At the core of Martin Arrowsmith is a very strong sense of pride. The same goes for many other characters in this book, like Max Gottlieb or Leora Tozer. In Arrowsmith, nearly every human emotion or act is connected in some way to an individual's pride.
The pursuit of truth, for example, is something that Martin wants to keep pure. But the truth is that he can never separate his work from his sense of pride. And when Martin's pride is hurt, he often lashes out in ways that are destructive for both himself and the people close to him. It'd be nice if people could just put their egos in their back pockets and sit on them for a while. Leggo your ego, guys.
Questions About Pride
Why does Martin become interested in Leora after she has hurt his pride (when they first meet)? What about having his pride injured would make him want to be with Leora?
How does Martin react when Max Gottlieb first attacks his pride? What does it tell us about their relationship?
What does Madeline Fox do when she finds out that Martin is also engaged to Leora? How do Madeline and Leora's different reactions reflect on them as people?
Chew on This
In Arrowsmith, we learn that pride is the number one obstacle to fulfillment.
In Arrowsmith, Sinclair Lewis shows us that pride is a beneficial to attaining what you desire.