Study Guide

The Day of the Locust Chapter 14

By Nathanael West

Chapter 14

  • Homer Simpson isn't Faye's only suitor—there's also Earle Shoop. Earle is from Arizona and works at "a saddlery store on Sunset Boulevard" (14.2).
  • Earle also happens to be dumb as bricks. Luckily, he's also ridiculously good-looking, so Faye is along for the ride.
  • Oddly, Faye invites Tod to one of her dates with Earle. This must happen often, because Tod complains about always having to pay.
  • That doesn't stop Tod from coming along, though. He has an awkward conversation with Earle and Earle's cowboy friends while waiting for Faye at the saddlery store. Finally, she picks them up.
  • Surprise: Earle doesn't have any money. He suggests that they all go to his camp in the canyon where they can score some delectable grub.
  • When our heroes arrive, they meet a Mexican fellow named Miguel, who immediately starts bragging about his top-notch chickens. He and Earle steal a couple birds and commence the cooking.
  • The gang chows down and drinks tequila that "smelled like rotten fruit" (14.111). Tastes good, though. Before long, everyone is drunk, and Faye is making googly eyes toward Miguel.
  • Suddenly, Miguel starts singing. Faye joins in, and they start dancing. It's getting hot and heavy in here, folks.
  • Earle tries to join Faye and Miguel but find himself rebuffed. Seconds later, he grabs a bottle and strikes Miguel over the head.
  • Faye doesn't see the attack, but she starts sprinting away. Tod follows close behind. He starts thinking about what it will feel like to pull "her to the ground," which is kind of creepy (14.132).
  • Tod eventually loses Faye and collapses onto the ground. In order to distract himself, he thinks once again of his painting and of how he will depicts the flames in the sky of Los Angeles.