Babbit Essay Research Paper Empty ConformityThe depressing

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Babbit Essay, Research Paper Empty Conformity The depressing tragedy known as Babbitt, by Lewis Sinclair, accurately portrays the convention of life in the 1920’s. Sinclair precisely evokes the conformity and orthodox life styles that shaped a growing culture. Man, in the 1920’s, is caught in a lifestyle where he is continually fed on what to think. Lewis cunningly explains the constraints of convention that plagued George Babbitt, and mocks society as a whole for its lack of liberal views. Babbitt throughout the novel seems to be trapped in a maze, and is told by “the machine” when to turn. Only when Babbitt revolts against conservative America does his life change, but the question is was it for the better? The economy is booming with success, and your wealth

portrays ones position in society. George Babbitt is infatuated with having the latest “gadgets” and technology in his home, as is the rest of Middle-class America. Lewis portrays society as a group of self-centered people who must have the best of everything (sounds similar to our world today). Middle-class America is disturbingly the same to the last detail in the 1920’s. Life begins for Babbitt waking up to an unappreciative family, and a typical fake show of affection from his wife. Babbitt realizes his life is dull and mundane. Even the kiss from his wife is typical. Babbitt, like most men in the 1920’s, finds his home not as a haven but as a depressing reality of what his life has really become. Babbitt recognizes he is disgusted with his life, and that he doesn’t

even love his wife. Only when Babbitt escapes his home does he find satisfaction. Babbitt is found in his community as a role model of every businessmen, even the mechanic at the gas station commends him for organization. Babbitt temporarily feels relief when freedom encompasses his life, but later in the novel Babbitt illustrates that even “business” is shaped by society. Just as business is shaped in Zenith, so are the women who live there. Women in the novel are accurately portrayed as they were in the 1920’s. Lewis presents two different scenarios in the novel, but both of these cases can follow the same mannerisms. First, Lewis depicts the loving housewife. Myra, Babbitt’s wife, continually comforts Babbitt throughout the whole novel. Myra even accepts the blame when

Babbitt decides to cheat on her. Women are depicted throughout the novel as inferior when compared to men. They stay home and cook. Unfortunately, Zilla and Paul, friends of the Babbitts, don’t have a similar relationship. Paul is Babbitt’s best friend and they experience many of troubles together. Zilla, like Babbitt, wants to change her current situation and takes her frustration out on Paul. Zilla, Paul’s wife is overbearing in the marriage, and uses this tactic to cover up the insecurity she feels in her life. The strife between Zilla and Paul is so deep that it affects every aspect of Paul’s life. It even brings him to the act of shooting his wife. Both George and Paul have the same attitude toward their wives, and it takes a private vacation to Maine for them to

realize that they must treat their wives better. Later in the novel, when George is experiencing a downward spiral in his life, he realizes that his marriage is becoming similar to what Paul experienced. Babbitt begins to experience many new things and women when he finds himself in these circumstances. He begins flirting with women, and also begins to suffer a mid-life crisis. This is Babbitt’s attempt to break the norm of everyday life, and acting on impulses is his way of doing this. Women can dramatically affect the way society thinks, and therefore play a crucial role in the novel. Babbitt experiences a cultural clash everyday in the novel. Babbitt is extremely hypocritical in the way he improves his ranks in society, as is rest of the world. Every person wants to