This novel is difficult to interpret because it employs various methods to convey its themes, which are not always clearly interrelated. The novel is organized around two parallel actions: Tod Hackett's and Homer Simpson's self-destructive pursuits of Faye Greener. However, it uses many other symbolic devices to suggest ideas which are difficult to connect to Tod's and Homer's experiences. Unlike Homer, Tod understands much of his experiences, and he is constantly observing and analyzing Hollywood life. His point of view blends with the author's, and the critical stance is usually identifiable with Tod's. Homer, on the other hand, has little understanding of the milieu and of his own motives. His responses are treated satirically because he is deceived by the shoddiness around him, and thus he resorts to clumsy defenses. Both men pursue what is artificial, shallow, and glittering, as well as
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