By Robert J. Milch, Cliffs Notes, Inc
Taking pictures arrows at American company and the ethic of self-advancement, Lewis offers us Babbitt, a social-climbing, hopelessly middle-class oaf. via skewering the borgeousie, Babbitt supplies us social feedback and a brand new form of personality that reappears in American arts and letters.
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Additional info for Cliffs Notes on Lewis' Babbitt
Tanis Judique An emancipated and bohemian middle-aged widow with whom Babbitt has an affair. He rapidly discovers that the conventions of her way of life are as stifling as those he is attempting to escape. Eunice Littlefield Ted Babbitt's girlfriend and later his wife; she is a caricature of a typical, teenage girl of the 1920s. Howard Littlefield Eunice's father; Babbitt's friend and fellow club member, as well as his neighbor. D. in economics; hence, he is considered an authority on nearly any subject.
After awhile, Ted begins to complain about the uselessness of the things which he is forced to learn in schoolplane geometry and the works of Shakespeare, Milton, and Cicero. He says that he doesn't want to go to college because learning has no cash value; he is interested in making lots of money. He consults some ads for correspondence courses, ranging from fingerprinting to public speaking; all of them guarantee to increase one's earning capacity. His parents are impressed by the ads, but nonetheless they say that Ted must stick to his school work and go to college.
The remainder of Babbitt's morning is filled up with petty and routine details. After describing these, Lewis comments that Babbitt is a successful real-estate broker because he is reasonably honest and dependable, has a good sales personality, and is diligent. Unfortunately, however, like many men in his field, Babbitt is ignorant of the most elementary and important matters pertinent to real-estate, such as the principles of scientific sanitation, the nature of adequate educational facilities, police and fire services, and so forth.