The Day of the Locust Essay

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In the following essay, Nadel suggests that The Day of the Locust is "relentless in its exposure of the decay and violence that comes from the betrayal of dreams."

Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust is a realistic novel about an unreal city. Centered in Hollywood and the world of movie-making, the story avoids the glitter of stardom to concentrate on the life of the disenchanted. It presents the disillusioned, those who find themselves cheated of the glamour their fantasies promised and the movies provided. The novel emphasizes the spiritual and moral death of the city, symptomatic of the condition within the country as a whole. Focusing on the despair of out-of-work bit actors, the illusions of romantic but untalented actresses, the unhappiness of once-successful vaudeville comics, the paralysis of those who journey to the coast, the novel stresses the death of dreams and culminates in a...

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This section contains 1,156 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Day of the Locust Study Guide
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The Day of the Locust from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.