Study Guide

The Day of the Locust Chapter 8

By Nathanael West

Chapter 8

  • Homer is done unpacking in "only a few minutes" (8.1). Although he tries to resist it, he quickly falls asleep.
  • Homer wakes up. His body is a bit slower than his mind, it seems, so he waits for all his limbs to boot up. Everything works but the hands. He turns on the tub so he can give them a quick soak.
  • Suddenly, Homer starts crying, overwhelmed by some repressed memory.
  • When working at the hotel, Homer had once been propositioned by a drunk woman who was late on her rent. Though he acted aghast, he was secretly excited.
  • Home tried to avoid the situation, but he was forced to visit the woman's room to make her pay up. She was in tears when he arrived.
  • Suddenly, Homer dropped his wallet in the woman's lap and started hugging her. She resisted but quickly started responding positively to his advances.
  • That's when the phone rang: it was Homer's manager. Homer got off the phone quickly, but he realized that he couldn't go through with it with this woman and left.
  • Later, as we know, Homer caught pneumonia. He had a lot of money saved up, which made it possible to move to California.