Greasy Lake

by

T. Coraghessan Boyle

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Digby Character Analysis

Along with Jeff, Digby is one of the narrator’s two best friends. The narrator describes him as a “dangerous character.” Digby, who is nineteen, wears an earring and “allow[s] his father to pay his tuition at Cornell.” Comfortably middle-class and “bad” in the same false way the narrator is bad, Digby represents the three boys’ foolish desire for danger.

Digby Quotes in Greasy Lake

The Greasy Lake quotes below are all either spoken by Digby or refer to Digby. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Danger Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Greasy Lake published in 1986.
Greasy Lake Quotes

There was a time when courtesy and winning ways went out of style, when it was good to be bad, when you cultivated decadence like a taste. We were all dangerous characters then. We wore torn-up leather jackets, slouched around with toothpicks in our mouths, sniffed glue and ether and what somebody claimed was cocaine. We were nineteen. We were bad. We struck elaborate poses to show that we didn’t give a shit about anything. At night, we went up to Greasy Lake.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Digby, Jeff
Related Symbols: Greasy Lake
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:

It was early June, the third night of summer vacation. The first two nights we’d been out [driving around] till dawn, looking for something we never found.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Digby, Jeff
Related Symbols: Greasy Lake, Cars
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:

There was no reasoning with this bad greasy character—clearly he was a man of action.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Digby, Jeff, The “Bad Character” (Bobbie)
Page Number: 4
Explanation and Analysis:

A single second, big as a zeppelin, floated by. We were standing over him in a circle, gritting our teeth, jerking our necks. No one said anything. Already [I was] envisioning the headlines, the pitted faces of the police inquisitors, the gleam of handcuffs, clank of bars, the big black shadows rising from the back of the cell.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Digby, Jeff, The “Bad Character” (Bobbie)
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:

We were bad characters, and we were scared and hot and three steps over the line—anything could have happened.

Related Characters: The Narrator (speaker), Digby, Jeff, “The Fox”
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

“Hey, you guys look like some pretty bad characters—been fightin’, huh?”

Related Characters: Older Girl (speaker), The Narrator, Digby, Jeff
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Greasy Lake LitChart as a printable PDF.
Greasy Lake PDF

Digby Character Timeline in Greasy Lake

The timeline below shows where the character Digby appears in Greasy Lake. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Greasy Lake
Danger Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
Memory, Reminiscence, and the Pull of the Past Theme Icon
...was there, he says satirically, “in the company of two dangerous characters,” with his friends Digby—who wears a “gold star” earring and “allow[s] his father to pay his tuition at Cornell”—and... (full context)
Danger Theme Icon
Nature vs. Development Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
Memory, Reminiscence, and the Pull of the Past Theme Icon
The narrator, in his mother’s Bel Air, drives Digby and Jeff out to Greasy Lake. It is the third night of summer vacation, and... (full context)
Danger Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
Digby exclaims that the Chevy is “Tony Lovett’s car,” and honks the Bel Air’s horn. The... (full context)
Danger Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
While the Bad Character kicks the narrator savagely, Digby steps in to deliver “a savage kung-fu blow,” employing a move he learned in a... (full context)
Danger Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
...Character, like a “balloon [up against] a man with a straight pin, collapse[s.]” The narrator, Digby, and Jeff stand silently over the Bad Character’s unconscious body. The narrator can “already envision... (full context)
Danger Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
Memory, Reminiscence, and the Pull of the Past Theme Icon
...hair. “It was the toenails that did it,” the narrator says, before describing how he, Digby, and Jeff leapt upon her, “deranged, panting, tearing at her clothes, grabbing for flesh. We... (full context)
Danger Theme Icon
Nature vs. Development Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
Memory, Reminiscence, and the Pull of the Past Theme Icon
...quickly realize that, due to the missing keys, they have no way of starting it. Digby and Jeff bolt, and the narrator runs across the dirt lot to the lake’s edge.... (full context)
Danger Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
...stands and returns to his mother’s car. He takes stock of the extensive damage, and Digby and Jeff “emerge from [their hiding place in] the trees.” Both boys are beaten badly,... (full context)
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
A “silver Mustang with flame decals” pulls into the lot. Digby and Jeff get into their car and close the doors. The Mustang parks next to... (full context)
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
...in “tight jeans [and] stiletto[s.]” They inspect the motorcycle and call for someone named “Al.” Digby again presses the narrator to drive away. Just then, one of the girls—the narrator thinks... (full context)
Danger Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
Memory, Reminiscence, and the Pull of the Past Theme Icon
...to “party.” The narrator, feeling as if he is about to cry, doesn’t answer her. Digby, on all three of the boys’ behalves, refuses the drugs. The narrator then puts the... (full context)