Babbitt Essay Research Paper BabbittIf one were — страница 3

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rebellion” (Light 83). Babbitt has never done anything to make himself, rather than society, happy (Schorer 329). ” He is prosperous but worried wanting passionately to seize something more than motor cars and a house before it is too late” (Light 77). Babbitt can not foster a true disposition because he does not know what individuality is. He dreams always of a fairy child, “a life with a little whirl of romance and peril” (Love 48). The fairy child is never described however, because he does not know what this whirl of romance, and peril mean. The fairy child is not necessarily a woman, although Babbitt originally assumes that it is. Babbitt’s discontentment with life shows us his interior motivations and desires. A simple glance at Babbitt’s morning routine shows

just how fast his frustration is mounting. His morning begins with his “irritability about the wet towels in the bathroom, and the little chunks of toast, and the socialist threat and his rebellious and bickering children. Soon so early in the day we hear the great burst of fatigue: Oh lord sometimes I’d like to quit the hole game. And the office worry and detail just as bad. And I act so damn cranky and I don’t mean to, but I get so darned tired (Light 81). Conformity can be very tiring. Even through the quagmire of conformity, which Babbitt represents there is a surprise. Babbitt is able to break away from the standardized being, just a little, when the time comes (Light 77). “What Babbitt feels and thinks is what it is currently proper to feel and think. Only once

during the two years that we have him under view, does he venture upon an idea that is even remotely original – and that time [Babbitt's attempt to liberalize himself] the heresy almost ruins him. The lesson you may be sure is not lost upon him. No thought will ever get a lodgment in his mind, even in the wildest deliriums following bootleg gin, that will offer offense to the pruderies of Vergil Gunch, President of the Boosters club, or to those of old Mr. Eathorne, president of the First State Bank…Babbitt has been rolled through the mill. He emerges the very model and pattern of a forward looking, right thinking Americano” (Mencken 22). The evils of society, with all of its peer pressures did not allow Babbitt to change his ways. Babbitt’s fate seems to say that under

present conditions nothing will ever be achieved. Babbitt did chase the fairy child. He tried to have a stable loving relationship with another woman and, on the other extreme, he went wild and slept with as many women as he possibly could. However, “it is Babbitt’s fate itself, an ironic recognition that all his yearnings and aspirations and attempts to escape have gone for naught”, which shows us who Babbitt really became. Babbitt’s fate is “a conclusion in which nothing is concluded” (Love 50). At the end of the novel the reality of his wife’s appendectomy breaks his fantasy, but not all is lost. Babbitt knows that he will always be a conformist, but he now knows that he has a chance to break the cycle with his son. He can give his son a chance to catch the

“fairy child”. It seems as if the anti – Babbitt is speaking in the last lines of the novel when he says to his son ” Take your factory job if you want to. Don’t be scared of the family. No, nor all of Zenith. Nor of yourself, the way I’ve been. Go ahead, old man! The world is yours!” (326). Babbitt is so wonderfully alive that you can’t keep your eyes off him (Love 18). To try and understand how, and why Sinclair Lewis created a character the likes of Babbitt one must understand Sinclair Lewis himself, with all his intricacies. Lewis lived in the city but yearned for the simplicities of the countryside, much like Babbitt (Love 11). Lewis was always struggling for the natural rights of man to be bestowed on everyone, a rarity in the big city. In some of Lewis’s

previous works, before Babbitt, he championed these rights before the American public. For example in The Job Lewis portrayed a female character, Una Goldin, trying to find an egalitarian profession. In Main Street Carol Kennicot spends her life searching for the rights which she feels that she, as a human being, deserves (Love 8). There are certain unalienable rights, which apply to all people, which Lewis felt society was not granting. Lewis was a man of many passions. Among them “were humor, and craftsmanship, but above all a poetic passion for his country” ( West 23). Lewis was a man who as a popular satirist defied his times. “while our greatest comic writer, Mark Twain, was capable of withering satire, he was never loved for it in his own times, nor in ours for that