The children leave for school or work, and Babbitt sets out for the office. As he drives to work, he meets his neighbor Howard Littlefield, an executive of the Zenith Street Traction Company and the holder of a doctorate in economics. Howard is one of the most highly educated men in Floral Heights, and Babbitt is one of the many admirers of his learning. The two men engage in a short, cliché-filled discussion about the weather and current politics. Continuing his journey, Babbitt derives an adventurous feeling of personal heroism from driving recklessly. At the gasoline station where he stops, the mechanic is attentive and respectful. This behavior, as usual, tends to increase Babbitt's self-esteem, and he becomes a bit more cheerful. As on all other mornings, the drive to work through the city's many varied and industrious districts excites and inspires him. Babbitt's office is in the Reeves Building, a modern, downtown skyscraper. The Babbitt-Thompson
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