Babbitt Themes

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Babbitt has chiefly been understood as a satire of the prosperous, conservative business class of which Babbitt is a prominent member and a perfect example. At a point in the political and social climate where, Lewis felt, private enterprise and the economic interests of the business and ruling classes were valued above cultural endeavors or basic ethics, the novel struck an important critical tone.

The novel has a host of targets for its business satire, and most of them are institutions of which Babbitt is a member or a co-conspirator: the Boosters, the Elks, the Chamber of Commerce, the Good Citizens' League, the fraudulent financial powers of big cities such as William Eathorne's bank, and underhand political interests like the Street Traction Company. Lewis stresses that these institutions create a greedy and corrupt business atmosphere in Zenith. They ruin anyone who seems to go against their agenda...

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This section contains 858 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Babbitt Study Guide
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Babbitt from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.