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The Day of the Locust Summary
Nathanael West

Everything you need to understand or teach The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West.

  • The Day of the Locust Summary & Study Guide
  • 1 Student Essay
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  • 30 The Day of the Locust Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
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The Day of the Locust Summary


The Day of the Locust, by Nathanael West, is set in 1930s Hollywood and follows the lives of a handful of people peripherally associated with the movie industry. Today, many critics consider it the best novel about Hollywood ever written, but it received little notice from the general public when it was released in 1939. According to Richard B. Gehman in his introduction to the 1976 reprint of the novel, many critics at the time considered the novel to be in "bad taste."

The novel combines realistic features, such as characters who are flawed, with the artificial and surreal atmosphere of the movie industry. Tod Hackett, recently graduated from Yale University, is an illustrator and set designer for a film company. He lives in the same apartment building as Faye Greener, an aspiring and ambitious actress who will not date Tod because he is neither rich nor handsome. Through Faye, Tod...

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The Day of the Locust Study Guide

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The Day of the Locust Lesson Plans contain 88 pages of teaching material, including:

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