The Day of the Locust Essay

919 Words Feb 6th, 2001 4 Pages
Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust tells the story of people who have come to California in search of the American Dream. They travel west hoping to escape less than perfect lives and pursue success in
Hollywood. The characters in this novel dream of a life of luxury, having lots of money, and living happily ever after. They eventually come to the realization that the seemingly picture perfect life that
California represents is not as easy to attain as they once thought. The characters in The Day of the
Locust grow discontented and disappointed with their lives and embittered towards the world, which instigates the downfall of this lower level of Hollywood society. Todd Hackett, Faye Greener, and Homer
Simpson all depict
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Faye Greener is a prime example of how materialism and superficiality can stem form the pursuit of the American Dream. Homer Simpson comes to California with a different goal than the other characters in The Day of the Locust. He seeks only happiness, peacefulness, and escape from "a life...entirely without variety or excitement...with impersonal detachment" (88). Homer's downfall is inevitable as soon as he begins to associate with the lower levels of Hollywood. Homer's shyness and inability to stand up for himself makes him a perfect target to be a victim of Faye's arrogant ways. Simpson's love for Faye blinds him from this obvious reality, while she walks all over him. Faye constantly uses Homer when she needs help and ignores him when he has problems. This vicious cycle eventually leads to the breakdown of
Homer Simpson. When a young boy throws a rock a Homer, he viciously unleashes all of his built up emotions of frustration on this poor boy. West describes the scene in which this occurs as "a regular free for all" (183). Simpson becomes yet another display of the dehumanizing effect that Hollywood can impose upon a person as well as the tragic and prevalently violent repercussions which befall. In The Day of the Locust, it becomes quite apparent that this Hollywood society itself is "a regular free for all" (183), where people find themselves swallowed up by a shallow world of hate, lies,

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