HST 368 Paper - Nathan Hoch HST 368 Dr Winkler Discussion...

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Nathan Hoch HST 368 Dr. Winkler Discussion Paper of Sinclair Lewis’ Babbitt Babbitt is a truly unique novel that provides a very intriguing glimpse of social, marital, and home life in the 1920’s in the United States. Lewis does a splendid job of showing that life in this time period is full of hypocrisy, materialism, and saturated with a desire by the average person to attain a more fulfilling life. Through the life of George F. Babbitt, Lewis exemplifies these ideas, through the adventures Babbitt embarks on or the lack there of, through relationships he has with individuals such as his wife, Myra, his friends, and his co-workers. Lewis also uses the many unethical business agreements and actions Babbitt takes part in to describe this idea of a society that is determined to achieve a high social status, no matter what that cost may be. Lewis argues this concept of the 1920’s being overwhelmed with hypocrisy through Babbitt’s many ironic situations, such as his preaching on ethics, but engaging in unethical business deals. This irony and hypocrisy is seen in Babbitt’s conversation with Paul Riesling when Paul says, “You’re always talking about “morals”-meaning monogamy, I suppose. You’ve been the rock of ages to me, all right, but you’re essentially a simp.”(Pg. 70) Paul then goes on to explain what he meant by simp, “In fact you’re so earnest about morality, old Georgie, that I hate to think how essentially immoral you must be underneath.”(Pg. 70) Everyone knows that what is going on in the business world is writhed with immoral deals and acts that companies and people engage in to gain some sort of advantage in business. Like in section five of chapter four, when Babbitt urges a friend to buy a plot of land that he knew was going to be used as an extension for Mr. Purdy’s meat business. Lewis uses these examples, as well as others, to show
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the corrupt atmosphere of not just the corporate world, but also the corruption that was exuberated through the lives of all persons that were trying to gain a social or economic advantage over someone else. Lewis is revealing this as a major flaw in a society that greatly prided itself on being a moral, ethical, and incorrupt. All generations have problems and areas
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HST 368 Paper - Nathan Hoch HST 368 Dr Winkler Discussion...

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