Study Guide

The Day of the Locust Chapter 5

By Nathanael West

Chapter 5

  • Claude raves about Audrey on the ride over. She had been a prominent silent film actress back in the day, but she became to a professional pimp-ess after the talkies took over.
  • Audrey runs a tight ship, taking half of each $30 exchange. But she earns it, Claude argues, especially because she's such a classy lady.
  • Claude and Tod end up in a small room filled with a bunch of people. The cameraman has some trouble, but he finally turns on the night's first film: Le Predicament de Marie.
  • Marie is a sultry servant to "a middle-class family" (5.22). Everyone in the family wants to get with her, but Marie only wants to get with the young daughter.
  • The scene shifts to Marie's bedroom, where she's kissing the young girl. There's a knock, and the girl hides in the closet. The father enters, and Marie kisses him to cool his suspicions. Then there's another knock. The father hides under the bed. Listen, you get the picture, right?—this happens two more times with the son and the mother.
  • There's another knock after the mother arrives, but the film abruptly cuts out. The crowd starts rioting while Tod sneaks outside for some fresh air.
  • While he's outside, Tod sees Faye's best friend Mary Dove. Hmm... could Faye work here?