The character of The “Bad Character” (Bobbie) in Greasy Lake from LitCharts | The creators of SparkNotes

Greasy Lake

The “Bad Character” (Bobbie) Character Analysis

When the narrator, Digby, and Jeff arrive at Greasy Lake, they spot a metallic blue ’57 Chevy, and assume it is their friend Tony Lovett’s car. As they honk their horn and hoot at “Tony,” a “very bad character in greasy jeans and engineer boots rip[s] out of the driver’s door.” He immediately starts attacking the three boys. They attempt to subdue him with lame “kung-fu” moves, but it isn’t until the narrator attacks the Bad Character with a tire iron that the Bad Character drops to the ground. The boys’ defeat of the Bad Character makes plain to them the horrific reality of being “bad,” and the fact that their torn leather jackets and fake karate cannot prepare them for the realities of the “greasy” underworld of their hometown. The Bad Character is the human embodiment of danger; he is “a man of action,” according to the narrator, and his dangerous clothing and fearsome bearing are sharp in the narrator’s mind as he recounts their brawl.

The “Bad Character” (Bobbie) Quotes in Greasy Lake

The Greasy Lake quotes below are all either spoken by The “Bad Character” (Bobbie) or refer to The “Bad Character” (Bobbie). 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 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:
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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:
Quotes explanation short mobile
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The “Bad Character” (Bobbie) Character Timeline in Greasy Lake

The timeline below shows where the character The “Bad Character” (Bobbie) 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
...Chevy—which is a “much lighter” blue, the boys realize, “than the robin’s-egg of Tony’s car.” The Bad Character was “clearly a man of action,” the narrator recalls with more than a hint of... (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... (full context)
Danger Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
Though “terrified,” the narrator brings the tire iron down on the Bad Character ’s head. “The effect [is] instantaneous,” and the Bad Character, like a “balloon [up against]... (full context)
Danger Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
...screams out, “Motherfucker!” The narrator realizes, with great relief, that it is the voice of the Bad Character ; he is not dead after all. The Bad Character continues to shout curses into... (full context)
Danger Theme Icon
Action vs. Inaction Theme Icon
...slam[ming] and headlights shattering” fill the silence. He peeks through the underbrush and realizes that the Bad Character is, with the narrator’s own tire iron and with the help of two blond men,... (full context)