whenever the lizard missed a fly. Like a plant, Homer was neither happy nor sad after that his painful memories had receded.AnalysisChapters 9 and ten drive home the fact that Homer's new existence upon moving to California is a listless one. Unlike others who have come to California in search of a better life, a film career, or some other dream, Homer's only goal at this point in his life has been to find Miss Martin after she left the hotel. This goal failed before he came to California on doctor's orders. Perhaps because of this, Homer does not fit into his new surroundings very well. The California environment in Chapters 9 and 10 comes across as hostile—belligerent beggars, dazzlingly bright supermarkets, uninviting cactus plants, and brutal food-chains of lizards and flies. Homer shrinks from his surroundings accordingly, operating in a state of near-panic anytime he is outside his house. He implicitly rejects the hyper-colors of the SunGold Market, buying only bland and drab-colored foods such as sardines and mushroom soup. He seems, at least subconsciously, to recognize his status as an outsider or underdog in his constant hope that the flies will escape the predatory lizard.While Chapter 8 focuses on Homer's memory of Miss Martin, Chapters 9 and 10 seem less privy to the inner workings of Homer's consciousness. We are told that it "must have hurt" when Homer cut his hand, but because of his lack of expression, it is "hard to say" whether Homer he was happy or not. It is unclear whether the third-person narrator merely does not have access to Homer's thoughts and feelings, or whether Homer simply has no thoughts or feelings at all. The text sometimes points to the latter, as in the descriptions of Homer's attempts to block out the painful memory, his decision to sleep as much as possible, and his vegetable existence in general. Although Homer is a passive victim, especially in his new environment, it becomes difficult to sympathize with him, as he does not seem to consciously register his victim status.Although there appears to be little to know about Homer, the details about his past and the vignettes of his lonely days alone do provide information about him, and cause us to realize that, at this point in the novel at least, we know even less about Tod Hackett. Although Tod's consciousness does stand at the center of the novel—indeed, the language of Tod's consciousness even bleeds into these sections about Homer—we do not know many personal details about Tod and rarely see him alone. In comparison to Homer, Tod appears to be more of a narrator than protagonist, as he does not often affect the people around him or make events happen. In this light, we may now view Homer, rather than Tod, as the novel's protagonist.