Dissects the character of a middle-class businessman whose search for material wealth and social status leaves him spiritually sterile and doomed to destruction in pre-Depression America.
Sinclair Lewis's seventh novel, the first written after the breakout success of MAIN STREET, is a scathing satirical critique of capitalism, conformity, and "boosterism" in the fictional Midwestern city of Zenith. The novel's protagonist, George F. Babbitt, is a middle-aged boss at a real estate agency who excels at selling overpriced houses of poor quality. Obsessed with status, and seeking to rise in the city's tight-knit class system, Babbitt desperately strives to join the right groups, express the best opinions, and know the finest people--but he hopelessly bungles his attempt to climb the social ladder. Suffering an emotional crisis, he briefly rebels and embraces more liberal viewpoints, but the social structure quickly reins him in, forcing Babbitt to realign himself once again with the cultural mainstream. Babbitt is pathetic, pompous, and frequently detestable, but in his earnest, awkward struggles, Lewis sympathetically portrays the tragedy of an individual squashed by the strictures of a banal society.
- Fiction + Literature Genres, Fiction + Literature Themes
- Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Money + Finance, Human Qualities + Behavior, Classics, Conflicts + Dualities, Types of Characters, Stages of Life, Settings, Peoples + Cultures
- May 1, 2011
- May 1, 2011
- Sinclair Lewis
- Grover Gardner (Narrator) , David Colacci (Narrator)