Essay title: The Day of the Locust Essay
of 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 isnot as easy to attain as they once thought.The characters in The Day of theLocustgrow 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 facesmany 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.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 feelings of failure and breaks him down.Faye“could only love a handsome man and would only let a wealthy man love her” (67).Faye constantlydisregards Todd’s feelings for her, slowly crushing his dream life.Faye’s insincere discernment of love isa prevalent example of Hollywood’s degenerative impact upon those in search of materialistic success.
Todd’s failed efforts to gain the love of Faye Greener characterize his downfall and failure to aspire to hisdreams and goals. While continuing to pay no attention to Todd, Faye Greener strives to become famous amongthe movie scene in Hollywood.Her beauty and allure are only surpassed by her rapaciousness andmaterialism.A dim cognizance of these traits lead her to blame herself for her father’s death.“I killedhim” (122), Faye exclaims realizing that she had once informed him that if he could not buy her what shewanted that she would leave him to find someone who could.As Faye faces her guilt for her father’sdemise, she furthermore sacrifices her moral beliefs when she works as a prostitute to afford her father’sfuneral.Miss Greener’s life strays more distant from her dreams as she finds herself being suckeddeeper into the Hollywood world of sex, drugs, and deceit.Faye’s selfishness not only shatters herdreams, but correspondingly plays with.