Study Guide

Arrowsmith Chapter 25

By Sinclair Lewis

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Chapter 25

Sections 1-8

  • Martin begins his work in a clumsy way, but his employer is forgiving because it's been a long time since Martin was in a lab full-time.
  • Meanwhile, a little event called World War I breaks out in Europe. America isn't involved at this point, though, so it's mostly something that people just hear about in the news. 
  • But of course, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Martin has to pay for the privilege of working in a lab all day by attending snobby, boring parties that are hosted by the people who own the McGurk Institute. Oh well. He's certainly had worse jobs. 
  • One day, Max Gottlieb comes into Martin's lab and says that it's about time Martin started doing some work. Martin thought that he was doing real work all along, but apparently Gottlieb has bigger things in mind. 
  • It turns out that Martin doesn't know nearly enough about mathematics or physical chemistry for Gottlieb's liking. As far as Gottlieb is concerned, Martin's education begins now. 
  • Terry Wickett is present when all of this is going down, and he agrees with Gottlieb. As you can imagine, this hurts Martin's pride pretty badly. 
  • So while Martin spends all his free time trying to learn calculus and chemistry, Leora sits at home and does nothing. Martin is worried about her, but she always says that she's perfectly content. 
  • It's announced that the United States is joining the war, and Dr. Tubbs goes to Washington to offer up the McGurk Institute to help out any way it can. Meanwhile, Terry Wickett joins the army and sails off for France to do some fighting. Martin gets a fancy army uniform that he's allowed to wear all around town. 
  • Unfortunately, Max Gottlieb (being a German) starts getting treated with all kinds of suspicion. The war is, no doubt, a really tough time for him. 
  • And then, smack dab in the middle of this tough time, Martin makes an amazing discovery in his lab.

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