Arrowsmith Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Arrowsmith.
This section contains 838 words
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Commercial vs. Scientific Medicine

The most important theme in the book is the conflict between commercial and scientific medicine. Until the end of the novel Martin struggles with the lure of the financial and social benefits surrounding a commercial medical practice with the personally gratifying authenticity of a career in true science and discovery. Each time Martin is drawn into the commercial side of medicine, such as his prairie practice or the famous clinic in Chicago, he is always aware of the laboratory work that he could or should be doing instead of tending to patients where he always feels like a failure. Martin's real competence is in the laboratory and even when he has secured employment in the best scientific institute in America, Martin is met with directors who place commercial success and publicity over the integrity of discovery. Martin finds only two colleagues throughout his career, Dr...

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This section contains 838 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Arrowsmith Study Guide
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