Saturday, December 22, 2007

Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

When the 20's were bursting out all over, we find the antithesis of the Fitzgeraldian hero, a 40 something, unoriginal humpty dumpty, but groomed sort of fellow called Babbitt. Babbitt's secret desire is to live again, not in the suburban sense, but in a wild and colorful way, and he supresses it until he finally erupts and makes a complete hind end of himself. He throws away his Boosterism, his faithful but bland wife, and converges on his quiet midwestern city of Zenith with a fervor that will rock the tabloids and fuel the gossips until the second coming. Realizing that the futility of his efforts will not free him from the dyed in the wool masses, Babbitt submits to becoming a cog in the machine and finally realizes his ambitions through his offspring in a sarcastic salute to Zenith and to the world. Hurray for all the Chicken Croquets and Lettuce Sandwiches that are consumed in this book, and a toast to Sinclair Lewis who has had entirely to many already.

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