The Day of the Locust Essay

Great fiction frequently surprises the reader. and Homer’s violent response to Adore’s twits is merely such a surprise. This is non to state that. when Homer is struck in the face with the rock. the reader does non experience a violent response is possible. But throughout the novel. the longsuffering Homer bears his cross with a “sweet grin” ( West 358 ) . Possibly a more prescient reader could anticipate some latent force in Homer’s “unruly custodies. ” but this seems improbable ( 264 ) .

And while there are marks that Homer is non mentally sound. his voyeurism outside Faye’s flat being a premier illustration. there is small to suggest at force. Throughout the novel. Homer meekly suffers Faye’s maltreatment. As the scene in the Cinderella Bar stopping points. Homer shies off from Faye “as though she were traveling to hit him” ( 346 ) . This barely seems like the same character who is capable of violently stamping a small male child to decease. Question Two At the terminal of chapter 19. Homer attends a resurgence meeting at the Tabernacle of the Third Coming and observes the sort of people who “come to California to die” ( 264 ) .

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The “drained-out. lame organic structures and [ the ] natural state. disordered minds” of the church members presage the qualities of the rioters in the novel’s concluding scene ( 337 ) . On one Friday dark. a adult male next to Tod. whose name “most probably was Thompson or Johnson and his place town Sioux City. ” stands up to spit “a brainsick clutter of dietetic regulations. economic sciences and scriptural threats” ( 337 ) . He portions the “messianic rage” of the rabble who tears Homer apart ( 338 ) . As he speaks. it is easy to conceive of that he has the “fever eyes” of the people whom Homer recognizes as those who some to California to decease ( 264 ) .

Question Three The character that instantly comes to mind with the word “grotesque” is “Honest Abe Kusich” whose claim to honesty on his concern card belies his “grotesque depravity” ( 244 ) . Abe’s physical malformation seems monstrous. but his character is besides depraved. As the reader learns tardily in the novel. he has no remorse about hitting below the belt. And despite his little stature. Abe is the iconic Los Angeles streetwalker. Part of making a “grotesque” character depends on set uping a type.

Abe ever has a line on a horserace or a cockfight. He thinks nil of seting the bloody beak of a combat cock in his oral cavity before seting the animate being back in the ring. His violent nature. trapped as it is in a small organic structure. echoes the contradictions of Los Angeles itself. where the houses are “queer” mixtures of architectural manners and retarding force Queenss sing torch vocals at the Cinderella Bar ( 265 ) . Question Four Early on. the reader learns there is something unsafe about Faye Greener.

Tod senses that her flirting is an “invitation [ non to ] pleasance. but to fight. ” that falling for her is like falling off a edifice ( 251 ) . The novel does direct assorted signals as to whether she is the miserable victim of men’s desires or a unreliable annoyer who knows precisely the consequence she is holding. This ambiguity is what makes her character so interesting. With this looking paradox. West is besides researching inquiries about what adult females know about how work forces see them. whether it can be known if adult females understand their significance in men’s heads.

In striking her ill male parent. Faye surely seems like a scoundrel. But the reader can non assist but sympathise with the her predicament after Harry’s decease. when she is forced to work at the “sporting house” ( 252 ) . As the object of male desire and a society built on that desire. Faye frequently seems like a victim. But she is barbarous to work forces. Possibly femme fatale does non quite gaining control Faye every bit good as objet fatale might. Work Cited West. Nathanael. The Day of the Locust. In Nathanael West: Novels and Other Writings. New York: Library of America. 1997. 241-389.