Study Guide

The Day of the Locust Ambition

By Nathanael West


You've got to be ambitious if you want to make it in Hollywood. That's what Faye Greener believes, at least. Born into a family of actors, this seventeen-year-old mega-babe has everything it takes to be successful except for this little thing called talent. She's not going to let that stop her, though: whether she's using her beauty to win the hearts of successful filmmakers like Claude Estee, or rattling off half-baked career advice cribbed from entertainment magazines, Faye is dedicated to becoming a success—even if she loses her dignity in the process.

Questions About Ambition

  1. Is Tod ambitious? Explain.
  2. Is Faye doing the right things to become a movie star?
  3. Why can't Harry let go of his career ambitions?
  4. Is Claude happy now that he's successful?

Chew on This

In The Day of the Locust, ambition never wins. It's always met with disappointment.

Although Tod critiques others for being ambitious, he's clearly an ambitious guy when it comes to his art.