Study Guide

The Day of the Locust Chapter 18

By Nathanael West

Chapter 18

  • Faye moves out of the apartment the following day. Tod doesn't see her again until he spots her at the movie studio one day wearing "the costume of a Napoleonic vivandiere" (18.1).
  • Faye must be working as an extra, presumably for the new film about the Battle of Waterloo. She spots Tod and waves before walking away.
  • Tod rushes out of his office to follow Faye. He starts running through film sets, which is pretty trippy because he's basically traveling through different time periods.
  • Finally, Tod ends up on the edges of the Battle of Waterloo. He leans on a tree and watches the fake-soldiers fake-fight each other with tons of fake-enthusiasm.
  • The soldiers charge into Mont St. Jean, a small hillside community that played a big role in the real-life Battle of Waterloo. That's when everything goes wrong.
  • The hill abruptly collapses, sending the extras into a large pit as they "screamed with agony" (18.25). Tod watches as they're pulled out in stretchers.