The Day of the Locust Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How does the author begin the story with interest so that the setting and time period are different from what is originally thought?

The author places the main character, Tod Hackett, watching approaching cavalry and infantrymen resplendent in their epaulets and fluttering plumes. The noise of horse hooves and swords in shields is broken by a voice, amplified through a megaphone, that informs the group that they are headed the wrong way. The only way a reader knows it is not a real battle is the voice coming through a megaphone.

2. Why has Tod come to Hollywood?

Tod has been in Hollywood not quite three months. He still finds it fascinating every day. A talent scout hired him on the strength of some drawings he exhibited at the Yale School of Fine Arts. Tod is here to learn set and costume design, although he feels too gawky to undertake such aesthetic work.

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