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This essay is an analysis of the three books, The Locust of the day by Nathaniel West, Ask the dust by J. Fante and Writers in Los Angeles by Raymond Chandler. This paper will initially review the books that are to be critically analyzed and give a short review of their plots. Then the essay will critically analyze the use of Los Angeles as the principal character in the setting of the analyzed set of books and how other characters interact with it.
Review of the books
Ask the dust is a book written by Italian-American author John Fante and was published in 1939 and the book is set the era of great depression in Los Angeles (Hiney,35). Tom (1999). The book follows the midlife of Arturo Bandini who moves to Los Angeles from Colorado to pursue hi career as a publisher. He is a determined man who hopes that he will one day make in life and achieve if dream of becoming a published author. Life in the big city is not easy and he struggles though thick and thin to make a living, in fact he survives on zest oranges but hopes that his life will improve when his advance check arrives. During his daily hustles in Los Angeles he comes across a beautiful yet elusive Mexican waitress Camilla who he deeply falls in love with. His love for her becomes very powerful and develops to an obsession. Unfortunately, Camilla loves someone else, Sammy who ill-treats her and this results to her having a stormy relationship with Arturo. When Arturo finally makes in life, Camilla becomes mentally disturbed and he loses her and this makes him reject his career which he has been struggling for all of his
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The book The Locust of the day was written by Nathaniel West in 1939 during the depression era and its set in Hollywood California, it deals with the desperation and alienation of odd individuals existing at fringes of Hollywood movie industry. The book is about a young man Todd Hackett who describes his career as a painter and an artist though he really is a costume designer and background painter in Hollywood. He falls in love with Faye greener who is an aspiring starlet in the neighborhood. He makes friend with many Hollywood hangers-on like the cowboy who works as a cowboy extra in cowboy movies, the Mexican who fights cocks and the Homer a business man who Faye takes advantage off.
Analysis of the Books
In the book Ask the dust Arturo is a person with great dreams in life of becoming a published author and to realize this he moves from Colorado to Los Angeles. Life in the new city is not easy and he has to survive on zest oranges especially at times when the city was experiencing the aftermath of the great depression.
Los Angeles is portrayed a land of booming promises as different people from different parts of the world go there to realize their dreams, Arturo moves from Colorado to Los Angeles to pursue his career as a publisher and he eventually realizes his life fondest dream come true. Camilla also moves from Mexico to Los Angeles to look for better opportunities in life although life gets better of her and ends up being mentally disturbed and disappears.
In addition, Arturo describes the gloomy condition of life in Los angels as people struggle hard in pursue of a better life where others succeed while other anguish. This makes them look disparate and empty and pathetic as illustrated by him when he survives on zest oranges. Arturo shows the dark view of town's life for instance the dishonesty and hypocrisy in people like the deceased Mr. Hardgrave's who had an superiority complex or even the manipulative character of the mentally disturbed Camilla.
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The book the locust of the day describes its evident that life in Hollywood is hard and people of the lower social status are force to do odd jobs to earn a living. For instance Tod is background painter who fantasize that he is an accomplished painter and an artist. He makes many friends who are all hangers-on in Hollywood and he realizes that most of them also do odd jobs for a living. His Mexican friend is involved in bloody cockfights, while the cowboy works as an extra character in cowboy movies and girl friend Faye takes advantage of the old businessman for a living. This implies that most of the people who live on the periphery of Hollywood movie industry don't have well paying jobs and then are forced to opt for anything to survive.
In the Locust of the day Tod does a painting titled Los Angeles is burning and such description of art indicated that there is a trouble brewing in the city. This is moistly supported by the occurrence of a riot at the end of the book and this describes the state of live in the city where people have suffered for longtime and have decided to fight for equal job opportunities in the Hollywood movie industry where they have been neglected and discriminated against for a long time.
In conclusion, the three books portray the kind of life that people lived in Los Angels during the great depression. Life was characterized by struggles that never ended and odd people in the town had to opt for odd jobs to survive.