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The Day of the Locust | Study Guide

Nathanael West

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Course Hero. "The Day of the Locust Study Guide." Course Hero. 16 Mar. 2018. Web. 7 June 2023. <>.

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Course Hero. (2018, March 16). The Day of the Locust Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved June 7, 2023, from

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Course Hero. "The Day of the Locust Study Guide." March 16, 2018. Accessed June 7, 2023.


Course Hero, "The Day of the Locust Study Guide," March 16, 2018, accessed June 7, 2023,

The Day of the Locust | Chapter 3 | Summary



A photo of Faye Greener in a harem costume stuck in the frame of his mirror distracts Tod Hackett, who is dressing for a party. Faye is not truly a great beauty, but he is drawn to her lascivious expression in the photo and her declaration when they met that she is not interested in love from a "good hearted" man without money and looks. He is, in fact, undeterred by her unsentimental attitude. He seems to welcome the sexual challenge.


Besides the awareness that Faye's personal values are unattractive, Tod Hackett imagines that the invitation in her seductive photo is not "to pleasure, but to struggle ... closer to murder than to love." Although he manages to laugh at his own overblown language, its tone may be alarming to the reader: "If you threw yourself on her, it would be like throwing yourself from ... a skyscraper ... your teeth would be driven into your skull ... and your back would be broken." Still, he would have been glad to have such license. For the reader, it becomes increasingly difficult to imagine who this untested young man with the cold heart and the artistic instincts really is and what he may be capable of.

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