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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. 9 June 2023. <>.

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Course Hero. "The Day of the Locust Study Guide." March 16, 2018. Accessed June 9, 2023.


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The Day of the Locust | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

Narrator, Chapter 1 t is hard to laugh at the need for beauty and romance, no matter how tasteless. Sources: Alive Inside the Wreck: A Biography of Nathanael Westby Joe Woodward,, Los Angeles Times Copyright © 2018 Course Hero, Inc. Names Symbolize the sociopolitical stresses of the 1930s Siren Scream Represents the release of Tod’s feelings of horror Fire & Heat Symbolize Tod’s vision of Los Angeles Symbols Out-of-work vaudeville actor; has become a caricature of his own performances Harry Greener Shy 40-year-old bookkeeper; frightened by and powerless against his repressed desires Homer Simpson Young, insecure artist;hides his violent feelingsin his artwork Tod Hackett Aspiring 17-year-old actress and gold digger; frustrates her many admirers Faye Greener Main Characters West was born Nathan Weinstein in New York City. His experiences as a screenwriter in the 1930s inspired West to write The Day of the Locust, where he takes on Hollywood’s habit of sugarcoating reality. He died in a car accident soon after the novel’s publication. His four novels are considered American classics. NATHANAEL WEST1903–40 Author Kindness and compassion lose out to cruelty and selfishness in 1930s Hollywood. Survival & Violence Tod seeks authentic experiences and finds them in suffering. Authenticity as Value Artificial characters thrivein a Hollywood culture built on illusion. Appearance & Reality When Tod Hackett comes to Hollywood for work, he befriends a group of people living sad existences on the fringe of the filmmaking industry during the Great Depression. Eventually, the warped dreams of Hackett and his friends explode in violence in this dark satire of Hollywood. Hollywood’s Dark Underside THEMES English Original Language 1939 Year Published Nathanael West Author The Day ofthe Locust Satire Novel

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