Analysis of The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West Essay

Analysis of The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West Essay

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Analysis of The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West

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 h...

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