Study Guide

Arrowsmith Chapter 12

By Sinclair Lewis

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Chapter 12

Sections 1-5

  • In all of his years as a teacher, Max Gottlieb has always been critical of labs and companies that use science to make a quick buck. One of the companies he criticized the most is Dawson T. Hunziker & Company. 
  • But guess who's willing to offer the old man a job in his time of need? Dawson T. Hunziker & Co is actually really enthusiastic about getting a scientist of Gottlieb's caliber. 
  • A lot of Gottlieb's old rivals totally revel in the fact that he's come crawling to the world of business for a job. "That's what you get, Gottlieb!" they think to themselves.
  • Gottlieb is actually blown away by the facilities that Dawson T. Hunziker & Co gives him to lord over. His assistant is not some kid, but a highly trained bacteriologist like himself. 
  • While working at Hunziker & Co, Gottlieb finally finishes the work he's been doing for the past twenty years. He discovers a type of antitoxin that can cure all sorts of diseases. He reveals this discovery at a fancy dinner and people cheer for him.
  • Here's the problem, though: Hunziker wants to patent the new antitoxin and make a bunch of money off it. Gottlieb's ethics, though, are against patenting something that can save countless lives. 
  • He doesn't give Hunziker permission to turn his research into a commodity. 
  • Hunziker actually sympathizes with Gottlieb. But the fact remains that Hunziker & Co can't continue to exist unless it has some sort of revenue. So Hunziker wants to patent and sell the stuff anyway. 
  • Gottlieb moves his family into a smaller house in preparation of losing his job. 
  • Luckily for Gottlieb his youngest daughter Miriam is completely loyal to him and will do whatever it takes to help him stand by his morals. 
  • Just when old man Hunziker starts to threaten Gottlieb, Gottlieb receives a message from the McGurk Institute of Biology in New York, offering him a job. The McGurk Institute is a place where scientists can pursue science for its own sake. 
  • Just like that, Gottlieb drops his job at Hunziker and joins the team at McGurk.

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