Study Guide

Arrowsmith Chapter 36

By Sinclair Lewis

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Chapter 36

Sections 1-3

  • Martin heads back to work after his honeymoon and he gets some bad news. The new director, Dr. Holabird, wants him to focus more on practical research and stop working on the stuff that interests him. 
  • Luckily for Martin, his buddy Terry happens to be working on something that could have major practical applications. Plus, it's something both of them are actually interested in. 
  • They demand ten thousand dollars (a massive sum in those days) in order to buy monkeys to conduct experiments on. After some argument, Holabird finally gives in. 
  • Unfortunately, Joyce doesn't tolerate Martin's long hours in the lab the same way Leora did. She gets angry with him for missing dinner four nights in a row and Martin retreats to his lab to work with Terry. 
  • To make matters worse, Holabird insists that Martin and Terry publish whatever they've got. Terry gets so mad that he quits on the spot and retreats to his shack in Vermont to do his own experiments. Martin is happy for him, but sad that he'll be left all alone at McGurk now.
  • Martin goes home to Joyce and tells her that he wants to work in Vermont with Terry. She's not a fan, especially because she'd see even less of Martin. 
  • She figures this is also a good time to tell Martin she's pregnant. Eep.
  • For the time being, Martin decides not to quit like Terry.

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