Study Guide

The Day of the Locust Chapter 23

By Nathanael West

Chapter 23

  • Tod returns to find Abe, Earle, and Claude gathered around Miguel and Faye as they dance in a highly erotic fashion.
  • Tod watches for a second before checking up on Homer in his bedroom. Homer refuses to open the door.
  • Now the music "had been changed to a fox-trot," and Earle's the one grinding on Faye (23.15). This seems to infuriate Abe, who wants his turn with the lovely lady.
  • Abe tries to squeeze in, but Earle kicks him away. Abe responds by slamming Earle in the crotch and grabbing two handfuls of his manhood with a vice-like grip.
  • Miguel attacks Abe, releasing Abe's hold, before grabbing Abe by the ankles and slamming him against the wall. Tod stops him before he can swing the dwarf a second time.
  • Everyone calms down and tends to the wounded. Claude wants to go home, so Tod wakes Abe up and tries to take him with them.
  • Abe ain't done yet, though—he wants to "go see some girls" (23.41). When both men refuse, Abe hops in his car and drives away.