Symbolism In The Day Of The Locust

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The Day of the Locust Close Reading Homer attempts to stifle his perverse actions by repressing his desires and channeling emotion into his hands through the majority of The Day of the Locust. Like Tod, he is constantly in threat of acting on his perversions but keeps them at bay by refusing to acknowledge them. His hands allow him an outlet to misbehave. He has a monotonous daily routine that lacks meaning and substance. He is “an exact model for the kind of person who comes to California to die” (79). According to Tod, there are two types of people that come to California, those that come to work and those that come to die. This theme that backdrops the novel is made more apparent through Homer’s life. Homer has come to California for rest,…show more content…
An example of this is when his hands lay like “[S]trange aquatic animals” (82). The diction in this line is off-putting; they are characterized as their own entity. This power dynamic between Homer and his hands represents a greater power dynamic between Homer and his darker desires. Homer abuses his hands as a way of dealing with his emotions. “When he had been a child, he used to stick pins into them and once had even thrust them into a fire. Now he used only cold water” (82). While it is more typical for people to hurt themselves through cutting, it is rather unusual to hurt one’s hands. This marks a significant difference between Homer and most people. When suppressing his emotions, Homer hides “Them in his armpits” and “[Takes] his hands from under his arms and [sits] on them” (167). Instead of hiding his face, a common technique children use when they are upset, Homer hides his hands. Homer deals with his emotions as some children do. When Homer does let his emotions out, when he can no longer suppress them, his outburst is strong and uncontrollable. “He gulped several times, trying to swallow something that was struck in his throat, then began to sob. He cried without covering his face or bending his head”
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