Study Guide

Arrowsmith Chapter 21

By Sinclair Lewis

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Chapter 21

Section 1-5

  • As Martin's career in Nautilus continues, he watches Dr. Pickerbaugh get more and more famous as he travels the countryside and shakes a lot of hands. 
  • One day, Pickerbaugh marches into the office and asks Martin whether he thinks he could run the office all by himself. It turns out that Pickerbaugh is now so famous that he is going to run for congress. 
  • Now that Pickerbaugh is spending all of his time campaigning, Martin has to run the Office of Public Health all by himself. And of course he immediately makes a lot of enemies by not playing politics and by actually enforcing the laws.
  • Pickerbaugh hears about Martin shutting down a well-respected dairy farm and asks him to reconsider. Martin holds firm, though, and Pickerbaugh backs off since he doesn't want any disease outbreaks happening while he's running for office. 
  • The only reasons Martin keeps a good foothold in Nautilus society is because some of the wealthiest people in town find his antics entertaining and they invite him to all their parties. 
  • One day, Leora mentions that she'd like to travel with Martin someday to see France. This is a big deal, because it's really the only thing she's ever asked from him. Martin promises her he'll make it happen. 
  • Martin eventually realizes that he's going to be named Director of Public Health. He worries about how it's going to work out, though, because he knows he doesn't always get along with people.

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