Over the ensuing months, Henry conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually he finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in one of the great catalysts for the Civil War. The Great Gatsby by F.
Themes[ edit ] After the social instability and sharp economic depression that followed World War Imany Americans in the s saw business and city growth as foundations for stability. The civic boosters and self-made men of the middle-class represented particularly American depictions of success, at a time when the promotion of the American identity was crucial in the face of rising fears of Communism.
Babbitt, the novel's main character, was described by the Nobel Prize committee as "the ideal of an American popular hero of the middle-class. The relativity of business morals as well as private rules of conduct is for him an accepted article of faith, and without hesitation he considers it God's purpose that man should work, increase his income, and enjoy modern improvements.
Instead, he was influenced by the Progressive Era ; and changes in the American identity that accompanied the country's rapid urbanizationtechnological growth, industrializationand the closing of the frontier.
Although it was published inlong before Babbitt, Thorstein Veblen 's The Theory of the Leisure Class, which critiqued consumer culture and social competition at the turn of the 20th century, is an oft-cited point of comparison.
Lewis was very critical of the similarities between most American cities, especially when compared to the diverse—and in his view, culturally richer—cities of Europe. Frowning on the interchangeable qualities of American cities, he wrote: Zenith is a fictitious city in the equally fictitious Midwestern state of " Winnemac ," adjacent to OhioIndianaIllinoisand Michigan.
Babbitt does not mention Winnemac by name, but Lewis's subsequent novel Arrowsmith elaborates on its location. When Babbitt was published, newspapers in CincinnatiDuluthKansas City, Milwaukeeand Minneapolis each claimed that their city was the model for Zenith. For his title character this biography even included a detailed genealogyas well as a list of Babbitt's college courses.
Zenith's major names and families are documented in these journals, and many of them emerge again in Lewis's later writings. Lewis drew a series of 18 maps of Zenith and outlying areas, including Babbitt's house, with all its furnishings.
Cholmondeley "Chum" Frink, a famous poet of dubious talent. As a realtor, George Babbitt knows well the virtues of his home city. In a speech to the Zenith Real Estate Board, he states: This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed.
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December Learn how and when to remove this template message Lewis has been both criticized and congratulated for his unorthodox writing style in Babbitt. One reviewer said "There is no plot whatever Babbitt simply grows two years older as the tale unfolds.
After introducing George F. Babbitt as a middle-aged man, "nimble in the calling of selling houses for more than people could afford to pay," Lewis presents a meticulously detailed description of Babbitt's morning routine.
As he dresses for the day, Babbitt contemplates each article of his "Solid Citizen" uniform, the most important being his Booster's club button, which he wears with pride.+ free ebooks online.
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Go to: Distributed Proofreaders. Sinclair Lewis Biography Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List As one reads Babbitt, one is continually aware of Sinclair Lewis' fierce anger with America's mediocrity, a mediocrity usually expressed by a multitude of clichés.
Background. Families were often divided during the American Revolution, and many felt themselves to be both American and British, still owing a loyalty to the mother country.
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis Babbitt is set in the modern Midwestern city of Zenith. George F. Babbitt, a year-old real estate broker, enjoys all the modern conveniences available to a prosperous middle-class businessman, yet he is dissatisfied with his life.
Babbitt, Lewis's eighth novel, was published in a hardback edition of some pages in It was an immediate bestseller, and "Babbitt" entered the language to denote a "person and especially.
When Babbitt was first published in , fans gleefully hailed its scathing portrait of a crass, materialistic nation; critics denounced it as an unfair skewering of the American businessman. Sparking heated literary debate, Babbitt became a controversial classic, securing Sinclair Lewis’s place as one of America’s preeminent social commentators/5(42).