Study Guide

Arrowsmith Love

By Sinclair Lewis

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There's lots of love to go around in Arrowsmith, but conflict tends to emerge when love takes a backseat to science. And with Martin Arrowsmith, this is basically always what happens. Lucky for him that his first wife Leora is totally fine puttering around in the background of his life while he spends late nights at his lab.

When Leora dies, though, Martin feels a huge sense of guilt over the fact that he never paid enough attention to her. He knows that love has always come second in his life, and he knows that this might make him a bad person. But at the end of the day, he can't help himself. He's a science addict.

Questions About Love

  1. Do you think Martin ever feels true love for his first fiancé, Madeline Fox? Why or why not?
  2. What is the bond that first brings Martin and Leora together? How quickly does Martin know he wants to spend his life with Leora?
  3. Is Martin capable of loving another woman as long as Leora is alive? Why or why not? Use evidence from the text to support your answer.

Chew on This

In Arrowsmith, we find that love is a fickle thing that can be there one moment and gone the next.

In Arrowsmith, Sinclair Lewis shows us that love is the foundation on which all our individual accomplishments are built.

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