Study Guide

The Day of the Locust Chapter 11

By Nathanael West

Chapter 11

  • Homer has been living in his new place for a month when Harry Greener shows up at his door, begging for a glass of water. Homer lets him in.
  • Harry immediately launches into a silly slapstick performance before offering Homer a can of "Miracle Solvent, the modern polish par excellence" at a discounted rate (11.16).
  • It isn't long before Homer has offered to buy two cans. Something has snapped in Harry, however, and he starts freaking on spasmodically.
  • Harry lies down on the couch and asks Homer to grab his suitcase from the front step. Homer does what the man says and spots Faye outside when he grabs the case.
  • Harry tries to get up, but he collapses. He asks Homer to get Faye, who immediately runs over to her dad in a melodramatic fashion.
  • (Also, we learn that Faye is seventeen. Oh, man, gross.)
  • Homer offers Faye a lunch of "salmon salad," which she happily accepts (11.88). They move into the kitchen, and Faye starts flirting hardcore.
  • After the meal, Homer and Faye check up on Harry. When Faye tries to talk to him, however, he starts laughing maniacally. She responds by... singing. This family is nuts.
  • Faye punches Harry in the face to stop the laughing. It works. In the kitchen, she explains that Harry uses laughter to punish her—and that punching him was her only choice.
  • Faye also tells Homer that her father and mother are both actors, and that she too will be a famous actress soon. If she doesn't, she says, she will commit suicide. Talk about commitment, huh?
  • Faye and Harry return to the living room, and everything is just dandy between Faye and Harry. They gather their things, say their thank yous, and are off.