Study Guide

The Day of the Locust Appearances

By Nathanael West


If you really think about it, movie auditions are a lot like dog shows—a stodgy old man closely examines his subject, confirming that his or her appearance is perfect, and then awards some lucky duck the grand prize. Just take a look at The Day of the Locust if you don't believe us. Centered around one man's obsessive crush on seventeen-year-old starlet Faye Greener, the novel exposes the dark side of Tinseltown's quest for youth and beauty. And guess what, Shmoopers—that dark side sure ain't pretty.

Questions About Appearances

  1. Why are men so entranced by Faye's appearance?
  2. What does Harry's appearance say about him?
  3. Does Faye realize how attractive she is? Explain.
  4. Will Faye be able to use her beauty to attain success? Explain.

Chew on This

Although Faye is aware of the effect of her beauty, she remains unaware of the extent of her power over men.

Faye is completely aware of her beauty and uses it as a tool to get what she wants.