 77. The now noticeable change of the water from what the Indians considered as “Wakan” to being “fetid and murky” shows the significant change in the way society had felt to keep the lake. The dramatic turn is implied when the lake is described to be a place of where I stated above that of “breath of decay.” Also showing a change in society the narrator focuses on the use of drugs, violence, alcohol, and rape as to be reasons why the lake is the way it is.