Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust tells the story of people who have come to California in searchof the American Dream. They travel west hoping to escape less than perfect lives and pursue success inHollywood. The characters in this novel dream of a life of luxury, having lots of money, and livinghappily ever after. They eventually come to the realization that the seemingly picture perfect life thatCalifornia represents is not as easy to attain as they once thought. The characters in The Day of theLocust grow discontented and disappointed with their lives and embittered towards the world, whichinstigates the downfall of this lower level of Hollywood society.
Todd Hackett, Faye Greener, and HomerSimpson all depict failed attempts to achieve the American Dream. Todd Hackett is a main character who lives with the continuous threat of failure while heattempts to fulfill his personal dreams amongst the lower classes of Hollywood. Hackett comes toCalifornia hoping for a career designing movie scenery, but he faces many obstacles that he mustovercome before he can move up in the Hollywood society. Todd's life begins to go downhill as heassociates more frequently with the lower levels of Hollywood society. This prevents him from climbingthe ladder of fame which he so desperately aspires to accomplish. He is shown a darker side ofHollywood which plays with his emotions and distracts him from his goals. Hackett's main distraction ishis attraction to a girl named Faye Greener
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He struggles to focus on different aspects of his lifeunsuccessfully, but he cannot seem to ignore his incessant attraction to Faye. One example of this is ascene when Todd is getting ready to go out, but "his eyes [keep] straying to the photograph..a picture ofFaye Greener" (67). As displayed in this quote, Todd's life is occupied with the need to be loved byFaye. This compulsion eventually leaves Todd with...