Study Guide

Arrowsmith Chapter 11

By Sinclair Lewis

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Chapter 11

Sections 1-4

  • We find out from the narrator that when Martin meets his old mentor Gottlieb in the street, Gottlieb is actually a ruined man. 
  • During his time at Winnemac University, he received a few offers to work in other schools. This naturally makes him cocky, so he started running his mouth and saying that he should have been in charge of medicine at Winnemac, and that his peers don't know what they're talking about. Unfortunately, all this smack talk gets him sacked. 
  • When Gottlieb goes running to the people who offered him jobs, all of the offers fall through, which means that Gottlieb will have to think about teaching high school chemistry if he still wants a job. 
  • Uh oh. We know what happened when Walter White, another great scientific mind, started teaching high school chemistry.
  • But Gottlieb doesn't turn to cooking meth. He just mourns the loss of Martin as a disciple. Secretly, he has always thought that Martin would come back to him, and the possibility that Martin is done with him is difficult to bear. 
  • The truth is that if Gottlieb asked a few of his scientific admirers for help, they'd help him. But he's just too proud to do this sort of thing. 
  • To make things worse, Gottlieb's wife gets seriously ill, and Gottlieb is so out of practice as a doctor that he doesn't know how to treat her. He has to call up Dean Silva, the same man who fired him, to take care of her. 
  • On the day that Gottlieb sees Martin and Leora in the street, he's on his way to the Chicago Teachers' Agency to take a job as a high school instructor. 
  • The guy at the Chicago Teachers' Agency actually had a university job to offer, but he called around and found out that Gottlieb was fired from his last job for being a troublemaker. 
  • Gottlieb leaves the guy's office totally fuming with rage.

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