The mood in this chapter

The mood in this chapter - adulation but we do And we also...

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The mood in this chapter, instead of being bitterly sarcastic, is softer and more comic. Lewis  structures the scene in this way: first, the Babbitts idolize and cater to the very successful  McKelveys, then are snubbed by them. Later, the Babbitts are idolized and catered to by the not- quite-so-successful Overbrooks, who are snubbed by the Babbitts. The lesson is clear: the so-called  classless American democracy is really made up of several territorial strata, and each social class  jealousy guards its boundaries from interlopers. At the class reunion, Babbitt stays close to the heels of Charles McKelvey (a great success in big  business and a former Big Man on Campus). He hangs onto McKelvey's every word while noting  how the failures of the class all look enviously at him (Babbitt). He doesn't recognize the parallel in 
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Unformatted text preview: adulation, but we do. And we also note that when the Babbitts dismally entertain the Overbrooks that the Overbrooks say the same wrong things to the Babbitts, the same kind of things that the Babbitts said earlier to the McKelveys. For example, during dinner, Overbrook praises Babbitt, just as Babbitt praised the McKelveys; Babbitt is asked what New York and Chicago are really like, and in the same way, Babbitt asked Lucille McKelvey about Europe. In both cases, both Babbitt and Lucille reply that their interest in these cities is food — not culture — as their questioner supposed. Thus, as the long, tedious dinners are finished, Lewis tells us that the McKelveys did not speak of the Babbitts again and that the Babbitts did not speak of the Overbrooks again....
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