The Day of the Locust Essay

Topics: Emotion, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance, Love Pages: 3 (925 words) Published: February 12, 2001
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 failed attempts to achieve the American Dream.

Todd Hackett is a main character who lives with the continuous threat of failure while he attempts to fulfill his personal dreams amongst the lower classes of Hollywood. Hackett comes to California hoping for a career designing movie scenery, but he faces many obstacles that he must overcome before he can move up in the Hollywood society. Todd's life begins to go downhill as he associates more frequently with the lower levels of Hollywood society. This prevents him from climbing the ladder of fame which he so desperately aspires to accomplish. He is shown a darker side of Hollywood which plays with his emotions and distracts him from his goals. Hackett's main distraction is his attraction to a girl named Faye Greener. He struggles to focus on different aspects of his life unsuccessfully, but he cannot seem to ignore his incessant attraction to Faye. One example of this is a scene when Todd is getting ready to go out, but "his eyes [keep] straying to the photograph...a picture of Faye Greener" (67). As displayed in this quote, Todd's life is occupied with the need to be loved by Faye. This compulsion eventually leaves Todd with feelings of failure and breaks him down. Faye...
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