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&Quot;Burning Of Los Angeles&Quot; Essay

916 words - 4 pages

In the book The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West, Tod Hackett is an artist who was scouted to come to Hollywood to learn set and costume designing. After walking around Los Angeles, Tod sees people that are "of a different type"(West 23). Tod wants to paint these people who he believes came to California to die.

Throughout the book Tod's painting, "The Burning of Los Angeles", is coming to life. In the last section of the book West has Tod in a mob scene. Tod is painting the people he has met. He is painting Faye; "Faye ran proudly throwing her knees high. Harry stumbled along behind her, holding unto his beloved derby hat with both hands" (West 201). This quote shows Tod's view of Faye and her relationship with her father. Tod sees Faye as a selfish person who treats her father with little respect. In chapter 11, Faye hits her father to stop him from laughing (West 77). That scene shows that Faye is more concerned about herself than her dying father. Faye shows her selfishness when she first meets Homer and is taking about her father's condition. She stops taking and asks what time it was and Homer responds with one o'clock. Faye says, " `Oh,' she gasped prettily, `and I had a luncheon date'" (West 74). This scene shows that Faye cares more about missing her date than her dying father. Tod sees more of Faye selfish during the time he spends with her. While have drinks with Homer and Faye, Tod witnessed Faye wanting Homer to drink just because she was even though Homer said he could not drink. She forced Homer to drink and was pleased when he did what she wanted. Later in that same scene she was confronted about having Earl and Miguel in the garage. When Rod said they should go but Faye replied with "If they go, I go" (West 151). This was a sign of her selfishness because she had to have it her way and keep her friends in the garage. These two scenes showed Faye like she was in the painting; she had to be better than everyone and proud to be herself, a selfish woman getting what she wanted.

Tod also painted Claude with his turned as he ran to thumb his nose at his pursuers (West 201). Tod saw Claude this way because of the first impression of Claude and his friends. Claude had a huge house that was an exact reproduction of a mansion in Mississippi. After meeting some people Tod is shown a rubber horse in the pool. Tod asks why, the woman responds, "To amuse" (West 39). Tod could not understand why...

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