The book The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West, tells the narrative of some people who came to California in hunt of the American Dream. They travel west trusting to acquire off from the less than perfect lives and pursue success in Hollywood. The characters in this fresh dream of a life of luxury, doing tonss of money, and populating a good life. They finally come to the realisation that the glamourous life that California represents is non as easy to achieve as they one time thought. The characters grow discontented and disappointed with their lives and acrimonious towards the universe, which instigates the ruin of this lower degree of Hollywood society.
Nathanael West was born in New York City in 1903. His existent name was Nathan Wallenstein Weinstein. West was the first of three kids and the lone male child. He was really near to his male parent and his youngest sister. West was non that academically distinguished, he withdrew from Tufts University after merely two months. Baseball was his passion, but he would woolgather in the outfield. He was hit in the caput by a fly ball and it bounced off for a homerun, he was given the moniker “ Pep ” , which stayed with him the remainder of his life. West graduated from Brown in 1924 and rewrote his first narrative The Dream Life of Balso Snell. He was able to acquire it in private published in 1931. West ‘s last novel was published in 1939, selling merely about 1,500 transcripts. West died in 1940 while returning from a hunting trip. Since his decease, his fresh The Day of the Locust has sold over 250,000 transcripts, his repute has risen continuously ( Hyman ) .
Tod Hackett is an creative person who came to Hollywood to larn set and costume designing. After walking about Los Angeles, Tod sees people that are “ of a different type ” ( West 23 ) . Tod wants to paint these people who he believes came to California to decease. Throughout the book Tod ‘s picture, “ The Burning of Los Angeles ” , is coming to life. In the last subdivision of the book West has Tod in a mob scene. Tod is painting the people he has met. He is painting Faye ; “ Faye ran proudly throwing her articulatio genuss high. Harry stumbled along behind her, keeping unto his darling bowler hats hat with both custodies ” ( West 201 ) . This quotation mark shows Tod ‘s position of Faye and her relationship with her male parent. Tod sees Faye as a selfish individual who treats her male parent with small regard. In chapter 11, Faye hits her male parent to halt him from express joying ( West 77 ) . That scene shows that Faye is more concerned about herself than her deceasing male parent. Faye shows her selfishness when she foremost meets Homer and is speaking about her male parent ‘s status. Faye Greener ‘s character represents nature, “ the version of nature that is delusory ” ( Sanderson ) .
Homer Simpson came to California with a different end than the other characters in The Day of the Locust. He seeks merely to rest and non to be bothered by anybody. ( 88 ) . Homer ‘s ruin is inevitable every bit shortly as he begins to tie in with the lower degrees of Hollywood. Homer ‘s shyness and inability to stand up for himself makes him a good mark to be a victim of Faye ‘s chesty ways. Simpson ‘s love for Faye blinds him from this obvious world, while she walks all over him. Faye invariably uses Homer when she needs aid and ignores him when he has jobs. This barbarous rhythm finally leads to the dislocation of Homer Simpson. When a immature male child throws a stone a Homer, he brutally unleashes all of his built up emotions of defeat on this hapless male child. West describes the scene in which this occurs as a regular free for all ( 147 ) . Simpson becomes yet another casualty of the consequence that Hollywood can enforce upon a individual every bit good as the tragic and prevalently violent reverberations which happen.
The novel is set around two similar actions: Tod Hackett ‘s and Homer Simpson ‘s suicidal chases of Faye Greener. However, it uses many other symbolic devices to propose thoughts which are hard to link to Tod ‘s and Homer ‘s experiences. Unlike Homer, Tod understands much of his experiences, and he is invariably detecting and analysing Hollywood life. His point of position blends with the writer ‘s, and the critical stance is normally identifiable with Tod ‘s. Homer, on the other manus, has small apprehension of the environment and of his ain motivations. His responses are treated as irony because he is deceived by the trashiness around him, and therefore he resorts to clumsy defences. Both work forces prosecute what is unreal, shallow, and glittering, every bit good as the explosively sexual Faye Greener, a symbol of Hollywood ‘s falseness and the delusory American dream. Partly cognizant of this, Tod still wants her, but he knows that he ca n’t hold her and, he knows that his thrust is destructive and in vain.
Faye Greener is a seventeen-year-old, platinum blonde manque Hollywood actress and sex goddess. Shallow, heartless, and manipulative, she provides the focal point of attending for most of the male characters. Faye ‘s first name suggests faery elation, and her last name suggests the green freshness of nature. Her true character is a lampoon of these qualities. Faye possesses a mature organic structure and plump chests and good rounded natess. She frequently dresses kid like, stressing her tease offer of out sex to the work forces who look at her. She has been trained by her male parent to believe of herself as a theatrical performing artist and to move with a upper limit of artificiality. Faye is in agreement with the American semblance that aspiration and will are the equivalent of endowment. Although she has no existent moving ability, she may non truly be stupid, for in her environment, utilizing her encephalon could function no intent. Self-criticism would merely take down her defences against the predatory Hollywood universe.
In Critical essay written by Gloria Young, she calls The Day of the Locust an “ revelatory vision of impending twentieth-century Holocaust ” . The novel could be perceived as some of a scriptural facet. Tod Hackett could make full the function of Jeremiah ( Young ) . Tod pigments himself into his image “ The Burning of Los Angeles ” by running wildly in the torch-carrying host. West besides uses the symbolic imagination of the New and Old Testaments to uncover the stoping of a corrupt universe. In another Critical essay the novel is called a “ realistic novel about an unreal metropolis ” ( Nadel ) .
The Day of the Locust does non look at the good things about Hollywood, it looks at the portion that no 1 wants to see or cover with. The novel shows all the battles and adversities that come with seeking to do it the film or moving concern. The fresh focal points on the desperation of the out-of-work histrions seeking to do a name for themselves in Hollywood. The characters in The Day of the Locust feel that they have been swindled out of a perfect dream life. In turn each of them chooses to populate a bogus life. West ‘s Hollywood is made up of degeneration and whorehouses, of failure and sexual desire, of cock-fighting and 3rd rate embarkation houses.
This novel is hard to construe because it utilizes assorted methods to convey its subjects, which are non ever clearly interrelated. The novel droop in some parts but choices back up at the cockfight and is superb for the remainder of the narrative. The sexual defeats that go on between Tod and Faye, he wants to acquire her in his bed, but she does non desire him. There is besides another adult male that was obsessed with Faye, which was Homer Simpson. West wanted to state the narrative this manner, because it was a narrative from his life ( some of it anyhow ) . The narrative could be a expression at what we have to look frontward to in the hereafter. The Day of the Locust is in one manner or another, a expression at the Depression of the 1930 ‘s.