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The Day of the Locust explication - Essay Example

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Instructor Date The Day of the Locust explication When Nathanael West wrote “The Day of the Locust”, he had not put it in mind that the novel would be considered one of the best novels about life in Hollywood. The crowd as depicted in this novel is wild, sublime, overwhelming, and shocking…
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The Day of the Locust explication

Download file to see previous pages... Alternatively, they could be waiting for a bus to deliver them to a place full of hope that, realistically, will never come. The novel depicts a poor mass that are surrounded by glitters of Hollywood, which provides them with the illusions of good life. However, the narrator cannot comprehend the irrationality of the crowd, who seem to be angry with everything. The paper analyzes the use of crowd in The Day of the Locust. There is the use of crowd to symbolize the direction American society has taken, with masses not being recognized by their contribution to the success of the Hollywood stars, who have lost touch with the reality of life, built a ringed barrier around them and creates illusions among their followers. Tod Hackett, a fresh graduate from an Art School, Yale University who has been living in Hollywood for about three months. As he works on his epic painting, “The Burning of Los Angeles” he encounters what can best be described as a dangerous crowd of people who cling to hope against the backdrop of hard reality. As depicted in the apocalypse of landscape, the crowd is charged; as they arm themselves with baseball bats and torches. In page 10, he describes the scene at the movie premier in the manner in which the crowd is charged and show signs of impatience; “...Thousands of people had already gathered. They stood facing the theatre with their backs to the gutter in a thick line hundreds of feet long” Nadel 226). In a view to describe the gap between the crown and those Hollywood personalities, the narrator states continues; “A big squad of policemen was trying to keep a lane open between the front rank of the crowd and the faced of the theatre...” (Gehman 10). The narrator’s description of the life of the Hollywood stars and the masses depicts two sides that are not in sync with each other. His perception is that the Hollywood art is just meant to provide some sort of mechanical fantasies to the American poor populace. In fact, the use of imagery in the description of Los Angeles is a direct creation of perception that the people have been exposed to some sort of machination to fantasize and live in some fabricated world of dreams. This kind of dream offers short term gratification, and that any form of delay to the actualization of this dream can lead to disastrous reaction from the crowd. The latter is depicted in the grotesque facial depictions of the people: “all those poor devils who can only best stirred by the promise of miracles and then only to violence” (Gehman 10). The novel relentlessly exposes the decay and constant violence that emerge from the failure to accomplish the dreams of the masses. The idealism and the actuality of the life in Los Angeles’ Hollywood is depicted as worlds apart. In this case, finding the reality from the discrepancies of imaginations is so hard that the Tod can only predict doom. The novel, in other words, predicts the imagined American dream that is full of fantasies remarkably addressed in symbolic characteristic of the crowd. Within the core of this dream is a seemingly eminent violence, which may arise when the masses realizes that they have not been part of the illusion of activities presented in the events. The crowd becomes difficult to control and portrays uncertainty with the goals, even as they feel threatened by the Hollywood idols. Ironically, they are prepared ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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