The paths people choose to follow throughout life come with happiness and some regrets. Greasy Lake by T. Coraghessan Boyle is a story of how three boys chose the wrong path for themselves and had to learn the hard way. They chose the path that everyone else had chosen. The narrator in the story states that they think that they are rebels. This is the type of society in which they live. They rebel against anything with authority; they want to show that they do what they want when they want. They were following society and letting themselves be influenced by what was popular at the time. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is a poem that further uses this theory of following the path that everyone else chooses. This is what connects these two pieces. If you read both pieces you will see that by reading and understanding the piece by Frost, it will further help you to understand the Boyle piece. It will also allow you to apply the themes of these pieces to everyday life and real life situations.
The Road Not Taken is a story of how a person, I ll refer to the person as he came to a crossroads in life. He had a decision to make, should he choose the path that is overly used or does he take the one that is grassy, full of undergrowth, and less traveled. Unlike the boys in Greasy Lake the man in this story is having a hard time deciding on what path to take. He is trying to figure out which one is less traveled by. This is a hard and confusing process to him. He has a hard time judging which path is the one that is less traveled by. He examines both paths and chooses to take the one that was grassy and wanted wear. This is a decision that everyone has to make in life at least once, but usually multiple times. People that choose to take the path that is less traveled are usually the people that have their own desire and will, not just people who do whatever society expects them to do.
The characters in Greasy Lake were faced with the same problem. They had the choice between being themselves or following what they felt they needed to be to fit into the society in which they lived. They could either follow the path most people chose or take the path that was grassy, full of undergrowth, and less traveled. These three boys wanted to fit into society so bad that they took on an image of a ruffian or a thug . They basically became rebels. This was not their true image; they were trying to be something that they were truly not. They became followers; they took the path that was regularly traveled by. Their clothing and appearance represented and displayed what they were all about. We wore torn up leather jackets, slouched around with toothpicks in our mouths, sniffed glue and ether and what somebody claimed was cocaine. These boys did everything that made them appear to be bad. They really believed that they were truly bad, we were bad. They took this path, as many people do, out of fear of what the other path holds. Will the other path cause them to be shunned from society? Is it safe? These are the types of questions that they must have been faced with while making their decision. The path that they chose had already been proven to be cool or the right thing to do at the time.
The three boys from Greasy Lake had chosen the wrong path and it made all the difference in their lives. It caused them to change their ways and realize what the right thing to do was. The altercations and adventures they went through on that one night scared them and made them realize that they really were not what they thought they were. They were not bad ; it was all an image. The path chosen in The Road Not Taken also affected the person s life greatly; I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. (959) The difference it made in his life was that he had went against the norms of society and it either worked out for the best or he regretted it. The way the poem is written you could argue for both. The part that causes me to believe that there is some regret involved was where he tells his story and says, I should be telling this with a sigh. (959) A sigh usually symbolizes some type of regret or mistake of some sort. On the other hand he says, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. (959) This line makes it seems like the path he chose made a significant change in his life, for the better. If it was a regretful decision he may have explained it in a different way such as I took the one less traveled by, and look where it got me.
Both of these pieces were written with the intention of getting the reader to realize the importance of being yourself, and making decisions that make you happy and not the crowd or society in which you live. These decisions occur in everyone s life, you can decide to follow the crowd and learn the hard way, or you can be a leader and create your own path in life. This decision is one that will make all the difference in your life whether it is good or bad.On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid on this assignment.