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Word Count: 5,111
BabbittIf one were to look at the words of any modern dictionary they would find amongst them the word Babbitt If one were to glance however at a dictionary from the early part of this century the word Babbitt would not appear The word Babbitt means a self satisfied person who conforms readily to conventional middle class ideas and ideals especially of business and material success Websters New Universal Unabridged Dictionary 106 The word Babbitt and its subsequent meaning comes from the 1922 novel by Sinclair Lewis Babbitt It is a novel which shows a cross section of American middle class life through the eyes of the ultimate conformist George F Babbitt By turning Babbitts name into a noun a name has been given to that which people recognize as true to their experience of life but which they hadnt realized in any palpable way before Love 12 Just analyzing Babbitt himself however is not enough if one wishes to truly recognize the beauty of Lewiss work One must delve deeper under the surface beyond Babbitts personality to uncover the methods and the reasons behind Lewiss madness What must be explored in Lewiss work is why was Babbitt created the way he was and why has he become such a paradigm of American middle class life To truthfully and accurately answer these questions one must know who George F Babbitt was who Sinclair Lewis was the historical context of the 1920s and most importantly what Lewis wanted out of Babbitt George F Babbitt is a man without an identity His individuality has been imposed on him by a world of other things Just as he was an Elk a Booster and a member of the chamber of commerce just as the priests of the Presbyterian Church determined his every religious belief and the Senators who controlled the Republican party decided in little smoky rooms in Washington what he should think about disarmament tariff and
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