Tod, Homer, and Miss Lonelyhearts Another Well Thought Out Essay Tod Hackett, Homer Simpson, and Miss Lonelyhearts from Nathanael West’s novels “The Day of the Locust” and “Miss Lonelyhearts” all try to satisfy their desires with sexual wants, and violence. However, they are all very different from each other. For example, their histories, and the way they pursue the fulfillment of their desires are all unique to that specific character. The novel, “The Day of the Locust”, mostly focuses on the story of two main characters. These characters are Tod Hackett, and Homer Simpson.
The novel gives the story of their lives while they both pursue the young woman, Faye Greener. In this way they are similar, but they are actually very different. Unlike Homer, Tod understands a lot of his experiences, especially his experiences with Faye. Because of this, Tod is portrayed as an educated man, Homer, on the other hand, has almost no idea what is going on. His actions and desires are almost always unexplainable. It seems as though he doesn’t even know what he himself is even thinking, let alone what he actually wants.
Because of this, he appears uneducated, and clumsy. Both men pursue things that are artificial. The most notable of these is Faye Greener. Unlike Homer though, Tod knows that he can't have her, because he knows that pursuing her is a self-destructive route. Miss Lonelyhearts is the main character of the novel, “Miss Lonelyhearts”. His history is probably the reason for his need for sex and violence. ‘His history’ meaning his childhood, and also the letters that the people send to him for advice.
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Miss Lonelyhearts has a few encounters with a woman named Fay Doyle. They do have intercourse on one occasion, and she tries to make him have it a second time. However, instead of intercourse, Miss Lonelyhearts decides to beat her violently. His anger and his need for sex are brought about by the letters that he has to read for his job, and his childhood experiences, like his encounter with the frog. Tod Hackett presents fewer personal experiences that can be used to analyze in a psychological way, but the way he thinks can be.
He knows that he can’t have Faye, and he does want to rid Faye of the artificial quality that she possesses, but he can’t help but have a somewhat repulsive sexual attraction to her. Even to the point where he decides that raping her would be a suitable idea. And even attempts it at one point. In this way, Tod and Miss Lonelyhearts are similar, but not completely homogenous. Homer is a bit different from Tod, and Miss Lonelyhearts in this area. Homer is more understandable on a psychological level. At first, Homer seems as though he is uneducated, and also very clumsy.
However, his disappointments, and his insecurities soon lead to aggression. His aggressions are expressions of anger that come from his past and his future. He does have a sexual attraction to Faye, but his actions and feelings towards her are not quite as extreme as Tod’s and Miss Lonelyhearts’ feelings and actions toward women. Faye, however, does not take Homer seriously. He then feels like he has been cheated by Faye. He does a good job for most of the book at suppressing his anger until his final outburst that starts the riot at the end of the book.
With Miss Lonelyhearts, Nathanael West presents a brutal and selfish character, which lusts for sex and violence, and gets both. With Tod Hackett, Nathanael West presents a successful and educated character that, despite his intellect, desperately wants a sexual relationship with a young woman, even to the point where he thinks about raping her, but never actually does it. And with Homer Simpson, Nathanael West presents an uneducated and clumsy character, which also lusts after a young woman, just not as explicitly as Tod, and turns out to be very aggressive.
All of these characters are very similar in most of their desires, to be specific, their need for a sexual relationship, and their needs for aggression whether it is related to their sexual desires or not. Despite their many similarities, each character has a unique way of showing their desires. It may have been a straight-forward approach like Miss Lonelyhearts, or a somewhat cautious yet extreme approach like Tod, or a deceptively timid and passive-aggressive approach like Homer, which ends up in a catastrophically aggressive outburst.
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