Key Elements Of Sinclair Lewis' Babbitt

576 words - 2 pages

Key Elements of Babbitt

Sinclair Lewis, the author of Babbitt, devised several key literary elements
to explain his full effect and purpose for writing his novel.  Babbitt is a
satirist look at not only one man, but an entire society as well.  He exposes
the hypocrisy and mechanization of American Society in the 1920's.  In the
novel Lewis focuses on his main character Babbitt, the protagonist throughout
much of the book, who is a businessman with lofty aims and a desire to climb
the ladder of the social class.    To fully achieve his opinions and beliefs,
Lewis used the literary effects of irony and theme. 
    The novel begins in the 1920, a decade that had started in economic boom
and avid consumerism, only to end in crash and depression.  This was a
parallel used by Lewis to illustrate the theme of the story.  Lewis was
trying to show that materialism and shallow attitudes of the middle class of
America in the 1920's.  Lewis blatantly   criticizes his own characters to
get his point across.  Here Lewis writes, "He hadn't any satisfaction in the
new water cooler!  And it was the very best of water coolers, up to date,
scientific, and right thinking.  It had cost of great deal of money (in
itself a virtue.)" Pg 31. This quote reflects Babbitt's excitement about
material items and how those items mirror his position in society.  Babbitt's
morals and values were full of holes, which is what Lewis wanted to point
out.  He had chosen to satirize Babbitt as living in a fairytale world,
oblivious to...

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