Study Guide

Miguel in The Day of the Locust

By Nathanael West


Miguel seems like a swell guy and all, we guess, but we'd never have thought that he'd be the one to get with Faye. He's an unemployed cockfight expert, and she's a seventeen-year-old budding starlet—that's not exactly a match made in heaven.

Still, the chemistry is apparent from the moment Miguel and Faye lock eyes. Think back to our initial encounter with Miguel in the canyon, when he and Faye make googly eyes at each other all night. Or think back to the way they dance at Homer's party: "all the buttons on her lounging pajamas were open and the arm he had around her was inside her clothes" (23.1). These fools better be careful, or we'll have to rename the novel Fifty Shades of Faye.

Ultimately, it's this directness that Faye finds so attractive in Miguel. Her other suitors are insecure, trying every passive-aggressive trick in the book to get her in bed. Miguel, on the other hand, makes his sexual advances as clear as can be. In a world of jealous lovers like Earle, passive lovers like Homer, and straight-up wackadoodles like Tod, a little bit of directness goes a long way.