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Word Count: 550
Babbitt is set in the modern Midwestern city of Zenith George F Babbitt a 46- year-old real estate broker enjoys all the modern conveniences available to a prosperous middle-class businessman yet he is dissatisfied with his life When the novel opens Babbitt has begun to regularly indulge in fantasies about a fairy girl who makes him feel like a gallant youth Babbitts family consists of his three children Verona Ted and Tinka and his dowdy devoted wife Myra Babbitts closest friend Paul Riesling is even more dissatisfied with his life He is also more vocal about it Although he dreamed of becoming a professional violinist in his youth Riesling became mired in the life of the average middle-class businessman of his generation His wife Zilla is equally unsatisfied with the monotonous conventional routine of Zenith but she vents her frustrations by constantly nagging Paul Riesling and Babbitt try to improve their unhappiness by taking a vacation in Maine together but their enjoyment at their newfound freedom is short-lived Both men experience a growing impulse to rebel against social conventions When Babbitt discovers that Riesling is having an affair he preaches the value of maintaining ones good social standing in the community Soon thereafter Riesling and Zilla have another argument Riesling snaps shoots his wife and subsequently receives a sentence of three years in the state penitentiary Babbitt is devastated by the loss of Rieslings steadying presence in his life His own desire for rebellion comes to the surface when he realizes that he wants his fairy girl in the flesh When the attractive widow Tanis Judique enters his life Babbitt thinks he has found his fairy girl and begins an affair At the same time Babbitt becomes more critical of the conservative opinions of his friends While Myra is away nursing her sick sister Babbitt stays out late drinking and partying with Tanis bohemian friends Babbitts friends do not fail to take notice of his
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