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Images and structure in Nathanael West's novel satires Alexander , Gordon Burnett 1970

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IMAGES AND STRUCTURE IN NATHANAEL WEST'S NOVEL SATIRES by Gordon Burnett Alexander B. A., Un i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1966 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS' FOR THE DEGREE OF Master of Arts in the Department of English We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1970 In presenting this thesis in p a r t i a l fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and study, i further agree that! permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date Jlf*^?^ (fTo-ABSTRACT Before we can judge a writer, we must te n t a t i v e l y decide upon the appropriate c r i t e r i a by which to measure his achievement, Various c r i t i c s have praised Nathanael West fo r the exact things for which others have damned him. This study i s an attempt to c l a r i f y the nature of West's work, and thereby to c l a r i f y the grounds upon which he must be judged. The nature of his f i c t i o n a l world is c r u c i a l . This study puts West's images, which are l a r g e l y responsible for the creation of the f i c t i o n a l world and i t s characters, into f i v e groups, each of which exhibits a separation of q u a l i t i e s . After the r e s u l t s of West's divided images are seen, the study considers the function of plot within West's four works. E s s e n t i a l l y , the p l o t , l i k e the extremely li m i t e d characterization, enables us to see the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p s within the f i c t i o n a l world and, at the same time, prevents us from becoming emotionally involved with the f i c t i o n a l world and characters as we normally do in, novels. Thus West is seen as a s a t i r i s t who, i n h i s best works, Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust, uses i i the conventions of the novel with considerable s k i l l to show us the all-pervasiveness of i l l u s i o n i n l i f e . But, unlike most s a t i r i s t s , West provides no alt e r n a t i v e s and does not even provide a sense of ^what ought to be" in h i s work. He merely records his v i s i o n i n such a way that we can see and are compelled to acknowledge the nature of his v i s i o n of l i f e and of existence. West uses h i s plo t s to order his images into a coherent, logical pattern which sets f o r t h the consequences of man's being divided within and among himself. When we see that West i s primarily a s a t i r i s t working within the conventions of the novel, we can understand the flatness of his characters, t h e i r divided natures, the horrible ir o n i e s of the plot, the cr y p t i c treatment of events, and the concentration upon images. We can, i n f a c t , see that West was an excellent s a t i r i s t who succeeded i n his attempt to use the novel as a vehicle f o r s a t i r e . PREFACE Every student owes h i s teachers h i s sincere gratitude. I am thankful f o r t h i s opportunity to acknowledge those who, I now r e a l i z e , taught me most: Dr. Stanley Read, who reminded me many times that the most important thing i n the study of l i t e r a t u r e i s to enjoy i t and help others to enjoy i t , and Dr. P h i l i p Pinkus, who taught me most of what I know about s a t i r e . Future readers o f t h i s study owe t h e i r thanks for what c l a r i t y and l o g i c i t exhibits to Professors B i l l Messenger, David Evans, and Ian Ross, who i n di f f e r e n t ways and at d i f f e r e n t times forced me to be more coherent; most of i t s def i c i e n c i e s r e f l e c t my i n a b i l i t y to learn from these men, and the rest a r i s e from my stubbornness to change a word here and a paragraph there. And, of course, there i s the t y p i s t . . . . TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter Page I. INTRODUCTION 1 I I . KINDS OF IMAGES 13 I I I . STRUCTURE AS DEVICE 62 IV. NOVELS AS SATIRE 93 V. THE MEASURE OF WEST'S ACHIEVEMENT 106 FOOTNOTES . 117 BIBLIOGRAPHY 127 Beauty i n a r t reminds one what i s worth while. . . . You f e e l bucked up when you come on a swift moving thought i n Plato or on a f i n e l i n e i n a statue. Even this pother about gods reminds one that something i s worth while. Satire reminds one that c e r t a i n things are not worth while. I t draws one to consider time wasted. The serious a r t i s t . . . presents the image of his desire, of his hate, or his indifference as p r e c i s e l y that, as p r e c i s e l y the image of h i s own desire, hate or indifference. The more precise h i s record the more l a s t i n g and unassailable h i s work of a r t . Ezra Pound "The Serious A r t i s t " CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION U n t i l recently, Nathanael West has been a l i t t l e -known and seldom-studied American writer... His works, published between 1930 and 1940; f e l l almost s t i l l b o r n from the press. Only one review of The Dream L i f e of  Balso S n e l l greeted i t s f i r s t p ublication, a p r i n t i n g of 500 copies i n 1931. Miss Lonelyhearts, published i n 1933, received generally favorable reviews, 1 but the publisher, being nearly bankrupt, was unable to take advantage of the good reviews, and l e s s than 800 copies were sold. With h i s t h i r d book, A Cool M i l l i o n , West fared even worse: poor reviews and sales were his reward. The Day of the Locust, West's l a s t work, published In 1939, had a mixed r e c e p t i o n 2 and only 1500 copies were sold. However, West's reputation has increased s t e a d i l y since his death in 1940, and he i s now considered to be among the major chroniclers of America i n the 1930*s. 3 The p u b l i c a t i o n i n 1961 of James Light's Nathanael  West: An Interpretative Study 4 marked the beginning of 2 a serious reconsideration of a r e l a t i v e l y forgotten author. I t includes an extensive biography of West, and since the present study i s not about West but about h i s work, I recommend Light's book as an excellent treatment of West's tra g i c l i f e . Two other f u l l - l e n g t h studies have been published: V i c t o r Gomerchero*s 5 Nathanael West; The Ironic Prophet (1964) and Randall Reid's The F i c t i o n of Nathanael West: No Redeemer, No  Promised Land (1967). A l l of these works are* of course, valuable. But neither they nor the numerous scholar l y a r t i c l e s which have been published attack head-on the basic problem of the nature of West's technique and form. Light, f o r example * explains the pec u l i a r d i v i s i o n i n West's works between acceptance and r e j e c t i o n of s u f f e r i n g i n terms of West's being a second generation Jew, whereas I believe i t i s more important to i d e n t i f y the formal features of the works which r e f l e c t such a d i v i s i o n . Randall Reid's book, on the other hand, deals with s t y l i s t i c aspects of West's work at considerable length, and yet the word " s a t i r e " does not appear i n i t s entire 174 pages. V i c t o r Comerchero, l i k e Reid, analyzes West's themes and techniques, but he deals mainly with West's use of cliche'd language. 3 However, these c r i t i c s do not attempt to answer the question which I think i s basic to an understanding of West: are Nathanael West's works novels or s a t i r e s ? 8 Or, to put i t i n a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t form: what i s the rela t i o n s h i p between novel and s a t i r e i n West's work? The question must be answered, at l e a s t tentatively, i f we are to understand West's work at a l l . And, i f we are to understand contemporary s a t i r e s and novels, we must understand t h e i r relationship in West and other e a r l i e r modern works. Before we can judge West as a writer we must know what standards and c r i t e r i a we should apply to hi s work, and at the same time how West, as a writer, experimented with prose f i c t i o n and set new standards and c r i t e r i a . I f we can decide whether West i s a s a t i r i s t or a n o v e l i s t , or some combination of the two, we w i l l have both a better insight into his work and a better understanding of the development of s a t i r e and the novel. S a t i r i s t s have t r a d i t i o n a l l y used other genres, and the novel i s no exception. I f we judge a s a t i r e written i n novel form by the standards of a novel we w i l l f i n d the work f a i l s as a novel. The judgement, however, w i l l be f a l l a c i o u s . Thus, before we can judge West's work, which i s c l e a r l y n o v e l ! s t i c , we must decide whether the appropriate c r i t e r i a are those of the novel or s a t i r e . 4 An examination of the imagery West uses to create h i s f i c t i o n a l world and i t s characters i s the f i r s t step towards an answer to these, questions. I think the imagery Q i s central because, following P h i l i p Pinkus* argument, i t i s through the imagery that we come to see the a r t i s t ' s v i s i o n of l i f e , and i f the work is a sa t i r e i t i s through i t s imagery that we comprehend the s a t i r i s t ' s perception of " e v l l ' ? . ^ 0 The s a t i r i c v i s i o n , then, l i t e r a l l y presents a v i s i o n . To date, West's c r i t i c s have discussed his images^: as they r e l a t e to his themes, and h i s f i c t i o n a l world as i t rela t e s to h i s characters. I propose to invert the analysis, and to concentrate on the images. By so doing I hope to show the kind of f i c t i o n a l world West creates and, further, I hope to demonstrate the rel a t i o n s h i p between sat i r e and novel within his work. Throughout, I w i l l be using "image" to ref e r to concrete pictures created i n West's work. And, because West i s so p i c t o r i a l i n his narration, I w i l l also use the phrase "image-event'' to r e f e r to image clusters which constitute a complete event. My basic premise i s that a work* s imagery both creates and reinforces our impression of the world presented i n the work; if>. we are to understand the f i c t i o n a l world and i t s characters, we must know how - they are created. Beyond a knowledge of the imagery, 5 we must also understand the use of p l o t to provide structure within a work. Only a f t e r an examination of both these aspects of West's work can we attempt to say whether West i s a s a t i r i s t or a n o v e l i s t , or c l a r i f y the nature of h i s enigmatic works. The s t a r t i n g point i s the fact that West's f i c t i o n a l world has had a mixed reception. Ignoring the varying degrees of approbation or disapprobation, a very b r i e f look at the c r i t i c s w i l l demonstrate the d i v i s i o n . A. M. Tibbetts has said that West's world i s not complete and recognizable: "His world was cut i n two--half of i t was missing. n l+ Further, "the trouble i s . . . that the missing h a l f i s the most important part of an a r t i s t ' s i n v e n t i o n — r e a l people doing real things. There i s simply not enough in West's two best novels about recognizable people and recognizable s i t u a t i o n s . " 1 2 Henry Popkin concurs with Tibbetts' evaluation of West's f i c t i o n a l world, i f not with the c r i t i c i s m : "West's world i s weird, unreal, distorted, speeded up." 1 3; William White also f e e l s that Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust are " f a n t a s t i c and exaggerated i n theme and treatment." 1 4 Another group of readers and c r i t i c s has reacted d i f f e r e n t l y to West's world. A l l a n Seager i s "of the opinion that The Day of the Locust was not fantasy 6 imagined, but fantasy seen." 1 0 R. B. Gehman straddles the fence when he says that West "constructed scenes that were not only miraculous i n t h e i r descriptive accuracy but also by t h e i r unashamed in t e n s i t y were so f a r above realism as to embarrass, or frighten, the reader into acknowledging, almost against h i s w i l l , the shameful and t e r r i f y i n g r e a l i t y of r e a l i t y . " 1 6 Although Gehman suggests that West i s "above realism", he does admit West's use of accurate description. F i n a l l y , Randall Reid argues that West, by the time he wrote The Day of  the Locust, r e a l i z e d that "clear v i s i o n , not imagination, i s the a r t i s t ' s fundamental t o o l . " 3 - 7 C l e a r l y there are two opposing views of West's world, and consequently of his imagery. For some West i s a S u r r e a l i s t ; f o r others a human camera recording r e a l i t y . The reason f o r th i s divergence of views l i e s i n West's imagery i t s e l f . West's images are accurate and yet they seem to be f a n t a s t i c . West frequently presents two descriptions of an object or an event, or divides an object into two parts and describes each part i n terms of c o n f l i c t i n g q u a l i t i e s . Because his imagery separates what we normally j o i n , or joins what we normally separate, his world seems f a n t a s t i c but i s more accurately understood as "fantasy seen". 1^ 7 West's images divide people and things, and e x h i b i t , as V i c t o r Comerchero has said, " c l i n i c a l o b j e c t i v i t y " . 2 0 They present not only appearance, but also r e a l i t y : "As {Tod] walked along, he examined the evening crowd. A great many of the people wore sports clothes . . . . The fat lady i n the yachting cap was going shopping, not boating . . . the g i r l in slacks and sneaks with a bandanna around her head had just l e f t a switchboard, not a tennis court" (DL, 261). 2 1 This s e r i e s of images presents c o n f l i c t i n g descriptions of various people; we see one q u a l i t y , and then an opposing q u a l i t y . West does not present only one part of the description and r e l y upon the reader's expectations; that i s , state what Is?' and l e t the reader i n f e r what "ought" to be. On the contrary, he e x p l i c i t l y creates a d i s p a r i t y between appearance and r e a l i t y within his images or through contrasting images. In A Cool M i l l i o n there i s a display of "objects whose d i s t i n c t i o n l a y in the great s k i l l with which t h e i r materials had been disguised. Paper had been made to look l i k e wood, wood l i k e rubber, rubber l i k e s t e e l , s t e e l l i k e cheese, cheese l i k e glass, and, f i n a l l y , glass l i k e paper" (CM, 239). Again, West presents two c o n f l i c t i n g descriptions of what " i s " . Although the d i s p a r i t y between appearance and r e a l i t y i s l e s s e x p l i c i t i n Miss Lonelyhearts, an i m p l i c i t d i s p a r i t y 8 i s apparent when we learn that Miss Lonelyhearts "saw a man who appeared to he on the verge of death stagger into a movie theater that was showing a pii-cture c a l l e d Blonde Beauty, He saw a ragged woman with an enormous goiter pick a love story magazine out of a garbage can and seem very excited by her f i n d " (ML, 115), Here West describes two events i n such a way that we immediately see not only the irony and pathos of the situations, but also the c o n f l i c t between physical r e a l i t y and mental i l l u s i o n . Both characters are ugly and yet they p e r s i s t i n t h e i r dreams of beauty and love. In these examples West sets up an opposition which creates a divided f i c t i o n a l world populated by divided characters. West conjoins or separates q u a l i t i e s of objects or people i n ways which challenge the reader's expectations. Before d i s t i n g u i s h i n g the various types of images he creates as a resu l t of his disjunction-conjunction technique, a general example i s i n order. I have just presented one aspect of West's divided v i s i o n — h i s technique of describing one object i n two ways. A v a r i a t i o n of t h i s technique i s to describe an object i n terms of a d i s s i m i l a r object. When Miss Lonelyhearts looks at the sky, we discover that "the grey sky looked as i f i t had been rubbed with a s o i l e d eraser. I t held no angels, flaming crosses, olive-bearing doves, wheels within wheels. Only 9 a newspaper struggled i n the a i r l i k e a k i t e with a broken spine" (ML, 71). I t i s not unusual to see grey sky, but i t i s unusual to describe such a natural occurrence in terms of a human product such as a soiled eraser. I t i s not unusual to see a newspaper caught by the wind and imagine i t i s a k i t e , but i t i s unusual to describe i t i n animate terms, suggesting that the k i t e i s l i k e a b i r d with a broken spine. Inserted between these two accurate and f a n t a s t i c images i s a thematic image of opposition. Miss Lohelyhearts i s looking f o r a miracle, an angel, a flaming cross, but sees only a man-made thing which cannot f l y because of i t s broken spine. In three sentences West has mirrored Miss Lonelyhearts* mind, h i s desire for an answer to suffering and the r e a l i t y that there are no miracles. The d i s p a r i t y between desire and r e a l i t y i s r e f l e c t e d i n and reinforced by the incongruous descriptions which frame the dream: sky and s o i l e d eraser, newspaper and broken, b i r d - l i k e k i t e . The sense of fantasy rests on the fusion of two d i s s i m i l a r , but ordinary and r e a l , concrete objects. West creates both h i s f i c t i o n a l world and i t s characters by means of divided images. Usually, we learn more about a character's appearance than any thing else, and what we see i s usually a separation of q u a l i t i e s . 10 In The Day of the Locust, f o r example, Mrs. Schwartzen has *a pretty, eighteen-year-old face and a t h i r t y - f i v e - y e a r -old neck (which! i s veined and sinewy" (DL, E72). S i m i l a r l y , Miss Farkis in Miss Lonelyhearts has "long legs, thick ankles, big hands, a powerful body, a slender neck and a c h i l d i s h face made t i n y by a! man's haircut" (ML, 72). When West does go beyond h i s character's surface appearance, he usually i s o l a t e s p a r t i c u l a r q u a l i t i e s , psychological states, and philosophical a t t i t u d e s . His technique i s si m i l a r to Sherwood Anderson's as explained i n the opening of Wlnesburg, Ohio. Anderson's imaginary writer had one central thought that i s very strange and has always remained with me . . . The thought was involved but a simple statement of i t would be something l i k e t h i s : That i n the beginning when the world was young there were a great many thoughts but no such thing as a truth. Man made the truths himself and each truth was a composite of a great many vague thoughts. A l l about in the world were the truths and they were a l l b e a u t i f u l . And then the people came along. Each as he appeared snatched up one of the truths and some who were quite strong snatched up a dozen of them. I t was the truths that made the people grotesques . . the moment one of the /'.people took one of the truths to himself, c a l l e d i t his' truth, and t r i e d to l i v e his l i f e by i t , he became a grotesque, and the truth he embraced became a falsehood. 22 In West, too, the sense of d i s t o r t i o n and of the grotesque arises from the separation and i s o l a t i o n of truths Like Anderson, West sets his r e l a t i v e l y s t a t i c characters 11 i n motion within a f i c t i o n a l world. The second part of the present study w i l l examine the nature of West's p l o t t i n g and i t s function i n h i s work. But t h i s l o g i c a l l y follows an analys is . of the images themselves. The f i r s t task i s to see how West creates h i s f i c t i o n a l world and i t s characters through the use of divided images. We must both note the e s s e n t i a l l y mundane q u a l i t y of the components of each part of each separated image, and c l a r i f y the dominant kinds of divided images, i f we are to comprehend the tension of West's "haIf-world?. 2 4 An -analysis of the imagery w i l l demonstrate that West's f i c t i o n a l world i n each work i s divided in the same way as the characters which populate that world. And an examination of the plot's function in each work w i l l demonstrate that i t i s used to support the imagery and to move each work, step by step, towards one devastating image. Once we understand the basic technique used to create the world and the characters, and the function of the p l o t , i t w i l l be cl e a r that West's technique i s unlike that frequently used to create eith e r s a t i r e s or novels. West's f i c t i o n a l world is not structured s o l e l y to form s p e c i f i c and obvious l i n k s with the external everyday world and continually comment upon the real world, as i s u s u a l ) i n s a t i r e ; nor i s i t created to e l i c i t our concern 1 2 f o r the characters within the f i c t i o n a l world, as i s usual i n novels. But before we can talk about West's use of h i s f i c t i o n a l world, we must understand the nature of the images which create that world and the characters within i t . CHAPTER II KINDS OF IMAGES Many c r i t i c s have noted West's use of imagery, but few have examined i t i n derfcail. Randall Reid, f o r example, recognizes that the themes of West's work form oppositions (actor, audience; order, disorder; deadness, violence; dreams, misery), but he f a i l s to point out that the imagery i s l a r g e l y responsible for these d i v i s i o n s . 1 V i c t o r Comerchero r e a l i z e s that ^mpre than anything e l s e , i t i s the d i s p a r i t y between stimulus and response that creates the i n t e n s i t y of Westian man,"2 but he does not see that West's entire f i c t i o n a l world, and a l l of his characters, i s divided by opposing, i r r e c o n c i l a b l e q u a l i t i e s and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . ^ For the purposes of discussion, i t w i l l be useful to put West's images into categories. Although the d i s t i n c t i o n s set up in t h i s chapter are somewhat a r b i t r a r y , they do provide a basis f o r a detailed a n a l y s i s . The d i f f e r e n t kinds of images seem to me to f a l l into f i v e groups. F i r s t , images which show the mental and emotional q u a l i t i e s of a character separated from his physical ones. 14 Next, images i n which the human and organic are seen as i n -human and mechanical. Third, images of the actor either alienated from, or i d e n t i c a l with, his r o l e . Fourth, grotesque images seen as n a t u r a l . F i n a l l y , images i n which ordinary responses to events are d i s j o i n t e d or inverted. And, of course, there remain simple images, external to these categories, which accentuate the variously divided images. When we look at each kind of image, i t w i l l become clear that, although West's f i c t i o n a l world seems to be exaggerated, distorted, and grotesque, the disturbing q u a l i t y a r i s e s from the separation of c o n f l i c t i n g a t t r i b u t e s , the juxtaposition of opposing q u a l i t i e s , and the constant d i s p a r i t y between appearance and r e a l i t y . In f a c t , i t w i l l be seen that the imagistic components of West's f i c t i o n a l world are of an e s s e n t i a l l y mundane nature. I t w i l l also become apparent that the characters mirror the divided world i n which they exist, and vice versa. I r o n i c a l l y , we w i l l see that the divided images unify West's work. i Throughout h i s work, West uses the d i s t i n c t i o n between mind and body by separating the mental and physical q u a l i t i e s of a person or by r e f l e c t i n g mental states i n physi c a l appearances. West's technique works i n two ways. He w i l l create an image which eithe r separates what we normally j o i n or joins what we normally separate. E i t h e r way, by d i s s o c i a t i n g the mental from the physical, he surprises and s t a r t l e s the reader. In The Day of the  Locust, f o r examplej Homer Simpson's hands define h i s character and present an image which depicts h i s divided being: He lay stretched out on the bed, c o l l e c t i n g his senses and test i n g the d i f f e r e n t parts of his body. Every part was awake but his hands. They s t i l l s l e p t . He was not surprised. When he had been a c h i l d , he used to stick pins into them and once had even thrust them into a f i r e . Now he used only cold water. He got out of bed i n sections, l i k e a poorly made automaton, and carried h i s hands into the bathroom. He turned on the cold water. When the basin was f u l l , he plunged h i s hands i n up to the wris t s . They lay qu i e t l y on the bottom l i k e a p a i r of strange aquatic animals. When they were thoroughly c h i l l e d and began to crawl about, he l i f t e d them out and hi d them i n a towel. He was cold. He ran hot water into the tub and began to undress, fumbling with the buttons of hi s cloth i n g as though he were undressing a stranger. He was naked before the tub was f u l l enough to get i n and he sat down on a stool to wait. He kept h i s enormous hands folded •quietly on his b e l l y . Although absolutely s t i l l , they seemed curbed rather than r e s t i n g . (DL, 289) 16 Homer's hands arev separate e n t i t i e s ; they betray his emotional impotence and physical drives. His hands l i v e on despite his repression of himself. Sometimes he can control them: His b i g hands l e f t his lap, where they had been playing "here's the church and here the steeple", and hid i n his armpits. They remained there for a moment, then s l i d under his thighs. A moment l a t e r they were back i n his l a p . The r i g h t hand cracked the j o i n t s of the l e f t , one by one, then the l e f t did the same service for the r i g h t . They seemed easier for a moment, but not f o r long. They started "here's the church" again, going through the entire performance and ending with the j o i n t manipulation as before. He started a t h i r d time, but catching Tod's eyes, he stopped and trapped h i s hands between his knees. I t was the most complicated t i c Tod had ever seen. What made i t p a r t i c u l a r l y h o r r i b l e was i t s p r e c i s i o n . I t wasn't pantomime, as he had f i r s t thought, but manual b a l l e t . When Tod saw the hands sta r t to crawl out again, he exploded. "For C hrist's sake'." The hands struggled to get free, but Homer clamped his knees shut and held them. (DL, 389) Most of the time, however, Homer's hands are completely separate from Homer: One day, while opening a can of salmon for lunch, his thumb received a nasty cut. Although the wound must have hurt, the calm, s l i g h t l y querulous expression he usually wore did not change. The wounded hand writhed about on the kitchen table u n t i l i t was car r i e d to the sink by i t s mate and bathed tenderly in hot water. (DL, 296-297) Many c r i t i c s have noticed these hands. Randall Reid, hunting f o r sources, says Homer's hands are, of course, taken d i r e c t l y from Wing Biddlebaum, the grotesque whose "slender expressive fingers . . . " become, in Wjnesburg, Ohio^ the perfect 17 symbol of that baffled and wordless urge for expression which forces each character into the "extreme deformity" of h i s dance.4 I t i s true, as Reid says, that The hands . . . embody a theory of the grotesque i t s e l f — they reduce a complete psychology to an image. The psychology could be summarized in two p r e v a i l i n g laws: the f i r s t i s the f a m i l i a r "I can't express £t"; the second i s "I can't not express i t , either."5 On a technical l e v e l , West conveys 'this psychology by separating Homer's hands ,from the rest of Homer's body and giving them an animal existence of their own which contrasts with Homer's mental and emotional death. Throughout the work, Homer i s both a l l hands and no hands, due to this separation of a t t r i b u t e s . While many have noticed t h i s e s s e n t i a l technique i n West, few have seen that i t pervades his work, A small but compact i l l u s t r a t i o n of t h i s kind of image i s seen i n West's treatment of Adore Loomis. Adore, an eight-year-old boy who thinks he i s a Frankenstein monster (and is-)j evidences separation of physical action and mental understanding: His singing voice was deep and rough and he used the broken groan of the blues singer quite expertly. He moved his body only a l i t t l e , against rather than i n time with the music. The gestures he made with h i s hands were extremely suggestive. He seemed to know what the words meant, or at le a s t h i s body and h i s voice seemed to know. (DL, 364) 18 Here West's image depicts the horror of a c h i l d acting with sop h i s t i c a t i o n , yet without knowledge* The reader sees at once the d i s p a r i t y between mental awareness and physical action. The image suggests that Adore's body and mind are dissociated. S i m i l a r l y , Faye Greener's kisses are empty, and her sensual gestures are thoughtless. The mental and the emotional are separated when she talks to the men at Homer's party: None of them r e a l l y heard her. They were a l l too busy watching her smile, laugh, shiver, whistper, grow indignant, cross and uncross her legs, stick out her tongue, widen and narrow her eyes, toss her head so that her platinum hair splashed against the red plush of the chair back. The strange thing about her gestures and expressions was that they didn't r e a l l y i l l u s t r a t e what she was saying. They were almost pure. I t was as though her body recognized how f o o l i s h her words were and t r i e d to excite her hearers into being u n c r i t i c a l . I t worked that night . . . . (DL, 387) Although Faye "uses" these gestures, i t i s clear she has no others and i s therefore l i m i t e d i n her choice of reactions. Thus she too i s separate from her body. Her motions are not linked to her emotions and words. Her sexual tongue-caress i s an automatic react i o n . Again, West has separated the mental from the physical and created fantasy seen. Not only Faye and Homer are divided, So are Tod Hackett, Earle Shoop, Harry Greener, Abe Kusich and others. 19 Tod has a "large, sprawling body . . . and a sloppy grin {which makes] him seem completely without tal e n t , almost d o l t i s h inAfact" (DL, 260). Earle "had a two-dimensional face that a talented c h i l d might have drawn with a r u l e r and compass" (DL, 323), and although West adds d e t a i l upon d e t a i l , he only reinforces Earle's physical flatness while ignoring completely his mental q u a l i t i e s , thus accentuating his emptiness. Harry Greener had very l i t t l e back or top to h i s head. I t was almost a l l face, l i k e a mask, with deep furrows on either side of the nose and mouth, plowed there by years of broad grinning . . . * Because of them, he could never express anything either subtly or exactly. They wouldn't permit degrees of f e e l i n g , only the furthest degree. Tod began to wonder i f i t might not_ be true that actors suf f e r l e s s than other people . . . |yef| Harry-suffered as keenly as anyone, despite the t h e a t r i c a l i t y of h i s groans and grimaces. (DL, 336-337) Harry's s u f f e r i n g i s separate from his physical expression of s u f f e r i n g . In part, t h i s i s West's actor image, but, i t i s also part of his technique of separating the mental from the physical. Abe Kusich, too, demonstrates a kind of disjunction, only i n t h i s case i t works i n reverse. Although he i s a dwarf, he i s emotionally the most active i n the book. He i s the one who grabs Earle's t e s t i c l e s and who wants to get some g i r l s . He i s the one who p i t i e s and loves the dying cock. Thus, although he i s p h y s i c a l l y reduced, he i s emotionally expanded. EG This could be considered an irony of the pl o t , but Abe i s also an image which contrasts with, for example, Homer's and Earle's size and emotional impotence. Even Claude Estee i s divided. He greets Tod by doing the impersonation that went with the Southern c o l o n i a l architecture, He teetered back and forth on his heels l i k e a C i v i l War colonel and made believe he had a large b e l l y . He had no b e l l y at a l l . He was a dried-up l i t t l e man with the rubbed features and stooped shoulders of a postal clerk. (DL, 271-272} Aft e r we f i n d out that Claude's impersonation i s fa l s e and - incongruous with his physical nature, his rhetoric also seems out of place. West's separation of the Omental and phys i c a l i s all-pervasive i n The Day of the Locust where each character i s divided i n some way. However, The Day of the Locust i s an extension of The Dream L i f e of Balso Snell which i s premised on the separation of dreams and r e a l i t y , and the o f f s e t t i n g fusion of art and excrement—man's highest s p i r i t u a l a c t i v i t y and ftls basest physical function. The Dream L i f e of Balso Snell i s composed of a series of images and episodes which depict man's reach f o r something mental and his l i m i t a t i o n s . The images demonstrate the separation of a s p i r a t i o n (mental)1 from r e a l i t y (physical d r i v e s ) . Religion, art and love are debunked. When Maloney the Areopagite has fi n i s h e d his precis of Saint 21 Puce's l i f e , ecstasy, and death, Balso*s shattering comment i s I think you're morbid . . . (BS, 13). Like r e l i g i o n , a r t i s e s s e n t i a l l y p h y s i c a l . John Gilson t e l l s us that he plans to write a play during which "the c e i l i n g of the theatre w i l l be made to open and cover the occupants with tons of loose excrement" (BSj 31). Art i s the' product of the human mind, digested experience, and, there-fore, excrement. Gilson says: "'What the h e l l do I care about art'. Do you know why I wrote that r i d i c u l o u s story—because Miss MeGeeney, my English teacher, reads Russian novels and I want to sleep with her. But maybe you run a magazine. W i l l you buy i t ? I need the money'.'" Art i s a means to sexual union or money, not truth or beauty. Love, too, i s base and only sexual. I t i s an act, Balso's "seduction" of Mary MeGeeney is a farce without meaning. Each of man's dreams ends up by being debased. The whole of The Dream L i f e of Balso S n e l l i s a dream and ends in the s t e r i l e ejaculation of a nocturnal emission. The mental actions are either separated from the physical or serve the p h y s i c a l . E i t h e r way, West's divided, linages force the reader to see t h e i r disjunction and f r u s t r a t e any attempt on the reader's part to fuse them. The separation of the mental and the physical Is a part of Miss Lonelyhearts a l s o . Peter Doyle i s l i k e Homer Simpson in that he becomes an image of a suffering 22 man who cannot act, or even understand why he cannot act. Like Homer's, Doyle's hands are separate from his mind and have t h e i r own existence. Miss Lonelyhearts watched the play of the c r i p p l e ' s hands. At f i r s t they conveyed nothing but excitement, then gradually they became p i c t o r i a l . . They lagged behind to i l l u s t r a t e , a matter with which he was already f i n i s h e d , or ran ahead to i l l u s t r a t e something he had not yet begun to talk about. (ML, 124) This image makes i t clear to the reader that the mind i s out of j o i n t and dissociated from the body. Like Faye's gestures, the hands are not coordinated with the words. West uses t h i s technique of d i s s o c i a t i n g the mental from the physical most powerfully in The Day of the Locust to create Homer and Harry. The images which depict t h e i r characters, demonstrate the d i v i s i o n West sees in man between aspirations and physical l i m i t a t i o n s . The characters created by these divided images mirror the divided f i c t i o n a l world i n which they e x i s t ; that i s , the hideous houses which the characters take to be beautiful (or normal) r e f l e c t t h e i r hideous dreams. West's world seems fa n t a s t i c because he focuses on two c o n f l i c t i n g properties of a character or thing. Homer, for example, i s a divided character, but the d i v i s i o n i s the r e s u l t of something more basic than c o n f l i c t i n g desires. The images demonstrate to us that Homer i s i r r e c o n c i l a b l y divided between emotional desires and physical impotence, and 23 further that Homer i s both a single being and. a divided being. Each aspect of h i s being i s pe r f e c t l y normal; the s t a r t l i n g quality of West's images a r i s e s from the yoking of opposites within one character. i i Besides separating the mental from the physical and demonstrating the coexistence of these opposing q u a l i t i e s i n each character, West often uses images which make the human seem inhuman. L o g i c a l l y , there are several permutations of thi s kind of image. The human can be made mechanical, or the mechanical human. Also, the human can be b e s t i a l , or the beast human. West uses a l l of these p o s s i b i l i t i e s . S t r i k i n g examples of the human made mechanical are Adore*s and Harry's performances. Adore greets Homer " l i k e a s o l d i e r at the command of a d r i l l sergeant" (DL, 368), sings a song which he does not understand, and when he i s finished grabs the string of hi s sailboat, c i r c l e s the yard "imitating a tugboat" (DL, 364), and toots himself off Homer's backyard stage. The entire image depicts a mechanical l i t t l e boy performing a mechanical action. Harry too i s mechanical. After h i s sales p i t c h to Homer, he st a r t s through i t again but stops to get h i s breath: "Suddenly, l i k e a mechanical toy that had been over-wound, something snapped inside of him and he began to spin through his entire r e p e r t o i r e " (DL, 301). In both of 25 these images the reader sees the human turned inhuman, in these instances, machine-like. Faye, too, has mechanical gestures and escapes from r e a l i t y by mechanical means. When she is bored, she l i e s down and dreams: She would get some music on the radio, then l i e down on her bed and shut her eyes. She had a large assortment of st o r i e s to choose from; A f t e r getting herself i n the rig h t mood, she would go over them i n her mind, as though they were a pack of cards, discarding one a f t e r another u n t i l she found the one that suited. On some days, she would run through the whole pack . . . . (PL, 316) Faye i s a human juke-box and her dreams are recordings of fantasies that she plays to h e r s e l f : While she admitted that her method was too mechanical for the best r e s u l t s and that i t was 'better to s l i p into a dream nat u r a l l y , she said that any dream was better than no dream and beggars couldn't be choosers . . . . However, her c r i t i c a l powers ended there. She only smiled at the mechanics. (DL, 317) The reader, on the other hand, sees that the mechanics reveal an inhuman quality—dreams, by t h e i r very nature, are unplanned and uncontrolled, but Faye sorts hers l i k e a deck of cards. Claude Estee, the master of rh e t o r i c , makes love mechanical: Love i s l i k e a vending machine, eh? Not bad. You in s e r t a coin and press home the lever. There's some mechanical a c t i v i t y inside the bowels of the device. You receive a small sweet, frown at yourself i n a d i r t y mirror, adjust your hat, take a firm g r i p on your umbrella, and walk away, trying-to look as though nothing had happened. (DL,-276) 26 The metaphor i s modified and continued: Mrs. Jennings, who managed a brothel, "wasn't vicious . . . . She ran her business just l i k e other women run lending l i b r a r i e s . . ." (DL, 277). Love i s a commercial product which can be bought and sold. I t i s mechanical and, therefore, inhuman. In The Day of the Locust, the whole Hollywood set t i n g i s mechanical. The houses are ugly and inhuman. Homer's rented house has two i d e n t i c a l rooms with i d e n t i c a l p r i n t s of the same pi c t u r e . The f i l m industry i s sim i l a r to Faye's deck of dream cards. I t produces the i l l u s i o n of r e a l i t y with i t s sets. Tod, while chasing Faye among the' movie-lot sets, f i n d s shade "under an ocean l i n e r made of canvas with r e a l l i f e b o a t s hanging from davits" (DL, 351), sees "a great forty-foot papier m&che' sphinx" (DL, 351), crosses "a desert that was continually being made larger by a f l e e t of trucks dumping white sand" (DL, 351), watches actors "eating cardboard food in front of a cellophane water f a l l " (DL, 351). When he i s out of breath, he s i t s ''down on a rock made of brown p l a s t e r . . . (DL, 352). There i s nothing r e a l , and l i t t l e that i s human. There are many other examples of images which depict the human as machine i n The Day of the Locust. Mrs* Johnson, f o r example, makes funerals her hobby. However, "Her preoccupation with them wasn't morbid; i t was formal. She was interested in the arrangements of the flowers, the 27 order of the procession, the clothing and deportment of the mourners" (DL, 341). She i s , i n f a c t , interested i n the mechanics of funerals, not t h e i r meaning or s i g n i f i c a n c e . The description of Homer's body—apart from h i s hands, that is—makes him into a robot. For example, we are told that "He got out of bed i n sections, l i k e a poorly made automaton . . . " (DL, 289). When Homer joins the crowd at the end of the book, he '•walked more than ever l i k e a badly made automaton and his features were set in a r i g i d , mechanical g r i n " (DL, 412). While the images in Miss Lonelyhearts are much l e s s compact than in The Day of the Locust and often extend over a f u l l chapter, there are a number of extended images which depict the human as mechanical. Miss Lonelyhearts works for a newspaper—$ symbol of modern mass communication— which i s produced by machines. Miss Lonelyhearts is p h y s i c a l l y separated from his readers. He receives only l e t t e r s , which he "answers" with typed words. There i s no communication or warmth, only spaces f i l l e d on a printed page. Shrike, the e d i t o r , uses the Miss Lonelyhearts'' column to gain readers. His rhetoric i s mechanical; he dictates answers to l e t t e r s l i k e a machine gun: 28 "The same old stuff,? Shrike said. "Why don't you give them something new and hopeful. Tell them about art. Here, I ' l l dictate: TArt Is A Way Out. "Do not let l i f e " overwhelm you. When the old paths are choked with the debris of failure, look for newer and fresher paths. Art is just such a path." (ML, 69) Shrike also reports on a new religion, a mechanical one. One of i t s members is going to conduct a service for a condemned slayer: "'Prayers for the condemned man's soul w i l l be offered on an adding machine. Numbers, he explained, are the only universal language'" (ML, 73). Even Shrike's seduction of Miss Farkis is mechanical. His speech is a set-piece, and "When he had reached the end, he buried his triangular face like the blade of a, hatchet in her neck" (ML, 74). Shrike is not a man, but an object which chops away at people. He cuts off escape routes for Miss Lonelyhearts like a woodsman f e l l s trees.^ Destroyed are the South seas, nature, pleasure, art, suicide and drugs: "My friend, I know of course that neither the s o i l , nor the South seas, nor Hedonism, nor art, nor suicide, nor drugs, can mean anything to us . . . God alone i s our escape. The church is our only hope, the F i r s t Church of Christ Dentist, where He is worshipped as Preventer of Decay." (ML, 110) Shrike turns God and religion into object and science, thus reflecting his own mechanical mind. In West's dehumanizing imagery, the human is often described as bestial, and the beast sometimes seems human. 2 9 In Miss Lonelyhearts, Doyle plays at being a dog—and i s one. Shrike i s a shrike, a bi r d which Impales i t s insect^prey upon thorns before devouring i t . Miss Lonelyhearts himself i s almost the innocent lamb being clumsily s a c r i f i c e d . In The Day of the Locust, there are two cock f i g h t s : the l i t e r a l cock f i g h t which i s controlled by the men and i s the i r entertainment; and the metaphorical cock f i g h t between the men which follows and is the i r f u l f i l m e n t . F u t i l e destruction i s the end of both. In another scene, Earle and Miguel set some q u a i l traps to get food. While the characters set traps, each character i n the book, Earle and Miguel included, i s trapped himself. West tends to use b e s t i a l i t y as an over-riding concept. In The Dream L i f e of Balso S n e l l , we enter c i v i l i z a t i o n through the horse's anus, the saint i s a f l e a , and the a r t i s t i s a r a t . These images are not;developed, but they do j a r the reader into seeing the di s p a r i t y between appearance and r e a l i t y . A Cool M i l l i o n begins with Shagpoke Whipple taking Lemuel P i t k i n ' s mother's cow, l i t e r a l l y milking the old woman of everything she has. Immediately following t h i s , Lemuel k i l l s a mad, frothing dog. While Lemuel can k i l l the l i t e r a l dog, he cannot match, l e t alone defeat, the metaphoric mad d o g — s o c i e t y . Although West's use of b e s t i a l images i s subordinated to h i s thematic concerns, i t i s one aspect of the dehumanizing imagery and works to achieve the same r e s u l t as the mechanical imagery. 30 In each of hi s works, West makes the human b e s t i a l or mechanical. The images r e f l e c t his divided v i s i o n which saw things as the i r opposites or as themselves and t h e i r opposites. The oppositions collapse and the human i s seen to be both mechanical and b e s t i a l , but i t i s not human, because the soul i s disregarded or denied. A l l human aspirations are reduced to mechanical processes and b i o l o g i c a l functions. We should note again that the d i v i s i o n i s not between what i s and what ought to be, but between what West sees and what we normally see. Usually West gives us both of these views i n each image, and t h i s forms the opposition of r e a l i t y and appearance. The sense of "ought" i s almost completely lacking in West's work exeept i n the general sense that l i f e ought not to be as i t Is. Through his mechanical and b e s t i a l imagery, West simply draws our attention to these aspects of human existence and i m p l i c i t l y denies the v a l i d i t y of man's aspir a t i o n s . i i i Throughout his work, West plays variations on the theme of appearance versus r e a l i t y . His images present h i s v i s i o n of man separated from himself. Each work develops, at some point, an actor image, the th i r d kind of image that West uses. This i s perfectly natural in The Day of the  Locust, which i s a study of Hollywood. But the actor image occurs in the other works as well: i n The Dream L i f e of  Balso S n e l l a l l of the actions are seen as performances; Miss Lonelyhearts t r i e s to act out Christ's r o l e ; Lemuel P i t k i n ends up as a side-show freak a f t e r his dismantling. In West's works, the actor becomes his r o l e . Harry and Earle, f o r example, are no more than they appear to be, poor method actors. Men are victims of t h e i r r o l e s , and at the same time l i f e i s a stage. Man becomes a clown when no action has any meaning: " L i f e i s but the span from womb to tomb; a sigh, a smile; a c h i l l , a fever; a throe of pain, a spasm of volup~ty: then a gasping f o r breath, and the comedy is over, the song i s ended, r i n g down the curtain^ the clown i s dead." The clown i s dead; the curtain is down. And when I say clown, I mean you. A f t e r a l l , aren't we a l l . . . clowns? . . . L i f e is_ a stage; and we are clowns. What i s more trag i c than the role of clown? What more f i l l e d with 32 the essentials of great a r t ? — p i t y and irony . . . . The clowns down front jin the theatrej are laughing, whistling, belching, crying, sweating and eating peanuts. And y o u — you are back-stage . . . . Clutching you bursting head . . . you hear nothing but the d u l l roar of your misfortunes . . . . Your f i r s t thought i s to rush out there and cut your throat before t h e i r faces with a l a s t t e r r i f i c laugh. But soon you are out front again doing your stuff, the same superb Beagle: dancing, laughing, s i n g i n g — a c t i n g . Fiinally, the curtain comes-down, and, in your dressing room before the mirror, you make the faces that won't come o f f with the grease p a i n t — t h e faces you w i l l never make down fr o n t . '(BS, 50-51) West, i n The Dream L i f e of Balso S n e l l , saw that the actor and h i s role were one and the same thing, but in The Day of the Locust, the ironies are compounded because the characters are professional actors without jobs, yet with no time off the set. West's technique of separating q u a l i t i e s and fusing d i s s i m i l a r q u a l i t i e s i s here more complex. West sees l i f e as a performance, but he makes us see, and lament, that there is nothing e l s e . L i f e i s not r e a l i t y , acting i s ; and i t i s a f a l s e r e a l i t y into the bargain. There i s no r e a l i t y . Even Tod and Miss Lonelyhearts, who come close to a true v i s i o n of l i f e , cannot escape. Rather than being a reprieve from a l i f e of acting, awareness merely compounds the pain and pro h i b i t s escape into i l l u s i o n . 7 In The Dream L i f e of Balso S n e l l , John Gilson and Beagle Darwin see themselves as actors. Beagle, in p a r t i c u l a r , performs f o r Saniette, h i s mistress. "My rela t i o n s with Saniette", he says, "were exactly those of 33 performer and audience" (BS, 25). In reaction to her casualness, he becomes more desperate i n h i s performance. Saniette accepted these "feats i n somewhat the manner one watches the marvellous stunts of acrobats" (BS, 25). F i n a l l y he says, I have forgotten the time when I could look back at an a f f a i r with a woman and remember anything but a sequence of t h e a t r i c a l poses—poses that I assumed, no matter how aware I was of t h e i r ridiculousness, because they were amusing,,. A l l my acting has but one purpose, the a t t r a c t i o n of the female. (BS, 26) But when Beagle has got his female, he gets r i d of her by wr i t i n g two imaginary l e t t e r s , the l a s t of which reads l i k e a scenario. He may be aware of h i s acting and i t s ridiculousness, but he continues performing. He continues to perform because there i s no other way to impress another person or to communicate. I t may be amusing, but i t i s also i n d i c a t i v e of man's isolated state of being. West uses the actor image to demonstrate the disjunction between act and meaning, and ultimately to deny any meaning to any action, or at l e a s t any s p i r i t u a l meaning to r e l i g i o n , a r t , or love, which in The Dream L i f e  of Balso S n e l l are merely means of a t t r a c t i n g the female. Whereas The Dream Lilfe of Balso Snell i s a work which i s b a s i c a l l y concerned with the distance between dreams and r e a l i t y , and which uses the actor image as a means to convey the theme, Miss Lonelyhearts i s a work which depicts a man trying to find and f u l f i l a r o l e . 3 4 Miss Lonelyhearts opens with Miss Lonelyhearts* r e a l i z a t i o n that h i s column i s not a joke, that his role i s serious (however r i d i c u l o u s ) , that "the l e t t e r s were no longer funny" '(ML,• 66). He i s the actor becoming aware that h i s l i f e i s his r o l e , and that his role i s impossible: Although the deadline was less than a quarter of an hour away, he was s t i l l working on his leader. He had gone as f a r as: " L i f e _is worthwhile, for i t is f u l l of dreams and peace, gentleness and ecstasy, and f a i t h that burns l i k e a clear white flame on a grim dark a l t a r . " But he found It impossible to continue. The l e t t e r s were no longer funny. He could not go on finding the same joke funny t h i r t y times a day for months on end. And on most days he received more than t h i r t y l e t t e r s , a l l of them a l i k e , stamped from the dough of suffering with a heart-shaped cookie k n i f e . (ML, 66) He reads the l e t t e r s searching f o r "some clue to a sincere answer" (ML, $6), but there i s none, not even C h r i s t . Christ i s Shrike's joke and h i s mockery undercuts Miss Lonelyhearts' s i n c e r i t y . The work dramatizes Miss Lonelyhearts' search for a solution to his readers' and his own problem. Each character represents a possible r o l e f o r Miss Lonelyhearts to play, and therefore an avenue of escape: S h r i k e — c y n i c i s m ; Betty—simple delusion; Mrs. S h r i k e — s e x ; Peter Doyle—open love. .Because Miss Lonelyhearts i s characterized by his reactions to these various r o l e s , he i s the most complex character in the work. But, always, he i s the actor trying to f i n d a . solution;'to s u f f e r i n g — t o f u l f i l and act out his earthbound, 35 C h r i s t - l i k e r o l e . He constantly sees his actions as r i d i c u l o u s , yet there are no a l t e r n a t i v e s . Miss Lonelyhearts i s defined by h i s name, h i s r o l e , and his attempt to play saviour. West's f i n a l image of Miss Lonelyhearts descending to meet Doyle, and Doyle's accidental shooting of Miss Lonelyhearts, presents a picture of the actor who f a i l s to reach his audience. Miss Lonelyhearts' attempt to love leads to destruction. For West, whose v i s i o n separates act from meaning, Miss Lonelyhearts' f a i l u r e i s the r e s u l t of a man being an actor when no actions are exempt from the disjunction between intent and r e s u l t . The image of the actor trapped in his role i s f u l l y developed i n The Day of the Locust. Much of the e a r l i e r discussion about West's separation of the mental and physical applies here, as do the examples c i t e d . Both kinds of images are part of the same v i s i o n , a v i s i o n which denies wholeness or unity to the world. A l l of the central characters Tod meets, with the exception of Homer, are actors. The description of Earle Shoop i s s t r i k i n g because each d e t a i l West adds merely reinforces the two-dimensional stereotype of "a cowboy from a small town i n Arizona", who works " i n horse-operas" (DL, 322 ) : 36 Tod found his Western accent amusing. The f i r s t time he had heard i t , he had re p l i e d , !»Lo, thar, stranger," and had been surprised to discover that Earle didn't know he was being kidded. Even when Tod talked about "cayuses," "mean hombres" and " r u s t l e r s , " Earle took him seriously. (DL, 324) In t h i s exchange, we see that Earle does not know he i s acting; he is h i s r o l e , on stage and o f f . Harry Greener i s more complex. We f i r s t see him when Tod v i s i t s him while he i s sick in bed. Almost immediately we are told that, "When Harry had f i r s t begun h i s stage career, he had probably r e s t r i c t e d h i s clowning to the boards, but now he clowned continuously" (DL, 282). The second time we meet Harry we see his continuous acting. Harry uses his clowning to se&l p o l i s h door to door. I t a l l seems innocent enough u n t i l Harry begins to "practice a va r i e t y of laughs, a l l of them t h e a t r i c a l , l i k e a musician tuning up f o r a concert" (DL, 300). He finds the r i g h t one and l e t s himself go. The r e s u l t s are disastrous: "Please stop," Homer sa i d . But Harry couldn't stop. He was r e a l l y sick. The l a s t block that held him poised over the runway of s e l f -p i t y had been knocked away and he was s l i d i n g down the chute, gaining momentum a l l the time. He jumped to h i s feet and began doing Harry Greener, poor Harry, honest Harry, well-meaning, humble, deserving, a good husband, a model father, a f a i t h f u l C h r i s t i a n , a l o y a l f r i e n d . (DL, 300) The image continues. Harry stands "with h i s head thrown back, clutching h i s throat, as though waiting for the curt a i n to f a l l " (DL, 301). Suddenly, he begins his act again: 37 "Like a mechanical toy . . . . He went through i t a l l i n one dizzy spasm, then reeled to the couch and collapsed" (PL, 301). Harry has l o s t control of h i s body and his act. West dwells on the image. F i n a l l y Harry becomes aware of h i s sickness. We switch from: Harry collapsed on the couch and began to breathe heavily. He was acting again. (DL, 302) to: ••I'm faint,? he groaned. Once again he was surprised and frightened. He was f a i n t . "Get my daughter," he gasped. (DL, 303) Harry and h i s role are mixed up. For Harry, h i s own death i s t h e a t r i c a l , but f o r the reader death i s not. Faye i s equally t h e a t r i c a l . She and Harry communicate through a c t i n g — h e laughs his victim's laugh and she sings. When Harry is dead, Faye acts with cold worldliness. A l l of her actions are mechanical and l i k e those of an "affected actress". Homer i s excited during h i s f i r s t meeting with her when, S t i l l holding her hair, she turned at the waist without moving her legs, so that her snug dress twisted even ti g h t e r and Homer could see her dainty, arched r i b s and l i t t l e , dimpled b e l l y . This elaborate gesture, l i k e a l l her others, was so completely meaningless, almost formal; that she seemed a dancer rather than an affected actress. (DL, 304) She seems l i k e a dancer, but i s an affected a c t r e s s — one who does not know the difference between stage and r e a l i t y . Like E a r l e , who i s pure male, Faye i s pure 38 female body with a mind f i l l e d with dreamsi A l l of her gestures are seductive, t r i t e , and empty: She repaid him for his compliment by smiling in a peculiar secret way and running her tongue over her l i p s . I t was one of her most c h a r a c t e r i s t i c gestures and very e f f e c t i v e . I t seemed to promise a l l sorts of undefined intimacies, yet i t was r e a l l y as simple and automatic as the word thanks. She used i t to reward anyone f o r anything, no matter how unimportant. (DL, 385) Although a minor character in the novel, Adore Loomis i s a part not only of the mechanical imagery, but also of the actor. He is si m i l a r to the other actors i n that he has no awareness of the meaning of his actions, nor,, does he have any escape from his r o l e . He i s a younger version of Harry being forced to a c t . Ultimately his acting w i l l dominate him. Along with Earle, Harry, Faye, and Adore, Homer becomes an actor without a stage or self-awareness. Homer i s the most p i t i f u l and t e r r i f y i n g of a l l the actors i n the book.. Homer acts, In the sense of pretending, because he cannot act l i t e r a l l y . He i s incapable of the sex act. When Faye moves in with him, i t i s a f i n a n c i a l arrangement and an investment. He t r i e s to act the father, but h i s hands reveal his sexual desire for her. His acting i s se l f - d e s t r u c t i v e , and his " s e r v i l i t y was l i k e that of a cringing, clumsy dog, who is always a n t i c i p a t i n g a blow, welcoming i t even, and i n a way that makes overwhelming the desire to strik e him" (PL, 367). 39 Homer i s so frustrated that he can do nothing but act. Because h i s emotions are completely repressed, he cannot combine intention and meaning with h i s s o c i a l r o l e . He i s not, l i k e Harry, a role without a separate being; rather, he i s a being without a s a t i s f a c t o r y r o l e . Consequently he becomes the example of the frustrated crowd which seethes with passion and which, because i t lacks a means of expression, seems robot-like and mechanical. West compounds the irony of the actor-act images to such an extent that actors impersonate themselves. Tod, Faye and Homer go to a cabaret where a young man impersonates a woman: What he was doing was i n no sense parody; i t was too simple and too restrained . . . . This dark young man . . . was r e a l l y a woman. When he had finished Hinging, there was a great deal of applause. The young man shook himself and became an actor again. He tripped on his t r a i n , as though he weren't used to i t , l i f t e d his s k i r t to show he was wearing Paris garters, then strode off swinging h i s shoulders. 'His imitation of a man was awkward and obscene. ( D L , 370) \ With the presentation of a "woman" impersonating a man impersonating a woman, West makes hi s point: everything i s acting. :• By drawing our attention to the d i s t i n c t i o n between actor and acting and then coll a p s i n g that d i s t i n c t i o n , West acieves an e f f e c t s i m i l a r to his disjunction of the mental and the phy s i c a l . Both kinds of images imply a divided world. West separates q u a l i t i e s which we tend to 40 fuse or fuses q u a l i t i e s which we separate. His images exhibit opposing human at t r i b u t e s coexisting within a character or the lack of certain human a t t r i b u t e s . The r e s u l t i s a dehumanized world made up of human q u a l i t i e s . Because West focuses on ordinary, r e a l i s t i c d e t a i l s , each part of his Imagery i s p e r f e c t l y normal. But, because he separates and joins qualities- i n & w a y that we do not, his world seems f a n t a s t i c . I t i s West's technique of s e t t i n g up oppositions and collapsing those oppositions which creates h i s divided world and i t s characters. As a r e s u l t of seeing inhuman characters, we look for the human or s p i r i t u a l q u a l i t i e s i n West's characters and fin d only vague h i n t s . The actor i s his acting; the mind i s divorced from the body. Together these images establish an irreconcilable d i v i s i o n i n West's characters between act and meaning. There is no meaning: l i f e i s a stage and man i s a clown without the clown's escape from his grease-paint and the stage. i v A l l three kinds of images discussed up to t h i s point have been based on a separation of q u a l i t i e s — t h e mental from the physical, the human from the mechanical or animal, the actor from the role--and various fusions of these q u a l i t i e s . None of these has involved d i s t o r t i o n i n the normal sense of the word. The fourth kind of image i n West i s the grotesque d i s t o r t i o n of the human body. West develops an "unnatural^ character in each novel and contrasts the deformed with the natural. But, i n West, the grotesque becomes the normal or n a t u r a l . 8 In Miss  Lonelyhearts, Doyle, the crippled metre-man, i s the images of a su f f e r i n g human. However, i n The Day of the Locust. Abe, the pugnacious dwarf, i s more healthy than the normal people. In one novel, West implies that we are a l l c r i p p l e s ; i n the other, that dwarfs are giants r e l a t i v e to the rest of the world. As early as The Dream L i f e of Balso S n e l l . West l i n k s physical with mental or s p i r i t u a l deformity. Balso i s attracted to the g i r l - c r i p p l e s at the theatre: 42 Spying a b e a u t i f u l Hunchback, he suddenly became sick with passion. The cripple of his choice looked l i k e some creature from the depths of the sea. She was t a l l and e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y hunched. She was t a l l in spite of her enormous hump; but f o r her dog-leg spine she would have been seven feet high. Moreover, he could be certain that, l i k e a l l hunchbacks, she was i n t e l l i g e n t . (BS, 37-38) Janey Davenport i s the lover of a r t , and her physical deformity i s a r e f l e c t i o n of her mental deformity. While West uses the grotesque in The Dream L i f e  of Balso S n e l l , i t i s secondary to a host of other, thematic concerns. In Miss Lonelyhearts, A Cool M i l l i o n and The Day of the Locust, the grotesque becomes a more inte g r a l part of the f i c t i o n a l world. A Cool M i l l i o n i s the record of Lemuel P i t k i n ' s physical dismantling. He .becomes the grotesque image of society's product. Both Lemuel*s«aid Betty's physical rape r e f l e c t s their mental rape at society's hands, A Cool M i l l i o n also progresses towards the "Chamber of American Horrors, Animate and Inanimate H i d e o s i t i e s . " The whole work i s a series of grotesque images described in dead-pan language. Unlike The Dream L i f e of Balso Shell and A Cool  M i l l i o n , which i m p l i c i t l y present the .grotesque as an aberration of the normal (although West suggests that the natural consequences of f a l s e dreams and e v i l s o c i e t i e s are grotesque and therefore that the dreams and society must be changed), Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust present the grotesque as normal and in e v i t a b l e . 43 The l e t t e r s Miss Lonelyhearts receives are from cripples who are deaf, lacking noses, or spastic. These l e t t e r s create a picture of a deformed world. This i s the image which turns the joke into a serious concern. The mission Miss Lonelyhearts takes upon himself i s to cure the deformed world. The l o g i c of the novel and i t s p l o t t i n g i s that, the deformed are a part of l i f e and that t h e i r s u f f e r i n g cannot he cured. Miss Lonelyhearts' attempt to help Doyle leads to destruction. Further, while Doyle i s the c r i p p l e , his wife i s equally emotionally crippled and requires Miss Lonelyhearts' help. And Miss Lonelyhearts cannot help. The f i n a l image of the book not only shows Miss. Lonelyhearts' death, but also the survival of two kinds of deformity--Peter Doyle's paralysis and Betty's mental denial of the s u f f e r i n g of l i f e . In Miss Lonelyhearts, Doyle is the image of rthe s u f f e r i n g l e t t e r - w r i t e r s and as such i s , as Miss Lonelyhearts comes to r e a l i z e , a real and normal aspect of l i f e . In f a c t , Shrike t e l l s Doyle, "'you are humanity"" (ML, 1 2 3 ) . In The Day of the Locust, Abe i s not the image of suffering. Rather, he becomes, i r o n i c a l l y , the most healthy of the characters. His size i s i n inverse proportion to h i s drives and desires. But his desire for Faye, and sex i n general, i s thwarted. Like the cock with a broken beak, he enters lam arena i n which he cannot triumph. He i s swung 44 against the wall and i s helpless to prevent his own destruction. He i s , l i t e r a l l y , the l i t t l e , defeated man. j? Each novel develops an image of a deformed character and combines the humorous with the h o r r i b l e . West varies h i s use of his grotesque imagery, but i t i s always present. But again, as with the other kinds of imagery, there i s the sense that West i s recording fantasy seen. Further, the grotesque images form one part of the v i s i o n which separates the deformed from the normal and says that both are d i s t i n c t and yet i d e n t i c a l . Almost a l l of West's characters are mentally deformed in the sense that they are divided between t h e i r bodies and their minds, that they are mechanical and b e s t i a l as opposed to human, that they are nothing more than role-players. When we see how grotesque West's divided world and i t s characters i s , the physical grotesques merely support and r e f l e c t the mental grotesques. While the cripples and dwarfs remain separate, the reader sees that they are r e f l e c t i o n s of an entire world. V The f i n a l kind of image West uses, apart from ordinary descriptions which provide the contrast for a l l the other kinds, i s inversion. Under this amorphous heading f a l l images of the disjunction between normal action and reaction, that i s , between stimulus and response. Although V i c t o r Comerchero notes that ''More than anything else i t i s the d i s p a r i t y between stimulus and response that creates the i n t e n s i t y of Westian man,"^ he does not develop this insight in terms of West's images, nor does he comment on i t s implications in terms of West's entire f i c t i o n a l world. Because of the disjunction between normal action and reaction, the f i c t i o n a l world often seems inverted. Laughter, f o r example, i s not a means of expressing joy. S i m i l a r l y , instead of being a natural function, sleep for Homer i s a means of escape from r e a l i t y . Throughout West's work there are breaks or missing l i n k s i n the chains of cause and e f f e c t . To a normal reader, who i s accustomed to normal sequences of cause and e f f e c t , West's world often seems inverted in that i t upsets no rmal expe c tat io n. 46 The disjunction between action and reaction i s most f u l l y developed in The Day of thelLocust.. The mob scene st a r t s with Homer's attack on Adore. The stimulus which Adore provides i s i n s i g n i f i c a n t i n r e l a t i o n to Homer's reaction . This spreads throughout the crowd, which changes from a passive crowd, to a furious mob in minutes. In f a c t , the stimulus merely provides an excuse to release pent-up tensions; i t triggers the mob's rage. There i s a cause and an e f f e c t , but they seem unrelated or, more accurately, i n s u f f i c i e n t l y r e l a t e d . West draws our attention to t h i s kind of image -repeatedly, f o r c i n g us to see the disjunction between stimulus and response. Calvin and Hink, two horse-opera actors, mock Earle, but f a i l to get a reaction from him: Calvin and Hink slapped their thighs and laughed, but Tod could see that they were waiting f o r something else. Earle, suddenly, without even s h i f t i n g h i s weight, shot his foot out and kicked CalVin s o l i d l y in the rump. This was the r e a l point of the joke. They were delighted by Earle*s fury. Tod also laughed. The way Earle had gone from apathy to action without the usual t r a n s i t i o n was funny. The seriousness of his violence was even funnier. (DL, 385) The joke i s Earle*s i r r a t i o n a l response, h i s i n a b i l i t y to react in accordance with stimulus. Faye's and Harry's automatic responses are also examples of t h i s kind of image. Faye's tongue-caress and Harry ' s sales routine, are part of the pattern in that neither character .lis able to f i t his response to the cause. 47 There are opposite cases i n which the stimulus i s greater than the reaction. When Homer's hand receives a nasty cut, Homer does not seem to f e e l any pain. S i m i l a r l y , the crowd Tod i s studying reacts l i k e Homer most of the time. The normal stimuli of sunshine, oranges, and passion f r u i t have no e f f e c t on them. They wait f o r airplane crashes or sexual perverts to goad them into action. But, once released, their furious reaction, l i k e Homer's, i s disproportionate to the causal action. The book develops several images of t h i s kind, each more serious than the preceding image. Near the beginning, when Tod and Claude's guests go to watch a f i l m at Mrs. Jenning's, we have a mock r i o t out of a l l proportion to the cause: There was a long delay, during which the cameraman fussed desparately with his machine. Mrs. Schwartzen started to whistle and stamp her feet and the others joined i n . They imitated a rowdy audience i n the days of the nickleodeon. (DL, 279) A f t e r the f i l m i s "complete" and the audience r e a l i z e s i t has been duped, people shout "Fake •." reheat!" "The old teaser routine I" They stamped their feet and whistled. Under cover of the mock r i o t , Tod sneaked out. (DL, 280-281) Here, although we are aware that i t i s a joke, we are introduced to a kind of image which develops throughout the novel. 48 West uses the d i s j u n c t i o n of action and reaction in jfc. Cool M i l l i o n a l s o . Lemuel P i t k i n i s found g u i l t y of a crime which he did not commit. When he a r r i v e s at the prison, the warden begins: "The f i r s t thing to dp i s to draw a l l your teeth," he said. ••Teeth are often a source of i n f e c t i o n and i t pays to be on the safe side. At the same time we w i l l begin a series of cold showers. Cold water i s an excellent cure for morbidity." "But I am innocent," cried Lem, when the f u l l s i gnificance of what the warden had said dawned on him. "I am not morbid and I never had a toothache inmy l i f e . " (CM, 166) Here there i s almost no r e l a t i o n between the reason f o r Lemuel's imprisonment, the teeth-drawing, the cold showers, and the warden's reaction to the s i t u a t i o n . The book i s a series of such events i n which cause and e f f e c t follow as l o g i c a l consequences i n only the most s u p e r f i c i a l ways. West d i s t o r t s the natural order and creates a world i n which almost any event can follow any other event. The l o g i c of the narrative arises from West's intention to develop images and i r o n i c s i t u ations, not from the narrative i t s e l f . West uses th i s technique to a l e s s e r extent i n Miss Lonelyhearts, but we do gain ins i g h t s through images which disconnect cause and effect, or d i s t o r t the normal re l a t i o n s h i p between cause and e f f e c t . Miss Lonelyhearts' f r u s t r a t i o n becomes apparent when he l i g h t s a poorly made cigarette: 49 The cigarette was imperfect and refused to draw. Miss Lonelyhearts took i t out of h i s mouth and stared at i t f u r i o u s l y . He fought himself quiet, then l i t another one. (ML, 68) Normally, people do not become furious when a cigarette does not draw. A si m i l a r image is created when Miss Lonelyhearts t r i e s to show his ?love" for the cri p p l e Peter Doyle while reading Doyle*s l e t t e r : While Miss Lonelyhearts was puzzling out the crabbed writing, Doyle's damp hand accidentally touched h i s under the table. He jerked away, but then drove h i s hand back and forced i t to clasp the c r i p p l e ' s . A f t e r f i n i s h i n g the l e t t e r , he did not l e t go, but pressed i t f i r m l y with a l l the love he could manage. (ML, 126) As In The Day of the Locust, where the action and reaction disjunction works two ways, the whole of Miss  Lonelyhearts i s premised on the t h e s i s that there i s no suitable reaction to the stimulus of the l e t t e r s which Miss Lonelyhearts receives. There i s no answer to. the pain and su f f e r i n g of Miss Lonelyhearts' readers. Thus, while the images sometimes show the response exceeding the stimulus, at other times the reaction i s d e f i c i e n t . E i t h e r way, the reader sees an inverted world. Another aspect of the inverted world which i s linked to the inappropriate response i s West's use of laughter. Normally, laughter i s a means of expressing joy. But West's world there i s no joy. Yet characters laugh. West does not, however, r e l y solely upo:>h the reader's normal expectation. He accentuates, within h i s 50 work, the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of-a characters' laughter. Harry Greener, f o r example, laughs his victim's laugh for Homer. West develops the image slowly and c a r e f u l l y , Harry "didn't want to laugh, but a short bark escaped * . . . When i t didn't hurt he laughed again" (DL, 306). The only way Faye can stop the laughing i s to sing "Jeepers i Creepers". We learn that "Their b i t t e r e s t quarrels often took t h i s form; he laughing, she singing" (DL, 306). Harry stops and begins again: This new laugh was not c r i t i c a l ; i t was h o r r i b l e . When she was a c h i l d , he used to punish her with i t . I t was his masterpiece. There was a direct o r who always c a l l e d on him to give i t when he was shooting a scene i n an insane asylum or a haunted c a s t l e . I t began with a sharp, metallic crackle, l i k e burning s t i c k s , then gradually increased in volume u n t i l i t became a rapid bark, then f e l l away again to an obscene chuckle. After a sl i g h t pause, i t climbed u n t i l i t was the nicker of a horse, then s t i l l higher to become a machine-like screech, Faye li s t e n e d h e l p l e s s l y with her head cocked on one side. Suddenly, she too laughed, not w i l l i n g l y , but f i g h t i n g the sound. "You bastard!" she y e l l e d . She leaped to the couch, grabbed him by the shoulders and t r i e d to shake him quiet* He kept laughing. (DL, 307) This passage combines the various kinds of images which have been analyzed. Harry starts laughing with a b a r k — a b e s t i a l image. Laughing and singing are not expressions of joy or pleasure—an image which disregards normal reactions. Harry's masterpiece progresses from a me t a l l i c crackle to a bark to a horse's nicker and f i n a l l y becomes a machine-like screech 1—the human is mechanical 51 as well as b e s t i a l . The act i s mechanical, separate from Harry's mind, uncontrollable, and lacks meaning: Harry couldn't stop laughing now. He pressed h i s b e l l y with h i s hands, but the noise poured out of him. I t had begun to hurt again. (DL, 307) Laughter i s a release, but i t expresses despair and causes pain. West d i s t o r t s the act and shows us the disjunction between stimulus and response. In The Dream L i f e of Balso Sne11,laughter is not a happy thing e i t h e r . Beagle Darwin says I must laugh at myself, and i f the laugh i s " b i t t e r " , I must laugh at the laugh. The r i t u a l of f e e l i n g demands burlesque and, whether the burlesque i s successful or not, a laugh . . . . (BS, 27) Janey Davenport, a character within a l e t t e r within a novel written by a character within the dream within Balso's dream, does not want to laugh at he r s e l f : The r i d i c u l o u s , the r i d i c u l o u s , a l l day long he talks of nothing else but how r i d i c u l o u s t h i s , that, or the r'other thing i s . And he means me, I am absurd. He i s never s a t i s f i e d with c a l l i n g other people r i d i c u l o u s , with him everything i s r i d i c u l o u s — h i m s e l f , me. Of course I can laugh at Mother with him, or at the Hearth; but why must my own mother and home be ri d i c u l o u s ? I can laugh, at Hobey, Joan, but I don't want to laugh at myself. I'm t i r e d of laugh, laugh, laugh. I want to r e t a i n some portion of myself unlaughed a t . There i s something in me that I won't laugh at. I won't. I ' l l laugh at;the outside world a l l he wants me to, but I won't, I don't want to laugh at my inner world. (BS, 241) Despite the s i n c e r i t y of the rhetoric, the context makes Janey rather absurd, even i n her inner world. Together the s i n c e r i t y and absurdity show the reader that laughter i s not so much an expression of joy as i t i s an attempt to face the absurdity of l i f e . 52 Throughout Miss Lonelyhearts, Shrike mocks Miss Lonelyhearts and C h r i s t . His laughter is a weapon, and not without bit t e r n e s s . When Miss Lonelyhearts accuses Shrike of being a wife-beater, Shrike laughs, "but too long and too loudly . . (ML, 92). Shrike begins a "heart-to-heart" talk with Miss Lonelyhearts: "My good friend, your accusation hurts me to the quick. You s p i r i t u a l lovers think that you alone s u f f e r . But you are mistaken. Although my love i s of the f l e s h flashy, I too s u f f e r . I t ' s s u f f e r i n g that drives me into the arms "Of the Miss Farkises of this world. Yes, I s u f f e r . " Here the dead pan broke and pain a c t u a l l y crept into h i s voice. "She*s s e l f i s h . She's a damned s e l f i s h b i t c h . She was a v i r g i n when I married her and has been f i g h t i n g ever since to remain one. Sleeping with her i s l i k e sleeping with a knife in one's groin." I t was Miss Lonelyhearts' turn to laugh. He put his face close to Shrike's and laughed as hard as he could. (ML, 92) The jokes i n the bar, Doyle's joke with Miss Lonelyhearts* f l y , and Shrike's party game are but a few of the many jokes i n the work . They a l l induce laughter, but none of them are funny. We come to r e a l i z e that t h i s divided world i s populated by people whose sense of the humorous and h o r r i b l e i s inverted. 3- 0 In West's f i c t i o n a l world, then, there are causes and e f f e c t s but the two do not seem to explain what happens. For example, Miss Lonelyhearts "stepped away from the bar and a c c i d e n t a l l y c o l l i d e d with a man holding a glass of beer. When he turned to beg the man's pardon, he received a punch in the mouth" (ML, 85). This i s a normal occurrence, 53 yet the reasons are not developed. There i s an explanation, yet i t i s unsatisfactory and only i m p l i c i t i n the passage. West's f i c t i o n a l world i s l o g i c a l , but i t i s r i d d l e d with d i v i s i o n s . The separation of stimulus and response is one aspect of West's v i s i o n . Although divided images pervade each of West's works, there are numerous places where "normal" or "ordinary** images accentuate the various kinds which have just been discussed. The r e l a t i v e l y p l a i n descriptive opening of Chapter II i n The Day of the Locust, f o r example, .is not s t a r t l i n g : He had • been l i v i n g t h i s way f o r almost a month, when, one day, just as he was about to prepare h i s lunch, the door b e l l rang. He opened i t and found a man standing on the step with a sample case in one hand and a derby hat i n the other. Homer hurriedly shut the door again. (DL, 298) S i m i l a r l y , ordinary images occur throughout West's work and provide a contrast for the d i s j o i n t e d images. The entire description of Miss Lonelyhearts' t r i p to the country has a Hemingway-like si m p l i c i t y which accentuates the horror of the return to the c i t y . Homer's reminiscence of h i s abortive a f f a i r with,Romola Martin i n room,611 of the hotel Is p i t i f u l and accentuates, because of i t s s i m p l i c i t y , the elaborate image of the hands which,Homer cannot control. Needless to say, there are many more ordinary images. These, together with the reader's normal expectations, provide the norm by which we recognize that much of^West's imagery i s strange and s t a r t l i n g , not because i t is f a n c i f u l 55 or distorted, but because the Images separate and combine parts of ordinary characters and things in an unusual manner, With our knowledge of the kinds of images that West uses, we must now look at the r e s u l t s of h i s divided images and try'to suggest why he uses images which create a divided world populated by divided characters. v i i The e f f e c t of West's images i n each work i s complex and cumulative. The f i v e kinds I have discussed ultimately combine to create an all-pervading sense of separation and d i s j u n c t i o n . We see a half-world; that i s , one world which i s i r r e c o n c i l a b l y divided. We discover that man's mind i s separate from his body, his desires separate from his p o t e n t i a l ; that man i s less than human--a machine or a beast; that man i s an actor and that the role consumes the actor; that man is grotesque and that his creations r e f l e c t his grotesque nature; that the world i s inverted and, consequently, that order and meaning are impossible. The world created by these images i s f i n a l l y disturbing and f r u s t r a t i n g because i t is fantasy seen. West's technique i s to s t a r t with small and apparently innocent disjointed images, compound these with more serious and pervasive presentations of internal^ and external d i s s o c i a t i o n , fuse his kinds of divided images into a few overpowering complex images, and, ultimately, to demonstrate the fury and destruction which r e s u l t from the separation of dreams from r e a l i t y , act from meaning, man 57 from himself. The t o t a l cumulative e f f e c t of the images i s the creation of an atmosphere of horror and p i t y , t e r r o r and disgust. The f i c t i o n a l world r e f l e c t s and p a r a l l e l s the characters within i t . The hideous houses of Hollywood, which are intended to s t a r t l e , r e f l e c t the minds of t h e i r creators. Homer's house exhibits Homer's s t e r i l e existence. S i m i l a r l y , Miss Lonelyhearts' ordered room r e f l e c t s Miss Lonelyhearts' desperate attempt to order his own mind. Besides creating a divided world and f i l l i n g i t with characters divided i n themselves, West extends t h i s technique by creating characters and groups of characters which are i m p l i c i t l y or e x p l i c i t l y i r r e c o n c i l a b l y opposed. In The Day of the Locust, for example, the characters form two groups: the cheaters and the cheated. Tod, as a Hollywood costume designer, i s one of the cheaters. Faye and Harry also f i t into t h i s group. Homer and the Los Angeles crowd are the cheated. But, as i n the images, the d i s t i n c t i o n collapses. In the same way that the actor-act separation fuses into a u n i f i e d opposition, the cheater-cheated opposition collapses. Faye and Harry are as much victims of t h e i r dreams as are Homer and the crowd. While the d i s t i n c t i o n between cheaters and cheated i s maintained by means off the constant reference to Tod's 58 painting which divides the world into two groups of people, the book as a whole denies the separation! When Claude Estee and h i s friends go to Mrs. Jenning's game-house, the f i l m they see, l i k e the filiias which they produce, cheats them. The reader becomes aware that both the cheaters and the cheated are victims of t h e i r dreams. West sets up a d i s t i n c t i o n and both maintains i t and collapses i t , so that the reader senses both a d i v i s i o n or separation and a u n i f i c a t i o n of opposites. Miss Lonelyhearts also exhibits d i v i s i o n s between characters, and i t too both maintains and denies that d i v i s i o n . The opposition Is simpler than i n The Day of  the Locust, because Miss Lonelyhearts i s the sole standard against which a l l the others are measured. Miss-Lonelyhearts recognizes the need to help the s u f f e r i n g while the other characters deny or avoid the s u f f e r i n g . The reader, however, sees that both Shrike and Betty suffer or are going to s u f f e r . Also, although Peter Doyle i s introduced as the example of suffering man, the reader i s aware that Doyle's physical deformity i s si m i l a r to Miss Lonelyhearts' s p i r i t u a l deformity. Despite the obvious differences, t h e i r problems are s i m i l a r , Both are tftwarted in t h e i r attempt to f u l f i l t h e i r desires. West's technique of opposing characters or groups of characters and demonstrating that the opposing characters are a f f l i c t e d with s i m i l a r problems is an extension of 59 his technique of d i v i d i n g or separating images within themselves and collapsing those images. The p o l a r i z a t i o n of characters i s one aspect of h i s divided f i c t i o n a l world. Like the images, the characters (which the images in part create) seem f a n t a s t i c , weird, or di s t o r t e d . But the fact is that they are strange only i n so far as West has concentrated on the e s s e n t i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h e i r natures, and has, l i k e Anderson, presented only t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r ''truth". The i s o l a t i o n of that truth creates a sense of the grotesque which i s not so much a part of the character being presented as i t i s of the i s o l a t i o n of the p a r t i c u l a r feature or aspect of the character. West uses t h i s technique to create the f i c t i o n a l world and i t s characters. He concentrates on separate aspects and makes the reader see the opposition of the aspects through h i s images. West's technique e s s e n t i a l l y denies character i n the normal sense of .the word. He presents r e l a t i v e l y s t a t i c pictures of people, shows the people in action, and describes t h e i r reactions to other p e o p l e . 1 1 Because the divided images of the characters are the most f u l l y developed, they become the characters. Homer i s a sexually repressed male; we become aware of t h i s through the image of his hands. We l e a m that Harry i s a mask or an empty actor through the description of h i s face. 60 Faye i s a sex symbol caught in her own dreams; we learn t h i s through the presentation of her physical movements and the image of her dream-cards. West's concentration on the physical q u a l i t i e s of his characters does two things. With Earle and Miguel, f o r example, i t denies the mental. With most of the other characters, i t demonstrates the separation of the mental from the physical and asserts the p h y s i c a l . The image almost becomes the man. But even with a f l a t character such as Harry, West hints at the existence of something within the physical s h e l l . He t e l l s us that Harry suffers as much as anyone else, but we do not see t h i s . What we see and what remains with us i s the actor image and a vague sense of p i t y for people l i k e Harry who do have a "need for beauty and romance" (DL, 262)* When West does develop the mental, as in Faye or Miss Lonelyhearts, i t becomes cle a r that the mental dreams or aspirations are f u t i l e and destructive, and that the physical r e a l i t y i s dominant. In f a c t , West r e s t r i c t s himself almost s o l e l y to one layer of r e a l i t y — t h e p h y s i c a l . His work, with the exception of The Dream L i f e of Balso S n e l l , i s so concrete that we despair of the existence of any non-i l l u s o r y a l t e r n a t i v e s . 61 Because West concentrates on the physical and makes us see that the surface images are the e s s e n t i a l features of h i s characters, we do not become concerned about the characters as human beings in f i c t i o n a l s i t u a t i o n s . Instead of developing his characters, West makes us see them more c l e a r l y through h i s p l o t t i n g . We never f u l l y understand the characters, or the world in which they e x i s t , as we do in most novels. What West does show us and what we do come to understand i s the divided nature of the characters and t h e i r world. A sense of i r r e c o n c i l a b l e and inevitable d i v i s i o n i s the f i n a l consequence of West's technique of focusing on separate, isolated, and opposing q u a l i t i e s within and 12 among his characters. Because we see, i n the images, the various d i v i s i o n s , we understand the f r u s t r a t i o n of the characters, although we never understand the causes of the divisions and the r e s u l t i n g f r u s t r a t i o n s . I t i s through the divided images that West creates his divided world and characters and, as we w i l l now see, i t i s the function of the plot to create situations in which we become aware of the r e s u l t s of a divided world. CHAPTER III STRUCTURE AS DEVICE Most people who have read any of West's work remember his imagery, not h i s p l o t s or characters. Although they may remember Homer or Abe i n The Day of the Locustj what they remember i s usually a picture of Homer's hands or of Abe's head h i t t i n g the wall in Homer's house. They are also l i k e l y to r e t a i n a c l e a r image of the cock-fight, but the events which surround i t , lead up to i t , and r e s u l t from i t are usually forgotten. Even West's most sympathetic c r i t i c s f a u l t The Day of the Locust for i t s narrative weaknesses. In his introduction to the complete works, Alan Ross says that The Day of the Locust's " d e f i c i e n c i e s , such as they are, come from a s l i g h t slowness i n the narrative's momentum, and a s e r i e s of sub-plots whose i n t e r -r e l a t i o n i s never developed quite closely enough. Once the r e a l theme emerges, West's confident astringency of language seems to return and the l a s t two-thirds of the book contain some of his very best w r i t i n g . " 1 Ross implies that, because Miss Lonelyhearts i s more compact and has a more t i g h t l y woven plot structure, i t i s a 63 better work than The Day of the l o c u s t . What Ross f a i l s to see i s that both works exist as a series of images, and that the plot i s merely West's method of unifying the sequence. 2 Or, putting i t the other way around, the images unify the plot which i s always subservient to the images. The subordination of narrative to imagery i s obvious i n A Cool M i l l i o n . The theme, in terms of narrative, i s contained i n the s u b t i t l e : The Dismantling of Lemuel P i t k i n . Like V o l t a i r e ' s Candlde, West's picaresque i s a series of loosely connected episodes. The sequence of events provides opportunities f o r i m p l i c i t and e x p l i c i t comments on the world outside the f i c t i o n a l world. But, even in A Cool M i l l i o n , the sequence i s c a r e f u l l y ordered to create, as the work progresses, more and more horrible images. The purpose of the narrative i s in f a c t s o l e l y to present s i t u a t i o n s which further the dismantling process. The book begins with Lemuel being duped by Shagpoke Whipple, beaten by Tom Baxter, swindled by a pickpocket who c a l l s himself Wellington Mape, knocked unconscious by Police Sergeant Clancy, put i n j a i l where hi s teeth are extracted at Warden Ezekiel Purdy's command, and so on. Betty P r a i l , who has been kidnapped, serves "a severe apprenticeship:; to the profession" (CM, 167) she i s to enter. The p l o t goes on, Lem and Betty remain g u l l i b l e , and the reader t i r e s . But as i s suggested by 64 the opening events up to the p u l l i n g of Lemuel's teeth, the seriousness of the crimes against Lemuel i s increasing. West implies that i f we are innocent (fools) we are dismantled, and i f we are experienced (knaves) we dismantle others. As the work proceeds, Lemuel i s deceived and attacked. Towards the middle he i s used by a rather petty, i f successful, criminal. At the end of A Cool  M i l l i o n he i s being used by Whipple, a more serious deceiver in that he deceives the mind, whereas the t h i e f only s t e a l s . Lem is a "stooge" (CM, 252), and while he remains innocent, West implies that he i s furthering an e v i l cause. Even his death is used by Whipple's p o l i t i c a l machine. The narrative in A Cool M i l l i o n i s weak by n o v e l i s t i c standards, but the structuring i t provides for West's s a t i r i c images i s excellent. Each event leads to a more serious indictment of society's f o l l y , fakery, and destructiveness. 3 While I wish to delay my discussion of s a t i r e u n t i l the following chapter, i t i s not possible to deal with the structure of A Cool M i l l i o n without t r e a t i n g i t as a s a t i r e . Unlike Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of  the Locust which are, as we s h a l l see, complete i n themselves except for the. most general kinds of reference to the everyday world, A Cool M i l l i o n constantly r e f e r s to the world external to the f i c t i o n a l world so as to form 65 e x p l i c i t s a t i r i c l i n k s of a general and s p e c i f i c nature. Despite the f a c t that the work is t i g h t l y woven i n terms of characters and events, the basic unity a r i s e s out of the images and i r o n i c s i t u a t i o n s which rel y upon the r e a l world events. Also, A Cool M i l l i o n i s a parody of the Horatio Alger books. This, together with the complete lack of character analysis and development and the absence of plot (as opposed to n a r r a t i v e ) , acts as a signal to the reader that the work i s s a t i r i c . Mingled with the sequence of images which form the narrative are a number of incidental images which provide the stage f o r the narrative, establish a d d i t i o n a l s a t i r i c l i n k s with the real, world, and f i l l in the f i c t i o n a l world. West describes Wu Fong's whore house i n great d e t a i l . Each one of the female inmates of Wu Fong's establishment had a tiny two-room suite f o r her own use, furnished and decorated i n the style of the country from which she came. Thus, Marie, the French g i r l , had an apartment that was D i r e c t o i r e . Celeste's rooms (there were two French g i r l s because of t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l popularity) were Louis the Fourteenth; she being the f a t t e r of the two. (CM, 169,) The image i s modified l a t e r to comment on the "Buy American" campaign when Wu Fong turns "his establishment into an hundred per centum American place" (CM, 202). Mr. Asa Goldstein, who purchased Mrs. P i t k i n ' s house and thus forced Lem out into the world to seek his fortune, i s 66 hired to do the i n t e r i o r decoration. The e f f o r t s which Goldstein and Wu Fong devote to aut h e n t i c i t y accentuate the horror of America i n the t h i r t i e s . I t s t r a d i t i o n i s used by a bawd to make money. And Fong, by changing from "A House of A l l Nations" to American wares, i s both being a good American and serving other good, p a t r i o t i c c i t i z e n s . Besides the many images which expand the basic narrative, West constructs his narrative so that Lem i s shunted to a l l parts of the United States. Lem moves from O t t s v i l l e , Vermont, to New York, from New York to Chicago and the West, then to the South, and f i n a l l y back to New York. West's narrative allows an all-encompassing attack on the United States. Lemuel P i t k i n , who ends up a side show freak and a p o l i t i c a l t o o l , i s the Ail-American Boy. He helps the National Revolutionary Party defeat Marxism and International Capitalism: "Through the National Revolution America's people were purged of a l i e n diseases and America became again American" (CM, 2 2 5 ) . We are l e f t with only American diseases. Lem's physical deformity r e f l e c t s the deformity of the society of which he was a part and a product. Betty, Lem's sweetheart, escapes from the whore-house, but she becomes Shagpoke's and the National Revolution's whore. The implications of the l a t t e r are more serious than the former. Despite the fact that Betty i s s t i l l innocent, that is, a. f o o l , she i s now being used 67 to influence people's minds. West's narrative develops a number of inc i d e n t a l images, and surveys the entire nation. While the narrative l i n k s image to image, i t i s the increasing horror of the images which u n i f i e s the work. Even i n h i s death, Lemuel i s used by others fo r destructive ends. Toelast paragraphs of A Cool M i l l i o n draw together the image of the great Lemuel P i t k i n , martyr. " J a i l i s his f i r s t reward. Poverty his second. Violence i s h i s t h i r d . Death is h i s l a s t . "Simple was h i s pilgrimage and b r i e f , yet a thousand years hence, no story, no tragedy, no epic poem w i l l be f i l l e d with greater wonder, or be followed by mankind with deeper f e e l i n g , than that which t e l l s of the l i f e and death of Lemuel P i t k i n . "But I have not answered the question. Why i s Lemuel P i t k i n great? Why does the martyr move in triumph and the nation r i s e up at every stage of his coming? Why are the c i t i e s and states his pallbearers? "Because, although dead, yet he speaks. "Of what i s i t that he speaks? Of the r i g h t of every American boy to go into the world and there receive f a i r play and a chance to make his fortune by industry and probity without being laughed at or conspired against by sophisticated a l i e n s . "Alas, Lemuel P i t k i n himself did not have t h i s chance, but instead was dismantled by the enemy. His teeth were pulled out. His eye was gouged from his head. His tlraft*pwas removed. His scalp was torn away. His l e g was cut o f f . And, f i n a l l y , he was shot through the heart." (CM, 254-255) Unlike A Cool M i l l i o n , which is c l e a r l y ordered to provide i m p l i c i t and e x p l i c i t satire and which is made up of a group of images that have clear l i n k s to the" external world, West's other works have more than a bare narrative. For example, despite the apparent disorder of 68 The Dream L i f e of Balso S n e l l , the work seems to be a unit i n i t s e l f . 4 While there are s p e c i f i c , e x p l i c i t l i n k s to the external world, f o r instance the comments on theatre-goers (BS, 30-31) and the numerous l i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n s , the book does not consist s o l e l y of such l i n k s . Notwithstanding the episodic structure, there i s considerable thematic unity. Further, the unity i s r e f l e c t e d in the imagery. The Dream L i f e of Balso S n e l l both mocks and discusses seriously r e l i g i o n , art, love, and l i f e . And the imagery r e f l e c t s a similar d i v i s i o n between the exposure of pretenders and the denial of the existence of any s p i r i t u a l reality. When Balso, a f t e r l i s t e n i n g to the l i f e of St'4 Puce, t e l l s Maloney the Areopagite that he (Maloney) " i s morbid" (BS, 13), Balso is not only denying the p a r t i c u l a r r e l i g i o n , but a l l r e l i g i o n s . S i m i l a r l y , when the guide r e c a l l s George Moore's statement about ar t , he continues, ^*Art is not nature, but rather nature digested. Art i s a sublime excrement" (BS, 8). The e f f e c t i s to deny the s p i r i t u a l aspect of art and, ultimately, the s p i r i t u a l aspect of man—or, more pr e c i s e l y , the value of man's s p i r i t u a l a s p i r a t i o n s . As the book progresses, each image and image-event reveals both i l l u s i o n and the f u t i l i t y of l i f e that r e s u l t s from man's aspirations being only i l l u s i o n s . 69 What remains for the reader who f i n i s h e s the work i s a series of images which deny man's s p i r i t u a l aspirations and demonstrate that they are a function" of the body. At the same time, the f i n a l image of Balso's emission which climaxes his wet dream demonstrates that, although man i s only a body, i t , l i k e a r t , r e l i g i o n , and love, i s both f u t i l e and s t e r i l e . West's other works, Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day  of the Locust, are much more complex than A Gool M i l l i o n and The Dream L i f e of Balso Snell i n terms of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between imagery and p l o t . Whereas the l a t t e r are c l e a r l y s a t i r e s , i f not p a r t i c u l a r l y successful ones, Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day o f the Locust are u s u a l l y referred to as novels or s a t i r e s or both at the same time. In order to understand the relationship between the two genres, as West used them, i t i s necessary to look at the structuring force the imagery provides and the subordinate nature of the p l o t . One of West's most perceptive and appreciative c r i t i c s , James F. Light, has noted that the events i n Miss Lonelyhearts are imagistic: This s t a t i c , p i c t o r i a l q u a l i t y of the characters i s also true of the action, So the actions seem candid camera snap-shots of people caught i n mid-air, posed against a background of d u l l sky and decaying earth. Each, action, involving each character, becomes a v i s u a l i z e d symbol of an abstract state of mind and heart, so that one remembers 70 the pictures rather than the developing actions: Miss Lonelyhearts bringing the knife down upon the lamb; Miss Lonelyhearts twisting the arm of the clean old man; Miss Lonelyhearts entwined about Doyle while Betty watches the two r o l l down the s t a i r s . 5 Although i t i s true that we remember the images, within the work the plot structure unites the sequences of images s u f f i c i e n t l y that we are not puzzled by the episodic form as we are i n The Dream L i f e of Balso S n e l l . Further, Mjss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust exhibit real plots as opposed to the mere narrative of A Cool,; M i l l i o n . The concentration on Miss Lonelyhearts' concerns and h i s perception i s a part of the unity, but more important i s the unity of the imagery which creates characters i n opposition, separates the mental from the physical, describes Shrike as a machine, turns Betty into a party dress, treats the deformed as natural, and ultimately depicts a world f u l l of suffering and f r u s t r a t i o n . Light recognizes West's technique of s p l i t t i n g characters and images. For example, he says of Mrs. Shrike: "Not r e a l l y able to believe i n her tiny dreams, she yet needs something on which to dream. So torn, her personality becomes a s p l i t one. This s p l i t i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the c o n f l i c t within her of the head's knowledge and fears and the body's i n s t i n c t i v e reactions."' 71 Light also recognizes West's use of an image which s p l i t s Miss Lonelyhearts' character. Referring to the image of Miss Lonelyhearts' bony chin which i s •'shaped and c l e f t l i k e a hoof" (ML, 6 9 ) , he writes: "The boniness suggests the man of the s p i r i t rather than the f l e s h . But" one should note the c l e f t i n the chin, i n d i c a t i v e of the s p l i t between the s p i r i t and the f l e s h , between the d e v i l and the s a i n t . " 7 Light sees West's separation of q u a l i t i e s of people and things; the irresolvable c o n f l i c t s West poses, and the s t a t i c , p i c t o r i a l quality of the action. In an e f f o r t to explain the source of West's s t y l e , Light claims that West was a S u r r e a l i s t . Speaking of the t o t a l e f f e c t of the novel, he says: Far more important to the eventual impact are the images that one remembers. These images owe a good deal s t y l i s t -i c a l l y . . . to the s u r r e a l i s t s . For the n i h i l i s t i c side of surrealism wished to destroy the world of rationalism, replacing i t with the sur-real world of i n d i v i d u a l perceptions. This world, at i t s most t r u t h f u l , was rooted in dreams and v i s i o n s , where the r a t i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p of objects was replaced by the subconscious and truer v i s i o n : where D a l i clocks hung without suspension i n vari-colored skies; where an umbrella and a sewing machine copulate on an operating table; where the symbol of the sur-real i s the s u r - r e a l i t y of the objects i n a drug store, douche bags p i l e d against aspirin-; bottles and both outlined against a toothpaste ad." In t h i s kind of surreal perception, suggestive of the cosmic chaos, was, f e l t the s u r - r e a l i s t s , a shocking humor, the humor of the Jacobean writer of conceits.9 As examples of S u r r e a l i s t i c images i n West, he c i t e s Miss Lonelyhearts' 7 2 i n d i v i d u a l i z e d perceptions: where a man's tongue i s seen as a fat thumb and a man's cheeks are seen as r o l l s of t o i l e t paper; where a woman's buttocks are seen as enormous grindstones and a woman's nipples are seen as l i t t l e red hats; where a woman i s seen as a tent, veined and covered with h a i r , and a man as a skeleton i n a clos e t ; where the stone shaft of a war memorial becomes a penis, sexually d i l a t e d and ready to spout seeds of violence.10 These examples of West's imagery are shocking and disturbing. But following from the analysis of the imagery in Chapter I I , i t should be clear that the imagery does not derive from dreams. On the contrary, despite Light's assertion that the imagery of Miss Lonelyhearts i s that of a nightmare (as he argues i n his a r t i c l e : "Miss Lonelyhearts: The Imagery of Nightmare"), the images are based on ordinary, concrete r e a l i t y . The twist or shock i n each example Light gives comes from West's association of properties, q u a l i t i e s , and aspects which we normally separate. The fac t i s , a woman's buttocks are l i k e grind-stones, and her nipples are l i k e red hats. Further, West's characters exist in a coherent, i f i m a g i s t i c a l l y divided, f i c t i o n a l world. West i s l i k e the Metaphysicals and unlike the S u r r e a l i s t s i n that he associates or dissociates i n two dimensions, not three. The S u r r e a l i s t s tended to yoke d i s s i m i l a r objects on or in front of a t o t a l l y unrelated background. By doing so they denied the r e a l i t y of the everyday world and asserted the r e a l i t y of the mental or dream world. The oddity of a Dali 73 painting derives to a large extent from the complete i n c o n g r u i t y of the objects and their setting. West, on the other hand, r e l a t e s h i s f i c t i o n a l world to his characters and images so that the reader can comprehend the d i v i s i o n s and separations within the work. Compared to The Dream L i f e of Balso S n e l l , Miss Lonelyhearts i s r e a l i s t i c , not s u r r e a l i s t i c . Almost a l l of his c r i t i c s associate West with Surrealism, despite the fact that West himself said he was not a S u r r e a l i s t . 1 1 Although i t cannot be denied that West was influenced by the S u r r e a l i s t s , I think c r i t i c s have obscured the nature of West's imagery and its'purpose by over-emphasizing that influence. Even Alan Donovan, who widens the d e f i n i t i o n of Surrealism to include "any st y l e which attempts to escape the normal l i m i t s of r e a l i t y by u t i l i z i n g such methods as the narration of dreams or drug-induced ha l l u c i n a t i o n s , incongruous or haphazard association of images, and the deliberate adoption of a tone inappropriate for the substance of the n a r r a t i v e , w 3 - 2 i s hard pressed to account for West's use of t h i s kind of imagery. Donovan c o r r e c t l y notes the distancing e f f e c t of West's imagery when he writes: "Perhaps the most outstanding yet questionable character-i s t i c of West's surrealism, l i k e that o f more recent n o v e l i s t s , i s the aesthetic distance i t a f f e c t s between the le.ader 74 and the characters.?- 1 0 Further, he says that "the surreal tone of a novel, f o r instance, renders u n l i k e l y any f e e l i n g for i t s characters as p e o p l e . " 1 4 Speaking of Earle Shoop, the cowboy i n The Day of the Locust, Donovan claims "His function as a caricature i s c l e a r ; h i s function i 5 as a three-dimensional human being i s not." The argument being presented runs as follows: West's images are S u r r e a l i s t i c , S u r r e a l i s t i c images distance the reader from characters within novels, novels which include t h i s kind of imagery are, therefore, d i f f i c u l t to evaluate, and West's novels demonstrate the problem c l e a r l y . Further, Donovan implies that West's novels are not r e a l l y very good because of the S u r r e a l i s t i c imagery. The basic assumption which underlies ihe argument i s that as a S u r r e a l i s t , West was trying to use his imagery to enable the reader to understand, or fee:l f o r , his characters in the same way as we do in other novels. I f , on the other hand, we assume that West's imagery i s designed to make us see, as opposed to understand and empathize with, the characters and t h e i r world, we have an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t c r i t e r i o n by which to judge West. I f we judge West as a n o v e l i s t , the j a r r i n g , divided imagery, and the lack of character analysis and development w i l l lead us to conclude that S u r r e a l i s t i c imagery does not work i n the novel (or at least West's novels). However, 75 i f we look at the imagery i t s e l f , and see how West uses i t , we w i l l see that i t i s not used i n the same way as the S u r r e a l i s t s used t h e i r disjointed images, nor i s i t used for a s i m i l a r purpose. West's imagery i s not completely d i s j o i n t e d , that i s , unrelated to other images, and does in fa c t demonstrate considerable coherence, as we have already seen. Further, the imagery i s c l o s e l y related to the structure of each work. This point is important because the power of Miss  Lonelyhearts, f o r example, comes not only from the imagery, but also from the novel i s t i c structuring of the work. The closely woven l o g i c which leads to Miss Lonelyhearts' f i n a l delusion i s basic to the work's effectiveness. Contrary to Helen Pet r u l l o ' s argument that the n o v e l i s t i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of West's Miss Lonelyhearts disguise the s a t i r e and i t s main target, 1 6 the n o v e l i s t i c elements provide coherence and r e f l e c t the unity of the imagery. Rather than disguise the s a t i r e , these elements provide the structure which i s used to create a f i c t i o n a l world which, in i t s e l f , represents the everyday world as being absurd. Miss Lonelyhearts i s not the target, nor i s Shrike. The target i s l i f e i n which the Christ dream i s f u t i l e , i n which suffering i s r e a l and all - p e r v a s i v e , and i n which those with s e n s i t i v i t y must forsake any hope of ameliorating the misery of others or of themselves. 76 Without the creation of a u n i f i e d f i c t i o n a l world, West's s a t i r e would have remained l i m i t e d and p a r t i c u l a r i z e d i n the sense that he would have had to attack p a r t i c u l a r e v i l s i n the everyday world. By creating a r e l a t i v e l y complete, i f divided, f i c t i o n a l world, and destroying the world and the main characters within i t who come to stand for the best possible aspirations in the created world, West i s able to attack l i f e i t s e l f . The f i c t i o n a l world West creates i n Miss Lonelyhearts does not deny the r a t i o n a l or everyday world and assert a dream world or p a r t i c u l a r i z e d perception of the everyday world. Rather, the tight p l o t t i n g and the consistent imagery create a v i s i o n which i s disturbing because i t i s based upon reasonable assumptions and mundane, everyday r e a l i t y . To suggest that Miss Lonelyhearts moves away from.; physical r e a l i t y to the r e a l i t y of the mind or dreams i s to deny, in my opinion, the purpose of the l e t t e r s West includes i n the work. At the outset, Miss Lonelyhearts r e a l i z e s that the l e t t e r s are serious, and that s u f f e r i n g i s an aspect of the re a l world. In f a c t , as the book progresses he r e a l i z e s that suffering pervades l i f e . By including the l e t t e r s , West expands h i s f i c t i o n a l world so that i t seems to represent the entire r e a l or external world. Suffering, pain, and f r u s t r a t i o n are l i f e ' s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . These c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are not aspects 77 of the mind or of dreams; they are r e a l i t y both i n the f i c t i o n a l world and the everyday world. ThuSj West's created world i s r e a l i s t i c , not S u r r e a l i s t i c . I f we examine the sequence of the images and note i t s unity, and then examine the plot structure and recognize i t s unity, we w i l l be able to see that West's f i c t i o n a l world i s r a t i o n a l , despite i t s d i v i s i o n s . In f a c t , we w i l l see that West's entire f i c t i o n a l world i m p l i c i t l y comments on the external everyday world, and that t h i s forms the basis of the s a t i r i c attack. The important point i s that i t is the complete f i c t i o n a l world which West creates and destroys which forms the s a t i r e , not a series of i m p l i c i t and e x p l i c i t l i n k s to the external world throughout the work which provide i n c i d -ental attacks on p a r t i c u l a r targets. When we look at the sequence of images in Miss  Lonelyhearts, we see the process by which West creates h i s divided world. The work ^begins with the inversion of a joke: Miss Lonelyhearts no longer finds the l e t t e r s to be funny. We then read three examples of the l e t t e r s and r e a l i z e that Miss Lonelyhearts i s ri g h t ; the l e t t e r s are not funny. From the outset then, we are introduced to un-funny jokes and i r o n i e s . ;While we are introduced to Miss Lonelyhearts and "the suffering of the l e t t e r writers, West does not e l i c i t our concern f o r Miss Lonelyhearts 78 or the l e t t e r - w r i t e r s as characters. The focus i s on the l e t t e r s and what they stand f o r , and on Miss Lonelyhearts' job. The s l i g h t l y humorous s p e l l i n g of c e r t a i n words and the poor grammatical structure combined with the s t a r t l i n g s i m p l i c i t y of the l e t t e r s moves us away from the characters towards the f a c t of s u f f e r i n g . Also, the preclseness of d e t a i l and the concentration on suffering, as opposed to characterization, moves us to consider the r e a l i t y of the s u f f e r i n g . Thus, at the very beginning of the work .we are introduced to Miss Lonelyhearts trying to answer the impossible and to solve the insoluble. We a l s o see Miss Lonelyhearts as a man divided between the f l e s h and the s p i r i t . F i n a l l y * the f i r s t chapter ends with the introduction of Shrike and h i s f a l s e , joking answers to the l e t t e r s . With Shrike's entry, the extreme response:-; to the l e t t e r s becomes apparent. Shrike, the Cynic, laughs at what we and Miss Lonelyhearts take s e r i o u s l y . Already, the shape of West's divided world i s becoming evident. The f i r s t paragraphs of the second chapter, "Miss Lonelyhearts and the dead pan," expand the world from l e t t e r s and characters to a physical description of the f i c t i o n a l s e t t i n g . As V i c t o r Comerchero has pointed out, i t i s l i k e T.S. E l i o t ' s Waste Land. 1 7 Miss Lonelyhearts leaves work, enters a park, and we learn that 79 As f a r as he could discover, there were no signs of spring. The.decay that covered the surface of the mottled ground was not the kind i n which l i f e generates. Last year* he remembered, May had f a i l e d to quicken these s o i l e d f i e l d s . It had taken a l l the b r u t a l i t y of July to torture a few green spikes through the exhausted d i r t . What the l i t t l e park needed, even more than he did, was a drink,. (ML, 70) The atmosphere of decay r e f l e c t s Miss Lonelyhearts' mind. I t also describes the state of the f i c t i o n a l world. The world i s s t i l l ordered in that i t has months and seasons, but spring does not r e s u l t in flowers. West then presents images r e f l e c t i n g Miss Lonelyhearts' divided character: he wants to laugh at himself, and cannot; he wants to be s p i r i t u a l l y h e l p f u l to others, and has only a stone in his. gut; he wants a miracle, and sees only a grey sky and newspaper struggling i n the a i r " l i k e a k i t e with a broken spine" (ML, 71). We proceed to images of Shrike as an actor, Miss Farkis as a, body without a mind, r e l i g i o n as a mechanical exercise, and, f i n a l l y , Strike as a seduction machine. From the sustained image of Shrike the machine, we move to Miss Lonelyhearts the seeker of s p i r i t u a l meaning. He t r i e s to love, and f a i l s . He also t r i e s various other dreams, but i s always forced back to the r e a l i t y of the l e t t e r s . The rest of the book i s the imagistic record of h i s attempt to cope with and answer the s u f f e r i n g h i s l e t t e r - w r i t e r s press upon him. 80 Without a dream to explain l i f e , Miss Lonelyhearts becomes aware of the chaos of l i f e . For a l i t t l e while, he seemed to hold h i s own but one day he found himself with h i s back to the w a l l . On that day a l l the inanimate things over which he had t r i e d to obtain control took the f i e l d against him. When he touched something, i t s p i l l e d or r o l l e d to the f l o o r . The c o l l a r buttons disappeared under the bed, the point of the pen c i l broke, the handle of the razor f e l l o f f , the window shade refused to stay down. He fought, but with too much violence, and was d e c i s i v e l y defeated by the spring of the alarm clock. (ML;». 78) After demonstrating h i s f a i l u r e in h i s own.na.rrow world, West moves Miss Lonelyhearts into the l a r g e r f i c t i o n a l world, that i s , the complete f i c t i o n a l world, to show that i t too i s chaotic. He f l e d to the street, but there chaos was multiple. Broken groups 6X people hurried past, forming neither stars nor squares. The lamp-posts were badly spaced and the flagging was of d i f f e r e n t s i z e s . Nor could he do anything ;with the harsh clanging sound of street cars and the raw shouts of hucksters. No repeated group of words would f i t t h e i r rhythm and no scale could give them meaning. (ML, 78-79) Seeking order and meaning, Miss Lonelyhearts remembers h i s fiance'e Betty, but "his confusion was s i g n i f i c a n t , while her order was not" (ML, 79). Again with Betty, .West sets up images which r e f l e c t mental or philosophical p o s i t i o n s . Whereas Shrike mocked suffering, Betty denies i t s existence. For Miss Lonelyhearts, she provides no solu t i o n . ''Betty the Buddha" (ML, 80) ignores Miss Lonelyhearts f r u s t r a t i o n and s p i r i t u a l sickness, and asks i f he i s p h y s i c a l l y s i c k . In reply he shouts 81 Well, I'm not s i c k . I don't need any of your damned a s p i r i n . I've got a C h r i s t complex. Humanity . . . I'm a humanity lover. A l l the broken bastards . . . . (ML, 81) From here the plot continues to develop situations which present the various avenues of escape open to Miss Lonelyhearts: laughing at suf f e r i n g , memories, violence, sex, the country. Each i s t r i e d and found wanting. Because of i t s r e l i a n c e upon images, Miss Lonelyhearts i s l i k e a comic s t r i p , ^ and because of i t s brevity, the violence which r e s u l t s from Miss Lonelyhearts' f r u s t r a t i o n infuses the entire work. The suppressed rage he f e e l s against an imperfect cigarette is followed by his i n a b i l i t y to order the p h y s i c a l world, by h i s k i l l i n g the lamb and, f i n a l l y , by h i s beating the clean old man. When violence does not ease th i s f r u s t r a t i o n , Miss Lonelyhearts t r i e s physical love with Mary Shrike and Fay Doyle, compassion f o r Peter Doyle, romantic love in the country with Betty. None of these a l l e v i a t e suffering. Ultimately Miss Lonelyhearts t r i e s s p i r i t u a l love, but i t leads him out of the world i n that he becomes a stone, and as such he merely accepts suf f e r i n g , which continues to e x i s t . The f i n a l image presents Miss Lonelyhearts secure i n h i s f a i t h 19 and separate from r e a l i t y . Miss Lonelyhearts, the deluded character, i s destroyed, leaving the physical and s p i r i t u a l c r i p p l e s in the f i c t i o n a l world, and by implication, i n the external world. 82 While Miss Lonelyhearts i s a sequence of image-events which deny the p o s s i b i l i t y of escaping from the r e a l i t y of suffering, the work, as i t progresses, increases the in t e n s i t y of the images used to portray the r e a l i t y of s u f f e r i n g . The work moves from examples of the l e t t e r s to images of the l e t t e r - w r i t e r s — t h e Doyles. As with the other l e t t e r - w r i t e r s whom we do not see, we are not concerned with them as characters. Although we learn why they married in the f i r s t place, t h i s psychological realism merely accentuates the horror of t h e i r s i t u a t i o n . In West, the explanations do not explain the problem away. We may know that Fay married Peter out of desperation when she found that she was pregnant, but this does not explain Peter's deformed body, nor Fay's animal nature. West focuses our attention on t h e i r problem rather than on i t s causes. In The Dream L i f e of Balso S n e l l , Balso l i s t s the possible causes of unhappiness and d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n : Having no a l t e r n a t i v e , Balso blamed the war, the invention of p r i n t i n g , nineteenth-century science, communism, the wearing of sof t hats, the use of contraceptives, the large number of delicatessen stores, the movies, the tabloids, the lack of adequate v e n t i l a t i o n i n large c i t i e s , the passing of the saloon, the sof t c o l l a r fad, the spread of foreign a r t , the decline of the western world, commercialism, and, f i n a l l y , f o r throwing the a r t i s t back on his personality, the renaissance. (BS, 31) Gf course, these explain nothing. Knowledge does not provide an explanation for pain and deformity in the world; i t merely labels causes. S i m i l a r l y , the knowledge of cert a i n 83 f a i l u r e does not a l l e v i a t e Miss Lonelyhearts 1 need to dream that he can help people by loving them. West uses his divided imagery to show us that h i s characters' needs and desires c o n f l i c t with r e a l i t y . For example, we see that Fay Doyle desires sex, but she i s married to a c r i p p l e . S i m i l a r l y , Peter Doyle needs love, yet he i s married to a woman who equates sex and love, and he i s incapable of s a t i s f y i n g her. Not only do we see the separation of dreams from r e a l i t y , we also see the irony of these two being married to one another. Fay, the f e r t i l i t y image in the work (ML, 101), gives b i r t h to the cripples of t h i s world; therefore i t is i r o n i c a l l y " f i t t i n g " that she should be coupled to the crippled Peter. The irony draws us away from the characters as such to the abstract consideration of how to l i v e in an i r o n i c or absurd world. The Shrikes' marriage is also f i t t i n g i n so f a r as Shrike i s the cold, machine-like cynic and his wife Mary i s the f r i g i d woman. While Mary drives Shrike to the Miss Farkises of the world, Shrike is unable to love Mary and enable her to overcome her f r i g i d i t y . They su i t each other, destroy each other, and create the need for t h e i r f u t i l e dreams. Shrike believes that other women w i l l solve h i s problem, and Mary i n turn believes that " v i r g i n i t y " w i l l enable her to survive. Both are deluded. 84 The p l o t t i n g as well as the imagery allows us to see the d i v i s i o n s , i r o n i e s and culminating f r u s t r a t i o n i n Miss Lonelyhearts. Because each chapter concentrates on one event to which Miss Lonelyhearts reacts, Miss Lonelyhearts becomes the reference point f o r the whole work. But, from the beginning, his character is divided, and his perceptions are imagistic. The book moves, with minimal plot l i n k s , to images of various escape routes open to Miss Lonelyhearts. Each i s a l o g i c a l consequence of the preceding event, and each i s a more desperate attempt to f i n d a s a t i s f a c t o r y i l l u s i o n . West c a r e f u l l y graduates his incidents so that Miss Lonelyhearts' apparent need increases while the apparent escape becomes more obviously impossible. For example, the book moves from attempts at sexual escapes with Mary Shrike and Fay Doyle to an escape into the natural surroundings of the country. But the country i s obviously unsatisfactory because Miss Lonelyhearts is aware of and deeply involved in the su f f e r i n g of society and he must go back to the c i t y . When he does, he knows that Betty's s i m p l i c i t y , which i s represented by the country, i s not the answer. He then t r i e s to help the Doyles by preaching love, but even before he begins he knows that he i s going to make a f o o l of himself. I t becomes apparent that withdrawal from the world i s the only solution,,, A solution has been found for Miss Lonelyhearts, 85 but the reader knows that h i s i s no solution for the r e a l world. Miss Lonelyhearts has f a i l e d to help the l e t t e r -writers and t h e i r suffering has survived him. He has even created more misery; Betty i s going to bear h i s c h i l d . The p l o t t i n g provides the framework for the images. The l o g i c of the p l o t merely miakes the images more h o r r i f y i n g , and what psychological depth there i s t o the characters merely accentuates the r e a l i t y of the d i v i s i o n between aspirations and r e a l i t y . In the end, the f i c t i o n a l world of Miss Lonelyhearts collapses. Miss Lonelyhearts, the s p i r i t u a l dreamer, i s k i l l e d ; Peter Doyle, the physical c r i p p l e , remains. S u f f e r i n g dominates -an i r r e c o n c i l a b l y divided world, and se see that, despite man's need f o r dreams and hope and love and poetry, there i s no escape from f r u s t r a t i o n and violence. When West came to write h i s l a s t work, The Day of the Locust, he again used his technique of subordinating p l o t 20 to images. As in A Cool M i l l i o n , the images increase i n i n t e n s i t y from minor mock r i o t s ( i n Mrs. Jenning's house) to l i m i t e d r i o t s (Faye, Earle, Miguel and Tod) to more general r i o t s (the second "cock-fight" Inside Homer's house includes a l l of the main charactexs) to t o t a l i t l o t (the f i n a l image of the book). But unlike A Cool M i l l i o n and Miss Lonelyhearts, The Day of the Locust i s not centred s o l e l y on the protagonist. It i s much more diffuse 86 and develops a number of d i f f e r e n t image-characters around which the work i s concentrated. The work i s l i k e a well-made motion p i c t u r e . I t starts with separate images of Tod, Hollywood," and the performers who are the cheaters. It then moves to an image of the cheated, Homer. West then introduces h i s example of a cheated performer, Harry. With the introduction of these three characters, we have the two basic images of the work before us. Tod i s hardly characterized at a l l except to the extent that we w i l l accept his perception of Hollywood's sham, ugliness, and d i v i s i o n between aspiration and r e a l i t y , or needs and c a p a b i l i t i e s . Tod then becomes, e s s e n t i a l l y , the eyes through which we see the events. Harry and Homer, on the other hand, establish the fundamental d i v i s i o n within the f i c t i o n a l world. Homer, through the events i n the pl o t , becomes the l i v i n g example of the suppressed rage of the mob. The long introduction of h i s character-image which I have discussed e a r l i e r establishes the separation between mind and body. His hands are not controlled by his mind. He needs sex, beauty, love, contact, purpose. % e n he meets Faye, he gains a dream. 2 1 The B'ay of the Locu'st records his disillusionment, h i s being cheated. Harry i s the cheater, and Harry's daughter isa'parallel image of h i s i n a b i l i t y to separate l i f e from acting. His mechanical actions are d i f f e r e n t from Homer's b e s t i a l desires, 87 but the res u l t s are s i m i l a r . Both men are unable to control the body's actions and repressions. For Harry, the act i s separate from the meaning, as i t is with Faye, -A-dore, and E a r l e . Although Harry's mind and body, l i k e Homer's, are i n opposition. Harry i s not aware that his dream of acting has made him i t s v i c t i m . He i s not aware that he has been cheated. But the reader i s , and the resultant irony collapses the d i s t i n c t i o n between the cheaters and the cheated set up i n the world, Thus, the images remain divided, but the work i s u n i f i e d because the reader sees that both groups of ind i v i d u a l s , despite their varying degrees of awareness, are cheated, frustrated, and trapped i n a world without beauty and romance, but l e f t with the need for both. The Day of the Locust opens with a complex series of short images which set up a divided world. Each time Tod sees a pa r t i c u l a r thing, he also sees that i t i s something else. For example, he sees an army, and i t i s an army of actors; he sees a group of people in sports clothes who are coming home from work; he sees Mexican, Samoan, Egyptian, and Japanese styled houses and knows that they are plas t e r , l a t h and paper. The dual nature of the things r e f l e c t s the dual nature of West's characters. 88 Although the breadth of v i s i o n of The Day of the Locust i s f a r more extensive than in Miss Lonelyhearts, the plot i s s i m i l a r i n so f a r as i t provides the structure for the images which bind the work together. Through Tod, the narrator, West graduates our introduction to the characters c a r e f u l l y . We f i r s t meet Abe Kusich, the dwarf. His race-track t i p s are i l l u s i o n s , but he is a petty cheater. Next we go to Claude ^stee's party and from there to Mrs. Jenning*s genteel whorehouse. Claude's guests are a kind of whore to t h e i r audience's dreams, and at the same time the creators of the dreams which cheat t h e i r audience. Mrs. Jenning cheats the cheaters with her f i l m Le Predicament  de Marie. The cheating i s becoming more serious. I t has moved from money (Abe) to sex (Mrs. Jenning). West then gradually develops his f i r s t major image-event of the cheaters and the cheated. A f t e r b r i e f l y introducing Harry Greener, he concentrates on Homer and Homer*s hands, fthey are even described i n the passive voice. When Homer cuts himself "while opening a can of salmon for lunch," we are t o l d that "his thumb received a nasty cut . . . i t was carried to the sink by i t s mate . . . (DL, 296-297). As a r e s u l t of t h i s image, we see the nature of Homer's divided character. At the same time West expands the image of Homer in two ways. By including Homer's memories of the one sexual experience i n his l i f e , we see something 89 of the seriousness of Homer's problem, although we do not learn anything about the causes of h i s extreme sexual f r u s t r a t i o n . Also, West's description of Homer's house and Homer's attitude to Hollywood expands the f i c t i o n a l world of the work and adds to the v i s i o n of a divided world. The recounting of Harry's attack i n Homer's house l i n k s the two characters and develops the images of the cheaters. Homer's hands and Harry's a c t i n g are equally r e v o l t i n g , and both work on the same p r i n c i p l e , jajy concentrating on c e r t a i n aspects of th e i r characters, West creates a natural grotesque, a grotesque image which i s based neither on deformity nor on the surreal, but on mundane, ordinary f a c t s . With the introduction of Faye into Homer's l i f e , his dream or f u t i l e a s p i r a t i o n Is created. He i s now ready to become one of the cheated. But i t i s necessary to show the nature of the dream he ha3, and West proceeds to develop Faye's character. she l i k e her father, i s mechanical. She too, l i k e Homer, has dreams. But, unlike Homer (who i s not yet d i s i l l u s i o n e d and therefore not one of the inhuman crowd), her dreams destroy her s e n s i t i v i t y , humanity, and values. Love for her must be accompanied by money and looks. Tod f a i l s completely on t h i s account, but Homer has money, and h i s r i v a l , Earle Shoop;, has looks. 90 The book develops image-events which demonstrate that each man is taken i n by Faye's s u p e r f i c i a l charms.22 The f r u s t r a t i o n and resultant violence increases as the desire f o r the dream increases and the f r u s t r a t i o n of f a i l u r e to obtain or r e a l i z e the dream becomes stronger. The growing generality of the r i o t s , up to the f i n a l r i o t , revolves around the sexual f r u s t r a t i o n which Faye, the Hollywood star dream, creates. Even Tod, and to a le s s e r extent Claude, are drawn in by her body. His awareness i s no solution because he i s not just a mind, but also a body. With the minor r i o t or cdck-fight i n Homer's house, Homer too i s d i s i l l u s i o n e d , but he s t i l l needs a dream. With h i s disillusionment, h i s f r u s t r a t i o n i s no Danger controlled and even his dead body acts as a un i f i e d force when he jumps on Adore and thereby provides a release for the mob's rage. Tod, during the r i o t , remains divdd:ed between his body, which i s pulled by the mob, and h i s mind, which is pulled by h i s v i s i o n and painting. Ultimately, he too succumbs to the body. The siren began to scream and at f i r s t he thought he was making the noise himself. He f e l t h i s l i p s with h i s hands. They were clamped t i g h t . He knew then i t was the s i r e n . For some reason t h i s made him laugh and he began to imitate the s i r e n as loud as he could. (DL, 421) His mental v i s i o n i s no answer, and his warning must be a physical a c t i o n — a scream. Yet the warning is ambiguous because at t h i s point he cannot control his body or his mind. 91 He i s laughing for no reason or only because laughter i s the only possible reaction to i r r a t i o n a l violence, and he is screaming l i k e a madman. With the f i n a l image, the reader must r e j e c t Tod, as he did Miss Lonely-heart, and yet Tod's q u a l i t i e s of v i s i o n and awareness pet have been the most admirable i n the book. The reader i s l e f t with nothing except Tod's painting and the image of a f i c t i o n a l world destroying i t s e l f . The function of West's p l o t t i n g i s to build to the f i n a l image and at the same time to destroy the characters and world created by the plot and images. In West's two works which have a plot , as opposed to a mere narrative, i t Is clear that the plot functions in two ways. I t creates situations which enable West to develop his divided images, and i t also demonstrates the interaction of the various d i v i s i o n s contained within the divided images. The reader, through the plot,, sees that Homer's phy s i c a l and emotional incapacity i s c l o s e l y related to Faye's empty charms and that Faye i n turn is a v i c t i m of her own desires. S i m i l a r l y , i n Miss .Lonelyhearts. the plot enables the reader to see Miss Lonelyhearts' growing f r u s t r a t i o n and the d i s p a r i t y between his dream and r e a l i t y . However, i n neither work does the plot explain the causes of the c o n f l i c t s and oppositions or develop the characters in depth. Plot f o r West is a means of . l i n k i n g images and of demonstrating the fate of h i s divided 9 2 characters. As such i t does not draw us into the f i c t i o n a l world; rather, i t enables us to see the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s of the presented d i v i s i o n s within i t . CHAPTER IV NOVELS AS SATIRE We have, to t h i s point, examined the imagery within West's work and seen that West creates h i s characters and h i s f i c t i o n a l world through divided images. He does t h i s either by concentrating on s p e c i f i c opposing q u a l i t i e s within each character or thing or by focusing upon one p a r t i c u l a r quality, thereby i m p l i c i t l y commenting on the absence of i t s opposite, and contrasting the p a r t i c u l a r thing or character with another thing or character. As we have seen, the imagery deals with surfaces. Although the surfaces often r e f l e c t or exemplify internal states of mind, the emphasis i s on appearances and on e x p l i c i t or i m p l i c i t r e a l i t y . When West does move inside his characters and present psychological d e t a i l s , the purpose i s to reinforce the basic image, not to explain the cause of the r e s u l t we see. The eff e c t of West's.imagery i s to distance the reader from the characters, yet the imagery i s s u f f i c i e n t l y s t a r t l i n g to maintain our interest i n the f i c t i o n a l world. Further, while we are not very concerned about the characters themselves, we do become concerned 9 4 about the world i n which they ex i s t , and t h e i r suffering, or perhaps more accurately, the s u f f e r i n g which they repre sent. The p l o t t i n g in both Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day  of the Locust supports the treatment of the characters. Because of the multiple ironies which develop, we cannot take any character completely s e r i o u s l y . For example, despite the fact that West sets Tod Hackett up as an honest observer i n The Day of the Locust. Tod's desire f o r Faye and i n a b i l i t y to help Homer indicate his weak-nesses and l i m i t a t i o n s . There are no heroes i n West's books. And none of the types he represents resolve the c o n f l i c t between need and a b i l i t y s a t i s f a c t o r i l y . West's p l o t t i n g both supports the developing sequence of images and demonstrates the consequences of a divided world populated by divided people. When the reader becomes aware of the consequences of the d i v i s i o n s , he starts to look for flaws i n the construction of the f i c t i o n a l world, to examine the plot structure for ways to say i t i s u n r e a l i s t i c , to study the imagery to see i f i t i s f a n t a s t i c . The horror of West's world i n Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust, and to a l e s s e r extent i n A Cool M i l l i o n , is that there i s no way out. The simple beginning e n t a i l s the h o r r i f i c ending. 9 5 I t i s the sense that the reader has that West* s world i s l o g i c a l and complete and yet that i t i s fant a s t i c and unrealistic which l i e s at the heart of the question: i s West a nov e l i s t or a s a t i r i s t ? To answer t h i s question, i t w i l l be useful to adopt Sheldon Sacks! d e f i n i t i o n s of s a t i r e , applogue, and action or novel. As w i l l be seen, his d e f i n i t i o n s are useful and generally applicable despite the f a c t that they do not enable us to c l a s s i f y West as ei t h e r a s a t i r i s t or a n o v e l i s t . Sacks defines the different kinds of l i t e r a t u r e by t h e i r "organizing p r i n c i p l e s " : A s a t i r e i s a work organized so that i t r i d i c u l e s objects external to the f i c t i o n a l world created in i t . An apologue i s a work organized as a f i c t i o n a l example of the truth of a formulable statement or a series of such statements. An action (noveij i s a work organized so that i t introduces characters, about whose fates we are made to care, i n unstable r e l a t i o n s h i p s which are then further complicated u n t i l the complication i s f i n a l l y resolved by the removal of the represented i n s t a b i l i t y . l Leaving aside the notion of apologue for a moment, i t is true that "Satires are works which r i d i c u l e p a r t i c u l a r men, the i n s t i t u t i o n s of men, t r a i t s presumed to be i n a l l men, or any combination of the three," 2 and further that in "a coherent s a t i r e . . . a l l the elements of the f i c t i o n i t contains—the t r a i t s ascribed to the created characters, the actions portrayed, the point of view from which the tale i s t o l d — w i l l be selected . . . to maximize the r i d i c u l e of some combination of the three objects of s a t i r e . " 3 96 I t i s also true that i n novels we are introduced to characters about which we come to care, and to a structure which ultimately removes the causes of i n s t a b i l i t y or resolves the i n s t a b i l i t y . Ronald Paulson suggests a s i m i l a r d i s t i n c t i o n i n The F i c t i o n of Satire when he says that s a t i r e s are concerned 4 with middles, not beginnings or endings. Paulson expands on t h i s in Satire and the Novel when he says that "In l i t e r a t u r e s a t i r e i s the genre most preoccupied with the moment of action rather than with the developing personality of the agent; i t i s l e g a l i s t i c to a f a u l t . . . and almost wholly unconcerned with the c u l p r i t ' s past." 5 Both Sacks and Paulson recognize that s a t i r e does not explain, only judges. Therefore, i t does not develop i t s characters; rather, i t uses them to comment on everyday l i f e . The novel deals with causes and motives, whereas the sati r e presents only pictures of acts themselves.. While I fee& that Sacks' d i s t i n c t i o n between novels and s a t i r e s i s b a s i c a l l y sound, his notion of apologue i s less s a t i s f a c t o r y . An apologue i s a f i c t i o n a l example of some tru t h , according to Sacks. Surely a l l s a t i r e s and novels, f o r that matter a l l l i t e r a t u r e , can be described i n the same terms. (In fact, Sacks argues strongly against studying a l l works i n terms of thernes.f But the concept 97 becomes more complex when we discover that "There i s no reason why the writer of an apologue may not f u l l y share with the 7 s a t i r i s t an intention to r i d i c u l e . . . ." The difference, Sacks implies, i s that "Unlike the writer of s a t i r e , the writer of an apologue i s called upon to reveal by f i c t i o n a l example h i s p o s i t i v e b e l i e f s — w h i c h may explain why many writers of prose f i c t i o n whose primary intention i s to r i d i c u l e nevertheless choose to embody t h e i r intention 8 in apologue rather than s a t i r e . " S a t i r e , on the other hand, i s l i m i t e d to "the negative pattern i m p l i c i t i n the Q selection of external objects.' 1 The d i f f i c u l t y of understanding just what an apologue i s a r i s e s when we look at Sacks' examples: Rasselas, Jonathan Wild and Candide. In the l a t t e r two the p o s i t i v e values are only i m p l i c i t at best; further, Johnson's Rasselas i s , in other ways, as well, completely;; di f f e r e n t from them. The only s i m i l a r i t y amongst t h i s group of works is that they do not f i t into the d e f i n i t i o n s of sa t i r e and :,novel e a s i l y . Jonathan Wild and Can-Aide are c l e a r l y s a t i r e s , although of d i f f e r e n t kinds, while Rasselas i s c l e a r l y some kind of n o v e l . 1 0 While I suspect Sacks might consider at least Miss  Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust as apologues, 1 1 because they neither interest us i n the characters and resolve t h e i r c o n f l i c t s , nor r i d i c u l e d i r e c t l y the world external to the f i c t i o n a l world, I cannot accept the 98 suggestion that they are either organized to present an example of a truth (any more than a good novel or s a t i r e , that is) or that West presents any p o s i t i v e b e l i e f s i n h i s work. The most notable feature of h i s work i s the absence of anything more po s i t i v e than h i s w r i t i n g good and valuable records of h i s v i s i o n of the horrible and f u t i l e struggle man faces i n l i f e . In f a c t , using Sacks' d e f i n i t i o n s , West's work i s neither apologue, novel, nor s a t i r e , but some combination of the three. But because I consider the notion of apologue extremely suspect, I w i l l consider West only in terms of s a t i r e and novel. And, despite the fact that West does not f i t Sacks' d e f i n i t i o n s of novel and s a t i r e , I w i l l continue to r e f e r to his d e f i n i t i o n s because they are b a s i c a l l y sound and r e f l e c t a considerable consensus of c r i t i c a l opinion. We have already examined West's.,imagery and plot structure. The imagery creates both the f i c t i o n a l world and the characters ahd shows the reader that both are completely divided. West's grotesque qu a l i t y a r i s e s from h i s i s o l a t i o n of ordinary d e t a i l s or the fusion of d i s s i m i l a r q u a l i t i e s . The plot supports the imagery and structures the events so that the reader can see the r e l a t i o n -ships within, and the consequences of, the divided world. 99 The test I propose, i n order to decide whether West i s a s a t i r i s t or not, i s to determine how West uses h i s created world and why he creates a divided one. T r a d i t i o n a l l y , s a t i r e s ha%e been written "to expose, or deride, or condemn." 1 2 A frequent method has been to create some kind of fantasy world and show that the fa n t a s t i c closely mtrrors everyday r e a l i t y (for example, Gulliver's T r a v e l s ) . Often the f i c t i o n a l world i s exaggerated so much that at l e a s t a part of i t becomes grotesque i n that the distorted fantasy i s both humorous and h o r r i b l e . Also, most s a t i r e s are structured so as to attack s p e c i f i c targets i n the external world throughout t h e i r progress. No matter how a p a r t i c u l a r s a t i r e may be constructed, i t exposes pretence, f o l l y , and v i c e . And the best s a t i r e s tend to use the p a r t i c u l a r targets as examples of larger or more s i g n i f i c a n t concerns which demonstrate that the f i c t i o n a l world i s completely deranged and, due to the close l i n k s with the external world, that the r e a l world i s also, by implication, deranged. In West's work, the incid e n t a l r i d i c u l e i s minimal. Although he comments on such things as mechanical r e l i g i o n s , Hollywood i l l u s i o n s , a r t i s t i c pretensions, these targets are not ends i n themselves. S u p e r f i c i a l l y , at l e a s t , we can say that where Swift, for example, might consider 100 mechanical wr i t i n g e v i l in i t s e l f , and i n d i c a t i v e of the whole of Grub Street and, ultimately, of modern society, West does not r i d i c u l e p a r t i c u l a r s for their own sake. His mockery of r e l i g i o n s , for example, i s subordinated to a larger purpose—a comment on the nature of l i f e i t s e l f . 1 3 Also, his compassion f o r and understanding of the need for dreams and i l l u s i o n s i s always evident. Yet, while he understands the needs, he i s b a s i c a l l y concerned to demonstrate that h i s characters and h i s readers are deluded. The Day  of the Locust, f o r example, is one long expose' of Hollywood, the dream factory. I t i s exposed to our view, but West's handling of Hollywood, through the use of his divided images, shows us that the performers and cheaters in Hollywood are themselves deluded and trapped by t h e i r own dreams. Therefore, we do not blame Hollywood for i t s creation of false, dreams, nor do we blame the star-worshippers * Instead, we lament l i f e or perhaps modern l i f e . In terms of s a t i r e , l i f e i s too general a target to be meaningful. Yet. l i f e i s West's t a r g e t . 1 4 Not only does West's work evidence l i t t l e i n c i d e n t a l s a t i r e , i t a l s o lacks t o p i c a l i t y except in the most general sense. West, unlike Pope or Swift, does not appear to.be r i d i c u l i n g p a r t i c u l a r men or p a r t i c u l a r events. With the exception of A Cool M i l l i o n , we can understand West's 101 comments on l i f e s o lely in terms of the created f i c t i o n a l world. That i s , we do not need to know, nor does i t help us to know, West'si biography, dates, p o l i t i c a l b e l i e f s , or to be aware of the actual events of the 1930's in America i n d e t a i l . I t i s enough to be aware that the f i c t i o n a l events in West are possible, not that they exaggerate or exactly record re a l events. The f a c t i s that the characters and events i n West's work become i n t e g r a l parts of the f i c t i o n a l world, and are not included so as to provide incidental and s p e c i f i c t o p i c a l s a t i r i c l i n k s with the external, r e a l world. In The Day of the Locust, West creates a u n i f i e d f i c t i o n a l world, in the sense that i t i s l o g i c a l and coherent i n i t s e l f , and destroys i t at the end of the book. In Miss Lonelyhearts, he creates a un i f i e d character and destroys that character. Although he destroys f i c t i o n a l creations, the real world continues and so do the r e a l problems posed inside the f i c t i o n a l world. By creating a r e a l i s t i c f i c t i o n a l world d i f f e r e n t from the everyday world only in i t s m u l t i p l i c i t y of e x p l i c i t d i v i s i o n s , he does not expose to r i d i c u l e p a r t i c u l a r eviils in the external world. By destroying the f i c t i o n a l world he i m p l i c i t l y attempts to destroy the i l l u s i o n s of the everyday world. This i s his satire.!5 He does not attack authors, p r i e s t s , cynics, screen writers, actors, actresses, p o l i t i c i a n s , whoremongers, 102 and fools as such. For West, h i s characters are only symptoms of the sickness of l i f e i t s e l f . To attack the dreamers or the dream-makers would be pointless, unjust, and callous. West's compassion f o r man and his needs makes i t impossible for him to r i d i c u l e the re s u l t s of those needs. At the very beginning of The Day?of the Locust, we are t o l d that " I t i s hard tp laugh at the need for beauty and romance no matter how tas t e l e s s , even h o r r i b l e , the r e s u l t s of that need are. But i t i s easy to sigh* Few things are sadder than the t r u l y monstrous" (DL, 262). However, despite West's compassion which l i m i t s h i s r i d i c u l e , West does expose illusions and force us to see the " t r u l y monstrous". West's f i c t i o n a l world i s " t r u l y monstrous". I t s monstrousness derives not from fantasy, but from i s o l a t i n g q u a l i t i e s of people and things from their natural associations, from examining the part i n d e t a i l separate from i t s normal re l a t i o n s h i p s , from focusing on the need for i l l u s i o n and dreams and recognizing the hor r i b l e consequences of that need. In f a c t , i f West's images were not divided, i t might be s u f f i c i e n t to say that West's f i c t i o n a l world i s monstrous because he has consciously created i n l i t e r a r y form an exact imitation of the r e a l world as he perceived i t . That i s to say, that he placed inside his work people as s t e r i l e , l i v i n g l i v e s as f u t i l e , as those whom he saw In r e a l l i f e , thus f o r c i n g us to see the monstrousness of l i f e . However, West 8 o e s> fwth.e.r, §nd. exposes the nature 1G3 of l i f e by creating an i m a g i s t i c a l l y divided, absurd, yet coherent, f i c t i o n a l world i n which man must act, dream, seek order and meaning, attempt to a l l e v i a t e s u f f e r i n g and, at the same time, be doomed to f a i l u r e : Man has a tropism for order. Keys in one pocket, change in another, Mandolins are tuned G D A E. The physical world has a tropism for disorder, entropy. Man against Nature . . . the battle of the centuries. Keys yearn to mix with change. Mandolins s t r i v e to get out of tune. Every order has within i t the germ of destruction. A l l order i s doomed, yet the b a t t l e i s worth while. (ML, 104) West's characters are not t r a g i c , however, because there i s nothing noble in mere s u r v i v a l . The continual i r o n i e s of the p l o t s , the succession of fru s t r a t i o n s , and the surface quality of the images moves us away from the characters so that we see th e i r l i m i t a t i o n s c l e a r l y . Because the imagery constantly reminds us of the d i s s o c i a t i o n of mind and body, and i m p l i c i t l y asserts the dominance of the body over the s p i r i t , the characters are seen to be b a s i c a l l y animal-like, not god-like. For West, man is an animal, but this i s a fact of l i f e and thus man is not culpable, although h i s fate i s lamentable. This position i s developed e x p l i c i t l y in The Dream L i f e of Balso Snell when one of the characters w r i t e s : T e r r i b l e indeed was the competition in which his hearers spent t h e i r l i v e s ; a competition that demanded t h e i r feeing more than animals. He raised his hand as though to bless them,. . . "Yet, ah yet, are'you expected to compete wiith Gfhrist whose father i s God, with Dionysius whose father i s God; you who were Janey Davenport, or one conceived i n an offhand manner on a rainy afternoon." (BS, 55-56) 104 True to form, however, West undercuts the speech: "After building up his tear-jerker routine for a repeat, he blacked out and went into his juggling for the curtain" (BS, 56). Here, as in Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust, West l i m i t s his expression of compassion by expressing his compassion through an i r o n i c character or s i t u a t i o n . Like a l l s a t i r i s t s , West's intention i s to expose piretence and i l l u s i o n . Unlike most s a t i r i s t s , however, West does not contrast his "unlllusioned perception of man as he i s , and his ideal perception, or v i s i o n , of man as he ought to be." 1^ West r e s t r i c t s himself to h i s perception of what i s and our perception of what i s . There i s no "ought". The sa t i r e comes from the reader's awareness that the destruction of the created f i c t i o n a l world i s necessary and j u s t . "The reader must r e j e c t the f i c t i o n a l world because i t denies man's s p i r i t u a l a s p i r a t i o n s . And, to the extent that the reader sees the q u a l i t i e s of the f i c t i o n a l world in the real world, he must reject the r e a l world, or at le a s t have a new, clearer perception of i t . In terms of the usual d e f i n i t i o n s of s a t i r e and hovel, West is neither a n o v e l i s t nor a s a t i r i s t . However, when we examine West's images, h i s f i c t i o n a l world and i t s structure, h i s use of pl o t t i n g , and his intention, i t i s clear that West i s a s a t i r i s t working within the conventions of the novel. His p e c u l i a r i t y does not ]ie merely i n the 105 f a c t that his f i c t i o n a l world i s n o v e l i s t i c , nor that i t develops as a comment on i t s e l f , but in the fact that he creates a divided world and demonstrates that the d i v i s i o n s within i t lead to i t s s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n . Further, the p e c u l i a r i t y of the reader's response to t h i s s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n i s a r e s u l t of his r e a l i z a t i o n that the collapse of the f i c t i o n a l world does not resolve the problems posed within that world, and because West provides no s a t i s f a c t o r y a l t e r n a t i v e s , the reader, by implication, i s forced to r e a l i z e that because the d i v i s i o n s within the f i c t i o n a l world exist 17 in the r e a l world, there is no hope. West's entire f i c t i o n a l world forms a., judgement of I t s e l f and of the r e a l world. The n o v e l i s t i c elements of Miss Lonelyhearts'and The Day of the Locust are s u f f i c i e n t to hold each work together and demonstrate the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s h i p of i t s characters; and the characterization i s s u f f i c i e n t to maintain our interest i n the problems faced by !the characters. Ultimately, however, the works exist to present an image of the monstrous consequences of man's need for dreams, beauty and romance. Because West saw l i f e as absurd and had compassion for h i s reader, there is no' blame in his s a t i r e , only an anguished sigh. CHAPTER V THE MEASURE OF WEST'S ACHIEVEMENT What I have tri e d to demonstrate in this thesis i s the nature of West's s a t i r e . I t should be noted, however, that West is not alone i n h i s use of a coherent n o v e l i s t i c f i c t i o n a l world to comment s a t i r i c a l l y upon the everyday world. Huxley (Antic Hay, Brave New World), Waugh (Vile Bodies), Vonnegut (Cat's Cradle), Orwell (Animal Farm), H e l l e r (Catch-22), and Golding (Lord of the  F l i e s ) , among others, have written s a t i r e s i n novel form. That i s , they too, l i k e West, create more or l e s s coherent f i c t i o n a l worlds and place those worlds beside the everyday world in order to comment i m p l i c i t l y or e x p l i c i t l y upon the everyday world. The novel seems to have been a natural vehicle for these writers. Perhaps t h i s is a consequence of the novel's claim to present a "true" picture of l i f e and i t s h i s t o r i c a l use of other n o n - f i c t i o n forms such as the l e t t e r , diary, essay, h i s t o r y , and biography. Or perhaps i t i s a r e s u l t of the common concern of both novels and 107 s a t i r e s with s o c i a l situations and problems. Whatever the reason, I believe that s a t i r i s t s have taken the novel form, used some of i t s conventions, and ereated a new kind of s a t i r e which must be judged by the c r i t e r i a applicable to s a t i r e rather than to the novel. I think that t h i s adaptation is s i m i l a r to the eighteenth-century s a t i r i s t s ' use of the epic and heroic forms. They, l i k e modern s a t i r i s t s , adopted an entire form and used i t f o r another purpose. While Pope and Dryden, f o r example, make the d i f f e r e n t purpose more than obvious, modern s a t i r i s t s have been much more subtle. We sometimes f a i l to recognize the dominant s a t i r i c purpose in Brave New World and V i l e  Bodies because the s a t i r e i s not so c l e a r l y personal and p a r t i c u l a r as i t often is i n the e a r l i e r works and, because of t h i s , we sometimes evaluate these works using c r i t e r i a applicable to novels. Since the eighteenth century, the tone of s a t i r e has changed. In the n o v e l i s t i c s a t i r e s of the twentieth century personal attack i s reduced to a minimum and a reader need not be aware of the real-world examples which are used within the f i c t i o n a l world to understand and enjoy the s a t i r e . Although H e l l e r i n Gatch-22 uses humor to accentuate the horror of h i s created world, other writers such as Huxley and Waugh Use a subtler humor based on iro n i e s of the plot and the serious treatment 108 of the absurd. West, i n my opinion, i s the furthest extreme of humorless s a t i r e . While there are jokes i n Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust, they are developed i n an unfunny context. The reader is not amused by the jokes and i s , i n f a c t , often profoundly disturbed by the i r o n i e s . The r e s u l t of t h i s kind of subtle humor i s two f o l d . Because we do not laugh at the jokes, we do not enter into the s a t i r e . 1 And, because there are unfunny jokes through-out each n o v e l i s t i c s a t i r e , we do not become involved i n the f i c t i o n a l world or with the characters as we would in an ordinary novel. Although the f i c t i o n a l world i t s e l f i s mundane, ordinary, and, r e l a t i v e l y similar to the evveryday world and i s created by means of r e a l i s t i c images, the reader i s not drawn into the world because the plot, which unites the images and demonstrates the i n t e r -r e lationships between characters and events, undercuts the significance of the events within the f i c t i o n a l world, thereby separating or distancing the reader from the f i c t i o n a l world and forcing him to examine the values represented in that world by the various characters... One of the p i t f a l l s for c r i t i c s of modern s a t i r e s w.hich use the novel form i s that the writers have created characters which exhibit, s u p e r f i c i a l l y , psychological realism. On the surface at l e a s t , i t seems reasonable to 109 talk about the characters i n Brave New World, for example, as characters or people rather than as devices. We would not, however, t r y to analyze G u l l i v e r ' s motives i n any depth. ( I trust that avenue of c r i t i c i s m has come to i t s proper dead-end.) The f a c t i s , though, that the characters i n Huxley, Waugh, and West are devices, despite t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r i z a t i o n and motivation, created to form an in t e g r a l part of the f i c t i o n a l world within which they exis t and that that world i s created to comment upon the external, everyday world. Because the function of the fic t i o n a l . w o r l d i s to comment upon the external world, the characters within the created world cannot be taken • seriously, although the problems which they face in i t and the values which they represent must be taken seriously, % e n we recognize that the tone of modern n o v e l i s t i c s a t i r e s i s d i f f e r e n t from e a r l i e r s a t i r e s , we can see that t h i s change i s reflected i n the use ..of the novel form. Because s a t i r e does not have to be linked to the external world continuously throughout i t s progress, thereby maximizing r i d i c u l e of p a r t i c u l a r e v i l s , i t can make use of the novel's seemingly impervious f i c t i o n a l world. Satire can be ordered i n i t s e l f and comment, in i t s entirety, on the external world. This is not to imply that s a t i r i s t s must choose between a e s t h e t i c a l l y coherent works and t o p i c a l i t y ; rather, that s a t i r i s t s can now choose to create e i t h e r a n o y e l i s t i c f i c t i o n a l world or any other 110 kind df l e s s coherent world. Along with the change i n tone and form, s a t i r e i s now often not concerned with blame. The fact that fingers are seldom pointed and p a r t i c u l a r e v i l s seldom singled out for attack does not mean that s a t i r e i s dead, or that writers l i k e West are not s a t i r i s t s . On the contrary, I f e e l that the absence of blame enables s a t i r e to f u l f i l , i t s e l f . S atire i s , a f t e r a l l , an art form. I t s distinguishing feature i s i t s intent to reveal as i l l u s o r y the values and appearances which we take to be good and worthy of praise. The s a t i r i s t ' s function i s not to assign blame or to provide corrective programs. As an a r t i s t , the s a t i r i s t creates a f i c t i o n a l image which expresses h i s perception of society's i l l u s i o n s and which enables.his readers to see the f a u l t s of their own moral values. Regardless of the s a t i r i s t ' s technique, he always creates a picture and says "This i s the way things r e a l l y are." While other art forms do t h i s as well, the s a t i r i s t leaves us with no resolution or sign of hope within his created world. His v i s i o n i s t r u l y pessimistic. Novelists l i k e Hemingway, Conrad, and Hardy are also p e s s i m i s t i c . The difference l i e s i n the absence, within n o v e l i s t i c s a t i r e s , of worthy characters with whom we can sympathize as human beings. In pessimistic novels we may sense the f u t i l i t y of a character's struggle I l l against h i s fate, but we also see the value of that struggle and sense the tragedy of each character's defeat. The i n d i v i d u a l , although doomed, i s noble. In n o v e l i s t i c s a t i r e s , however, the characters are not noble, nor i s t h e i r defeat t r a g i c . The characters are seldom less ignoble than the forces against, which they struggle. Further, the emphasis i s not on i n d i v i d u a l characters as such; rather, the characters are devices used to reveal the nature of the f i c t i o n a l world, and by implication, the i l l u s i o n s we value and accept as r e a l and noble i n l i f e i t s e l f . T ^ novel form has enabled modern s a t i r i s t s to express t h e i r perception of r e a l i t y in a complex and subtle manner. By using the conventions of the novel and creating a coherent f i c t i o n a l world, they have been able to show the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n of di f f e r e n t i l l u s o r y values and to widen t h e i r comment from p a r t i c u l a r to more general targets. In West, for example, the created world i s only s l i g h t l y distorted or exaggerated as a r e s u l t of the divided imagery, and i t seems to present a r e l a t i v e l y complete range of values. We watch the f i c t i o n a l world in action and recognize i t s s i m i l a r i t y to the r e a l world. But we do not become concerned f o r the characters.,. Instead, we are distanced from them and we examine t h e i r values and the problems which they face. We see that the 11E entire created world i s absurd because i t lacks s a t i s f a c t o r y values, possible meaningful alternatives, and goodness. And, when we f i n i s h reading the s a t i r e , we compare the f i c t i o n a l world to the real world and see our own existence for what i t i s . In Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust, West created an image which is complete in i t s e l f to comment i m p l i c i t l y upon the values of the r e a l world and the realism of that image enables us to see, and pro h i b i t s us from avoiding, h i s v i s i o n of l i f e . This i s the nature of his satire and the measure of his achievement. When we measure West's work against other n o v e l i s t i c s a t i r e s , we can recognize his b r i l l i a n c e . The attempt to use the novel f o r s a t i r i c purposes i s by no means a recent phenomenon. There are many n o v e l i s t i c elements i n Swift's G u l l i v e r ' s Travels, for example. F i e l d i n g , too, i s often s a t i r i c . Smollett, i n his "Preface" to Roderick Random, suggests something of the value of combining the novel with s a t i r e : Of a l l kinds of s a t i r e , there i s none so entertaining and un i v e r s a l l y improving as that which is introduced, as i t were, occasionally, i n the course of an int e r e s t i n g story, which brings every incident home to l i f e , and, by representing f a m i l i a r scenes in an uncommon and amusing point of view, invests them with a l l the graces of novelty, while nature i s appealed to in every p a r t i c u l a r . 4 113 Smollett also claims that he made Roderick l i k e a b l e so that the reader would be more indignant about the wrongs done to him. Further, Smollett says that "Every d i l i g e n t reader w i l l , at f i r s t sight, perceive I have not deviated from nature i n the facts, which are a l l true in the main, although the circumstances are altered and disguised, to avoid personal s a t i r e . " 0 The central problem of Roderick  Random l i e s in t h i s s p l i t between Roderick as character and device. West, on the other hand, always uses his characters as devices, and through h i s imagery and p l o t t i n g makes i t impossible for us to become concerned about t h e i r well-being. At the same time, however, I think West t r i e d to create a f i c t i o n a l world composed of reasonable, r e a l i s t i c f a c t s . And, because West's world i s so r e a l i s t i c , and the images which create the characters d i s t i l so . well the essence of t h e i r being, we are at times fooled into taking them as characters. When we f i n i s h reading Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust, however, and see the t o t a l images West has created, we forget the characters as such and r e t a i n the h o r r i f i c images. I think West, without a doubt, i s among the most successful n o v e l i s t i c s a t i r i s t s . His subordination of characterization and plo t to imagery forces the reader to see the " r e a l i t y of r e a l i t y " . 6 And, at the same time that 114 the limited characterization and continual ironies of the p l o t force us away from the f i c t i o n a l world, these n o v e l i s t i c elements enable us to see the i n t e r - r e l a t i o n s of the i l l u s i o n s and d i v i s i o n s within the f i c t i o n a l world. Thus, while I consider West's powers as a novelist to be great, i t i s his imagery which forms the basis of his a r t i s t i c achievement, and narks him as a f i r s t - r a t e s a t i r i s t . P h i l i p Pinkus has noted the amazing s i m i l a r i t y of s a t i r i c imagery throughout the ages. He suggests there are three main kinds: "man becomes a machine . . . he i s 7 r i g i d , mechanical . . . he is a robot", "man becomes an animal . . . a creature of bowels and disease", "man becomes mad."9 As we have seen, West's images could be f i t t e d into these categories. In West, however, man i s not just mechanical, or b e s t i a l , or mad* but a l l three; the c o n f l i c t between mechanical deadness and b e s t i a l desires leads, inescapably, to madness. In Miss Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust West succeeded in creating unforgettable images which expose our i l l u s i o n s . A Cool M i l l i o n , however, suffers from a more noticeable lack of characterization and pl o t complexity than the other novels. The absence of these n o v e l i s t i c features forces the burden of the book s o l e l y upon the images, but i n A Cool M i l l i o n they are i n s u f f i c i e n t l y varied to sustain 115 our interest i n the humorless, although crushingly i r o n i c , dismantling of Lemuel P i t k i n . The Dream L i f e of Balso Snell also lacks characterization and p l o t , but here the images are too varied and the i r o n i e s too complex for the reader to understand the work as a whole. West's b r i l l i a n t imagery i s not controlled, and his characterization s h i f t s from that necessary in novels to that required for sat i r e without explanation. We are l e f t with a b r i l l i a n t sequence of images which never do- fuse into one image, and a number of excellent i r o n i e s which never form a p l o t . But out of Balso Snell comes the superb imagery of Miss  Lonelyhearts and The Day of the Locust. In h i s imagery, West d i s t i l l e d his v i s i o n of l i f e . But for the divided imagery which creates the divided characters and f i c t i o n a l world and portrays i t s capacity for s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n , West's work would be similar to that of writers- who treat l i f e as absurd. I think West saw l i f e as absurd, but he also saw that people were unable to l i v e without some beauty, romance, and dream of purpose— cheated of that dream they seethe with rage and seek revenge. And, within West's f i c t i o n a l world, those who understand the needs of men, Miss Lonelyhearts and Tod, are helpless and forced out of the world by death or madness. Josephine Herbst, a personal friend of West's, has said of him: 116 This sad moralist was by intention a s a t i r i s t , but he o f f e r s no p o s i t i v e idea; i f his novels signal "beware," they present no prospect eit h e r within the s e l f or in the world beyond an engulfing moment . . . . He shared a Dostoevskian compassion which prevented him from creating any."actual v i l l a i n s in his v i s i o n of a world ruled by the v i l l a i n y of the l i t t l e . 10 Out of this mixture of compassion and ruthless s a t i r i c judgement West created images which cannot be forgotten. Indeed, there i s , as West wrote, a.place for the fellow who y e l l s f i r e and indicates where some of the smoke i s coming from without a c t u a l l y dragging the hose to the spot . . . . 11 FOOTNOTES Chapter I 1 See T.G. Wilson, "American Humor," Saturday Review of  L i t e r a t u r e , TJC (May 1933), 589y f o r a perceptive and appreciative review which treats Miss Lonelyhearts as a "robust satire".. 2 For a favourable review see Edmund Wilson, "Hollywood Dance of Death," The New Republic, LXXXXIX (July 1936), 339-340. Wilson says that :West i s the f i r s t writer to make the emptiness of Hollywood h o r r i b l e . 3 This information i s drawn from Stanley Edgar Hyman, Nathanael West, Unive r s i t y of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers, No. 21 (Minneapolis, 1962); James F. Light, Nathanael West: An Interpretative Study (Evanston, I l l i n o i s , 1961); and William White, "How Forgotten Was Nathanael West," American Book Co l l e c t o r . T i l l , 4 (1957), 13-17. 4 Light. See footnote 3 above. 5 V i c t o r Comerchero, Nathanael West: The Ironic Prophet (Syracuse, 1964). 6 Randall Reid, The F i c t i o n of Nathanael West:. No  Redeemer, No Promised Land (Chicago, 1967). 7 See Light, Nathanael West: An Interpretative Study, p. 9 and p. 109. Also James F. Light, "Nathanael West and the Ravaging Locust," American Quarterly, XII (Spring 1960), 45-46. 1 1 8 8 Thomas Gilmore, along with W V H. Auden and A.M. Tibbetts, argues , that The Day of the Locust i s not a s a t i r e . I hope t h i s study w i l l counter h i s argument by c l a r i f y i n g just how West's satire works. Thomas Gilmore, ''The Dark Night of the Cave: A Rejoinder to Kernan on The Day of the Locust," Sat i r e Newsletter (Spring 1 9 6 5 ) , 9 5 - 1 0 0 . 9 P h i l i p Pinkus, "Satire and St. George," Queen's Quarterly, LXX (Spring 1 9 6 3 ) , 3 0 - 4 9 . 1 0 Pinkus, 3 5 . His a r t i c l e provides the basis of my thesis. 1 1 A.M. Tibbetts, "The Strange Half-World of Nathanael West," P r a i r i e Schooner, XXXIV (Spring 1 9 6 0 ) , 8 . IE Tibbetts, 8 . 1 3 r-Henry Popkin, "The Taming of Nathanael West," The New  Republic. CXXXVII (October 1 9 5 7 ) , 1 9 . ~ ~ 1 4 William White, "A Novelist Ahead of His Time: Nathanael West," Today*s Japan: Orient/West. VI (January 1 9 6 1 ) , 6 4 . 1 5 From a l e t t e r by A l l a n Seager to C y r i l Schneider, A p r i l 1 5 , 1 9 5 S , quoted by Light in Nathanael West: An  Interpretative Study, p. 1 5 3 . 1 6 Richard B. Gehman, "Introduction," The Day of the Locust (New York: New Directions, 1 9 5 0 ) , p. i x . 1 7 Reid, p. 1 1 8 . 1 8 James F. Light, "Miss Lonelyhearts: The Imagery of Nightmare," American Quarterly, VIII (Winter 1 9 5 6 ) , 3 S 5 . (This i s discussed on p. 6 9 . ) Richard B. Gehman, "Nathanael West: A Novelist Apart," The A t l a n t i c Monthly, CLXXXVI (September 1 9 5 0 ) , 6 9 - 7 S , c a l l s West a "superrealist" ( 6 9 ) . Also see Alan Donovan, "Nathanael West and the S u r r e a l i s t i c Muse," The Kentucky Review, v o l . I I , No. 1 ( 1 9 6 8 ) , 8 S - 9 5 . 119 19 See footnote 13 above. 20 Comerchero, p. 7. 21 A l l further quotations from West_ i n my text are from The^Complete Works of Nathanael West (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1957). Page references w i l l be given i n the text preceded by each work's abbreviated t i t l e . 22 Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio (New York, 1964), pp. 24-25. 23 Randall Reid has also noted t h i s s i m i l a r i t y . (See below p. 13.) 24 Gehman suggests that West i n t e n t i o n a l l y created a "half-world" for s a t i r i c purposes. Richard B. Gehman, "Introduction," The Day of the Locust (New York: New Directions, 1950), p. xx. Chapter II 1 Reid, p. 161. 2 Comerchero, p. 161. 3 Light, p. 54. "Wherever one looks i n the world of West, there i s some kind of c o n f l i c t , i r r e c o n c i l a b l e , insoluble, h o r r i b l e . " 4 Reid, p. 140. 5 Reid, pp. 140-141. 120 6 See Marc L. Ratner, "'Anywhere Out of This World': Baudelaire and Nathanael West,*' American L i t e r a t u r e , XXXI (January I960), 456-463 for possible s i m i l a r i t i e s between these two writers, e s p e c i a l l y their r e j e c t i o n of dreams. 7 Randall Reid notes that within West's world "To discover the falseness of an i l l u s i o n i s not, however, to be delivered from i t . Insight may only i n t e n s i f y f r u s t r a t i o n . " Reid, p. 135. •8 "The world remains discordant, peopled by natural grotesques . . . . . " Reid, p. 118. 9 Comerchero, p. 161. See also Reid, p. 119. 10 For an excellent treatment of West's humor see Norman Podhoretz, "A P a r t i c u l a r Kind of Joking," New Yorker, XXXIII (May 1957), 144-153. I must admit I do not think West was, " f i r s t and l a s t a writer of comedy" (144), but Podhoretz does go a long way towards i l l u s t r a t i n g his contention that West's novels demonstrate that-human beings can be no more than human. What Podhoretz f a i l s to note i s the destruction In each work which suggests that being human i s not enough, even in West's world. 11 Comerchero, p. 3. "fWestj i s not interested i n analyzing character; he i s interested i n c r y s t a l l i z i n g i t by using Freudian images as symbols or objective correlatives, of a psychological state." Further, "his unique g i f t was'his a b i l i t y to create a semblance of character out of transfigured mental states" p. 9. 12 L i g h t . See footnote 3 above. Chapter I I I 1 Alan Ross, "Introduction," The Complete Works of Nathanael  West, p. xix. 121 2 V i c t o r Comerchero also feels that West forsook "tension and i n t e n s i t y , " and wrote "a novel which lacks focus, brevity, and unity." Comerehero, p. 130. In a discussion of West's r e l a t i o n s h i p to h i s contemporaries and the Communist movement of the 1930's, Daniel Aaron considers West to be a "universal s a t i r i s t " as opposed to a " s a t i r i c propagandist**' (Kenneth Burke's d i s t i n c t i o n s ) and even in A Cool M i l l i o n "the r e a l c u l p r i t is not Capitalism but humanity." Daniel Aaron, "Late Thoughts on Nathanael West," Massachusetts Review, VI (1965), 316. : t 4 Thomas Lorch, "The Inverted Structure of Balso S n e l l * Studies in Short F i c t i o n , IV, 1 (1966), 35. ~~ ' 5 Light, ''Miss Lonelyhearts: The Imagery of Nightmare," 326. 6 Light, 318. 7 Light, 321. 8 See also Robert I. Edenbaum, "Dada and Surrealism i n the United States: A L i t e r a r y Instance," Arts in Society, V (1968), 114-125. (I have not seen t h i s a r t i c l e . ) 9 Light, 325. ie Light, 325. 11 West, quoted by Richard Gehman, "Introduction," The Day  of the Locust (New Directions, 1950), p. x. 12 Alan Donovan, "Nathanael West and the S u r r e a l i s t i c Muse," The Kentucky Review, vol.. I I , No. 1 (1968), 82. 122 13 Donovan, 92. 14 Donovan, 93. 15 Donovan, 94. 16 Helen B. P e t r u l l o , "Satire and Freedom: S i n c l a i r Lewis, Nathanael West and James Thurber," DA, 28 (1967), 1445a. 17 See pages 86-87 of Comerchero for E l i o t ' s and West's use of the Fisher King and G r a i l legends. Also, Edmund L. Yolpe, "The Waste Land of Nathanael West," Renascence: A C r i t i c a l Journal of Letters, XIII (Winter 1961), 69-77. (I have not seen this a r t i c l e . ) 18 See Light, Nathanael West: An Interpretative Study, p. 95 for a more thorough discussion. Also Nancy W. Hand, "A Novel i n the Form of a Comic S t r i p l Nathanael ..West's Miss Lonelyhearts," S e r i f . V. " 11 (1968), 14-21. (il'have not seen t h i s article.) 19:: Thomas Lorch argues that Miss Lonelyhearts demonstrates a posi t i v e r e l i g i o u s development, although he, at the same time, notes the simultaneous withdrawal of Miss Lonelyhearts. Rahher than being affirmative, I would suggest that any posit i v e elements merely accentuate the f u t i l i t y of the Christ dream. Thomas Lorch, "Religion and Art i n Miss  Lonelyhearts," Renascence, XX (1967), 11-17. 20 I cannot agree with A l v i n Kernan who argues that "In The Day of the Locust, as in most s a t i r e s , there i s no consistent story and, therefore, by the usual standards, no p l o t . " Kernan i s correct in his contention that the images are of primary importance, but there i s also a r e l a t i v e l y complex plot (as compared to A Cool M i l l i o n , for example). A l v i n Kernan, The Plot of Satire., (New Haven, 1965.), p.. 77. 123 21 For a complete mis-reading of, or denial of, the rel a t i o n s h i p between Homer and Faye see Daniel Aaron, "Writing f o r Apocalypse,',' Hudson Review, III (1951), 636. I think Aaron has judged the work sol e l y on the c r i t e r i a of the novel, and thus missed the basic function of the plot to unify the images which create an apocalypse. (See footnote 20, above.) 22 See David Galloway, "Nathanael West's Dream Dump," Cr i t i q u e : Studies i n Modern F i c t i o n , VI (Winter 1963), 46-63. Galloway sees Faye Greener as "the incarnation of illusi o n , " (53). He also suggests that she "owes something to F i t z g e r a l d ' s Daisy Fay Buchanan . . ." (60). 23 In "Nathanael West's Holy Fool," Commonweal,.„ LXIV (June 1956), 276-278, Arthur Cohen suggests that West t r i e d to make a saint (Miss Lonelyhearts) and two f o o l s (Lemuel P i t k i n and Homer Simpson) convincing heroes. Aside from the f a c t that Tod i s at l e a s t as central to The Day of the Locust as Homer, I think i t i s a mistake to take West's characters as heroes, although i t i s true that a l l of West's central characters misapprehend the world in'which they e x i s t . (In h i s "Introduction" to The Day of the Locust, Gehman also contends that Homer Simpson i s the central character.) Chapter IV 1 Sheldon Sacks, F i c t i o n and the Sha'-pe of B e l i e f (Berkeley, 1964), p. 26. : ! 2 Sacks, p. 7. 3 Sacks, p. 7. 4 Ronald Paulson, The F i c t i o n s of Satire (Baltimore, Maryland, 1967), p.. 57. 124 5 Ronald Paulson, Satire and the Novel in Eighteenth  Century England (New Haven, 1967), p. 4. See also p. 99. 6 Sacks, pp. 2-3. 7 Sacks, p. 49. 8 Sacks, p. 60 9 Sacks, p. 49. 10 Arnold Kettle makes a si m i l a r d i s t i n c t i o n of which Sacks may have been aware. Kettle creates a class of works which he c a l l s "The Moral Fable." However, as with Sacks, the notion Is not p a r t i c u l a r l y clear and seems to be, in f a c t , composed of l e f t - o v e r s . The basic feature of a moral fable seems to be i t s avoidance of complex characters and character analysis, and i t s lack of exploration, as oppo-to statement or exemplum, of themes within the work. Arnold K e t t l e , An Introduction to the English Novel, v o l . I (London, 1951), pp. 42-54. 11 For a very b r i e f but i n t e r e s t i n g discussion of West see W.H. Auden 1s "Interlude: West's Disease," The Dyer's  Hand and Other Essays (New York, 1962), pp. 238-245. Auden says that "West i s not, s t r i c t l y speaking, a n o v e l i s t ; that i s to say, he does not attempt an accurate description neither of the s o c i a l scene or of the subjective l i f e of the mind" (p. 238). "But West i s not a s a t i r i s t . Satire presupposes conscience and reason as the judges between the true and the f a l s e , the moral and the immoral, to which i t appeals, but for West these f a c u l t i e s are themselves the creators of un r e a l i t y " (pp. 240-241). Auden thinks that West wrote Cautionary Tales. 12 James Sutherland, English Satire (Cambridge, 1962), p. 7. 13 James Nichols, "Nathanael West, S i n c l a i r Lewis, Alexander Pope, and S a t i r i c Contrasts," Satire Newsletter, V (1968), 119-122, notes a si m i l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c i n A Cool M i l l i o n which parodies formsand speech, but i s not b a s i c a l l y an attack on the o r i g i n a l (121). 125 14 Kernan, The plot of Sat i r e , p. 173, notes that " . . . West and Waugh . . . w i l l only f i n a l l y condemn the dunces for t h e i r self-defeating movements, f o r following courses of action that do no more than i n t e n s i f y t h e i r already desperate s i t u a t i o n s . " 15 A.M. Tibbetts sees The Dream L i f e of Balso S n e l l as t*a ' s a t i r e ' without an object of attack except i t s e l f " (112). I would agree that Balso S n e l l collapses upon i t s e l f , but I would argue that this forms West's s a t i r e . A.M. Tibbetts, "Nathanael West's The Dream L i f e of Balso  S n e l l , " Studfes i n Short F i c t i o n , II (Winter 1965), .105-112. 16 John M. B u l l i t t , Jonathan Swift and.- the Anatomy of  Satire (Cambridge, 1953), p. 1. 17 Thomas Gilmore argues that West's attitude i s not t y p i c a l of s a t i r i s t s , that West i s interested i n analyzing his characters, and that there i s no alternative to his bleak world. By now I hope i t is clear that West's attitude i s compatible with s a t i r e , that West does analyze characters but we cannot become interested i n them, and that the lack of alter n a t i v e s i s no reason to exclude West from the ranks of s a t i r i s t s . Gilmore, "The Dark Night of the Cave," Satire Newsletter, 95. Chapter V 1 See Henri Bergson, Laughter (London, 1911), e s p e c i a l l y pp. 195-196. 2 See Jose' Ortega y Gasset, The Dehumanization of Art (Princeton, 1968), pp. 91-95. 3 William B i t t n e r recognizes something of West's p e c u l i a r i t y when he says "West's symbols are grotesques, perhaps more disturbing even than Kafka's, because they more strongly resemble the r e a l . His s a t i r e never loses i t s s t i n g because i t i s always more r e a l than s a t i r i c a l . " Bittner, "Catching Hp With Nathanae.! West,." The Nation, CLXXXI-Y- (May 1957,), 394. 126 4 Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Roderick Random (The New American Library of Canada, 1964), p. xv. 5 Smollett^ p. x v i i . 6 Gehman, "Introduction," p. x i . 7 Pinkus,'Satire and St. George," 36. 8. Pinkus, 36. 9 Pinkus, 36. 10 Josephine Herbst, "Nathanael West," Kenyon Review, XXIII (Autumn 1961), 626. 11 West, i n a l e t t e r to Jack Conroy, quoted by Gehman, "Introduction," p. x. BIBLIOGRAPHY Because a complete and exhaustive b i b l i o g r a p h i c a l study-has been done by William White and published i n Studies i n  Bibliography, XI (1958), 207-224, and supplemented by White with "Nathanael West: Bibliographical Addenda (1957-1964)," S e r i f , I I , i (March 1965), 5-18, and "Further B i b l i o g r a p h i c a l Notes," S e r i f , I I , i i i (Sept. 1965), 28-31, the following bibliography i s selective and includes only those items d i r e c t l y relevant to t h i s t h e s i s . Some of the more important works on novels and s a t i r e s used d i r e c t l y in the thesis are a l s o l i s t e d , although I have not t r i e d to acknowledge every writer I have read. The standard text of West i s , of course, The Complete Works of Nathanael West (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1957). Aaron, Daniel. "Late Thoughts on Nathanael West," Massachusetts Review, VI (Winter-Spring 1965),,307-317. j ••The Truly Monstrous: A Note on Nathanael.. West," - P a r t i s a n Review, XIV (February 1947), 98-106. ~ Writers on the L e f t : Episodes in American L i t e r a r y  Communism. New. York, 1961. •••Writing for Apocalypse," Hudson Review, III f l i n t e r 1951), 634^636. Anderson, Sherwood. Winesburg, Ohio. New York, 1964. Auden, W.H. "Interlude: West's Disease," i n The Dyer's  Hand and Other Essays. New York, 1962, pp. 238-245, B u l l i t t , John :M. Jonathan Swift and the Anatomy of S a t i r e . Cambridge, Mass., 1953. Bergson, Henri, Laughter. London, 1911. Bittner, William. "Catching Up With Nathanael West," The Nation, CLXXXIV (May 1957), 394-96. 1 2 8 C a r l i s l e , Henry, "The Comic T r a d i t i o n , " American Scholar, XXVTII ( W i n t e r , 1 9 5 8 = 1 9 5 9 ) , 9 6 = 1 0 8 . . Cohen, Arthur, "Nathanael West's Holy Fool," Commonweal, LXIV (June 1 9 5 6 ) , 2 7 6 - 2 7 8 0 Comerchero, Victor„ Nathanael West: The Ironic Prophet. Syracuse, 1 9 6 4 . Daniel, Carter A 6 "West's Revision of Miss Lonelyhearts," Studies in Bibliography: Papers of the B i b l i o g r a p h i c a l  Society of the University of V i r g i n i a , XVI ( 1 9 6 3 ) , 2 3 2 = 2 4 3 c Donovan, Alan. "Nathanael West and the S u r r e a l i s t i c Muse," The Kentucky Review, /vol. 2 , i ( 1 9 6 8 ) , 8 2 = 9 5 , Edenbaum, Robert I, "Dada and Surrealism i n the United States: A L i t e r a r y Instance," Arts i n Society, V ( 1 9 6 8 ) , 1 1 4 = 1 2 5 , F i e d l e r , L e s l i e A, Waiting for the End. New York, 1 9 6 4 . Galloway, David D. "Nathanael West's Dream Dump," Cr i t i q u e : Studies i n Modern F i c t i o n , VI (Winter 1 9 6 3 ) , 4 6 = 6 3 . Gehman, Richard B„ "Introduction," The Day of the Locust. New York, 1 9 5 0 , "Nathanael West: A Novelist Apart," The A t l a n t i c Monthly, CLXXXVI (Sept, 1 9 5 0 ) , 6 9 - 7 2 o Gilmore, Thomas B. J r . "The Dark Night of the Cave: A Rejoinder to Kernan on The Day of the Locust,", Satire Newsletter, II (Spring 1 9 6 5 ) , 9 5 - 1 0 0 . Hand, Nancy W. "A Novel i n the Form of a Comic Strip:'. Nathanael West's Miss Lonelyhearts," S e r i f , V, \i ...<•" ( 1 9 6 8 ) , 1 4 - 2 1 . Hassan, Ihab H, "Love i n the Modern American Novel: Expense of S p i r i t and Waste of Shame," Western  Humanities Review, XIV (Spring 1 9 6 0 ) , 1 4 9 = 1 6 1 . Herbst, Josephine. "Nathanael West," Kenyon Review, XXIII (Autumn 1 9 6 1 ) , 6 1 1 - 3 0 . 129 Hyman, Stanley Edgar. Nathanael West. University of Minnesota Pamphlets on American Writers, No. 21. Minneapolis, 1962. Kernan, A l v i n . ••The Mob Tendency i n S a t i r e : The Day of  the Locust," Sat i r e Newsletter, I (Winter, 1964), 11-20. The Plot of S a t i r e . New Haven and London, 1965. K e t t l e , Arnold. An Introduction to the English Novel. 2 v o l s . London, 1951. Light, James F. "Miss Lonelyhearts: The Imagery of Nightmare," American Quarterly, VIII (Winter 1956), 316-327. Nathanael West: An Interpretative Study. Evanston, I l l i n o i s , 1961. "Nathanael West and the Ravaging Locust," American Quarterly, XII (Spring i960), 44-54. o "Violence, Dreams, and Dostoevsky: The Art of Nathanael West," College EngLisIyXIX (February 1958), 208-213. Lokke, V.L. "A Side Glance at Medusa: Hollywood, the Literature Boys, and Nathanael West," Southwest Review, XLVI (Winter 1961), 35-45. Lorch, Thomas M. "The Inverted Structure of Balso S n e l l , " Studies in Short F i c t i o n , IV, 1 (1966), 33-41. "Religion and Art in. Miss Lonelyhearts," Renascence, XX'(1967), 11-17. Nichols, James. "Nathanael West, S i n c l a i r Lewis, Alexander Pope, and S a t i r i c Contrasts," Satire Newsletter, V (1968), 119-122. Parry, I d r i s . "Kafka, Gogol, and Nathanael West," i n Kafka: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays, ed. I.-Ronald Gray. Englewood C l i f f s , New Jersey, 1962, pp. 85-90. Paulson, Ronald.: The F i c t i o n s of S a t i r e . Baltimore, Maryland, 1967. 130 Paulson, Ronald. Satire and the Novel in Eighteenth Century  England. New Haven and London, 1967. P e t r u l l o , Helen B. "Satire and Freedom: S i n c l a i r Lewis, Nathanael West; and James Thurber," DA, 28 (1967), 1445a (Syracuse). Pinkus, P h i l i p . "Satire and St. George," Queen* s Quarterly, LXX (Spring 1963), 30-49. Podhoretz, Norman. *'A P a r t i c u l a r Kind of Joking," New Yorker, XXXIII (May 1957), 144-153. Reprinted in Doings and  Undoings: The F i f t i e s and A f t e r i n American Writing. New York, 1964, pp. 66-75. Popkin, Henry. "The Taming of Nathanael West," The New  Republic, CXXXVII (October 1957), 19-20. Pound, Ezra. L i t e r a r y Essays, ed. T.S. E l i o t . New York, 1968. Ratner, Marc L. "'Anywhere Out of This World': Baudelaire and Nathanael West,-** American L i t e r a t u r e , XXXI (January 1960), 456-463. Re id, Randall. The F i c t i o n .of Nathanael West: No Redeemer, No Promised Land. Chicago, 1967. Ross, Alan. "Novelist-Philosophers: XIV—The Dead Centre: An Introduction to Nathanael West,** Horizon,j.XVIII (October 1948), 284-296. Sacks, Sheldon. F i c t i o n and the Shape of B e l i e f . Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1964. Smollett, Tobias. Roderick Random. Toronto, 1964. Sutherland, James. English S a t l r e . Cambridge; 1962. Tibbetts, A.M. "Nathanael West's The Dream L i f e of Balso  S n e l l , " Studies i n Short F i c t i o n , II (Winter 1965). 105-112. "The Strange Half-World of Nathanael West," P r a i r i e Schooner, XXXIV (Spring 1960), 8-14. Volpe, Edmond L. "The Waste Land of Nathanael West,? Renascence: A C r i t i c a l Journal of Letters, XIII (Winter 1961), 69-77, 112. 131 White, William. fHow Forgotten Was Nathanael West?** American Book Collector, VIII, .4 (1957), 13-17. . "A Novelist Ahead of His Time: Nathanael West," Today's Japan: Orient/West, VI (January 1961), 55-64. Wilson, Edmund. ''Hollywood Dance of Death," The New Republic, LXXXXIX (July 1939), 339-40. Wilson T.C. "American Humour," Saturday Review of L i t e r a t u r e , IX (May 1933), 589. 

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